The signal for when too much is happening is, for me, very simple. It’s when my phone tries to play eight notification sounds in the same second and has a seizure. That happened Friday. Yes, Friday was Good Friday, which I understand is a holiday in some places.
It’s hard for me to describe how my brain works. I mean, it’s hard for most writers, I think? I dimly remember Fraction in CASANOVA likening his mentation to running around with a stick dipped in honey to catch butterflies or something. I can run a lot of windows on my screen, but eventually the screen fills up and I’m doing more clicking than viewing just to see everything that’s going on in my head. Which means that less is going on in my head because I’m doing more clicking than looking. Something like that. Cognitive overload, which eventually triggers the hypertensive stress and the blood pressure fuckery if I let it go on too long.
Try this, for a minute. Try to describe your experience of how your brain works. Think of a metaphor that works for you. Then describe your experience of the thing that stops it working. Explain your brain to yourself. It’s a good way to surface the problems, and perhaps the ways to solve them. The inside of your own head is really pretty amazing in ways that are unique to you. Even the annoying or “bad” parts. Sit and breathe and watch it go, and then paint a picture of it with words. That’s all we do, here in hermit country. Paint with words. Sit down next to me.1