Overwhelmed with a Dab of Mind Blown

truck driving

I know it’s not my usual mode, but we all have our breaking point. I’m overwhelmed. Okay, so perhaps this is not unusual for me, but I seem to have entered a new level of being mind blown. Perhaps you can relate.

I tackled the problem by OD-ing on various books and online wisdom, trying to find the secret to curing misery. What I discovered is that conversation may be the best cure of all.

wine bottles

Rather than the quick fix, numb the feelings, tactics I’ve been using, I felt it was time for real change and re-balancing. I decided to look for this in a couple books based on Ayurvedic practices, as that takes in a person as a whole, rather than just reading about another healthy eating plan, or meditation technique, or life style reboot.

I had to go with the books that were available at our small library, but I think I ended up with a couple good ones:

So far, they’ve been helpful. I like the way that they don’t tell you “Do this and your whole life will change.” It’s more geared towards listening to yourself and noticing which change makes you feel better and which ones don’t work. The suggestions get you to tune into your thoughts and your body and find your own wisdom based on your own experiences.

trees in a field

However, what really made a difference for me was my appointment with my hairstylist for a cut and foil. No, I didn’t end up with some dramatic change in hair style that has made a new woman out of me. It was our conversation that made me feel renewed.

sun peeking through clouds

My hairstylist saw the books I was reading, which triggered a conversation about depression, therapy, family, relationships, aversion to small talk, struggles with introversion, having trouble finding a place to fit in — at work and socially – and difficulties communicating because of some sort of brain glitch that neither of us knows what to call. I received recommendations for a couple podcasts and a Netflix program she thought I would enjoy.

One warning I should give about getting into such deep, therapeutic conversations with someone cutting your hair is that they may keep cutting so you can continue the conversation and you may end up with only a tuft of hair on the top of your head. But I’m cool with that, and I like the purplishly copper highlights I got.

hair color

When I got home and started one of my animated storytelling sessions about my hairstylist visit, Steve said, “You need to get your hair done more often.”

I don’t think I could afford that, but I do need to hook up with real, live people more often. It does wonders for the spirit and helps lift the fog from an overloaded brain.

lone tree in a field

I’m going to share links to a couple of the podcasts my hair stylist told me about. They are both put out by American Public Media and are excellent!

  • “The Hilarious World of Depression”  As they summarize it: “A show about clinical depression…with laughs? Well, yeah. Depression is an incredibly common and isolating disease experienced by millions, yet often stigmatized by society… [The podcasts consist of] funny conversations with top comedians who have dealt with this disease, hosted by veteran humorist and public radio host John Moe… Depression is a vicious cycle of solitude and stigma that leaves people miserable and sometimes dead. Frankly, we’re not going to put up with that anymore…”
  • “Miserable, Thanks for Asking” As they summarize this podcast: “You know how every day someone asks “how are you?” And even if you’re totally dying inside, you just say “fine,” so everyone can go about their day? This show is the opposite of that. Hosted by author and notable widow (her words) Nora McInerny, this is a funny/sad/uncomfortable podcast about talking honestly about our pain, our awkwardness, and our humanness…”

One final word, actually a favor I’d like to ask of you, if anyone has suggestions for a book or class that helps you keep track of what is going on in Congress and in your state legislature and perhaps also at the county and city level (as they all could use more monitoring), please put it in the comments. As far as I can tell our government websites do not make it easy to do things like get alerts and a summary of legislation proposed and progressing through hearings in a particular area. I’m looking for something that helps you be politically active without getting overwhelmed and burned out.



Landscape photos from road trip through a very foggy Iowa. NOTE: If you hover your cursor over photos, text will pop up. Don’t know what you do if you’re on a mobile device…

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  1. I like the highlights, too. And I’ve been listening to Terrible, Thanks for Asking since the start. Also read host Nora’s book (she lives in Minneapolis so there’s plenty that’s familiar). Made me both laugh and cry.

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