What would I like you to know about my broken brain?

By James Maxwell on Thursday, 12 May 2022

Every time you see me, know there’s a violent argument happening in my head.

Sitting at my desk? It’s the UN council debates.

Typing on my laptop? A domestic dispute.

Looking at some amazing design from my uber talented team… a segment on question time between a right winger and a student.

And those aren’t metaphors by the way.

Those are often the actual back and forths happening in my brain.

It’s more like… scenario planning.

Can they take over? Sometimes. Is it exhausting? GOD YES!

Have I drowned them all out in the past with exercise, loud banging music or just… sleep? Wouldn’t you?

Oh and COPIOUS amount of cartoons and YouTube.

They work a treat. They literally focus my mind on those little colours and jokes and skits and stop… all the rest.

But the fact my brain operates on speed, with gusto and with a lot of attitude, doesn’t mean my opinions on work should just be disregarded as… dramatic.

I actually once received a rather bitter sweet award before for being “Most Dramatic” … which has since resulted in ANOTHER series of arguments in my head about whether it was funny or insulting.

Because they say you never know what’s happening in someone’s head.

And that is apt.

But for those who are bipolar or just raised levels of intrusive thoughts, saying they’re dramatic, really doesn’t cut it when it comes to understanding the level of swinging emotions, feelings, thoughts, visuals and conversations that occur, all day, while you’re just asking me about a job, a brief, what I’m doing for the weekend.

So sometimes just hang ten with them when you think their reaction is a bit… much.

Because while you’ve thought about a topic for maybe an hour over the week, I’ve had it on repeat, on different days, in the bath, while walking, while we’re chatting.

I’ve had that conversation with you, multiple times… and you weren’t even there.

BUT there’s a massive upside…

I’m lucky enough to be able to (when I can) put all that dramatic, Tasmanian devil energy to use. On a concept, on a pitch, on a project at work, on a big social occasion for friends, on being a best man, on organising trips for big groups, on coming up with pun after pun.

It’s a not a super power… but it definitely makes up for the rest!

Maybe.

So, what am I asking? Don’t discount people’s outbursts, opinions and passions in your teams just because they have a different mental makeup than you. They’re more than a “broken” head.

Don’t assume just because they’re chatting to you about Eurovision, that their side brain isn’t on its 6th hour of debates involving an old lady at the bus stop and a kid on a skate board.

In summary, I have no answers. Except that having a different mental makeup is knackering.

Right that’s it. I’m off to stick on a couple episodes of Bobs Burgers.

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