Lamandou, Tanjung Puting, Kalimantan, Borneo 2007

It’s time for my marvellous monthly instalment of Who’s The Daddy – a series of guest posts from the uber talented Daddy bloggers out there, so many of whom I now count as great mates!

This month, I’m delighted to introduce Sam from Man in his Pyjamas. A collection of poetry, writings and comedy reflecting on family life with Asperger Syndrome, a high-functioning form of autism. It is beautifully written, humorous and fascinating – a must read!

Here is his post ‘The (Over)Thinker’

I read an online quote this morning. I think the term is meme. You know the kind of thing. An ‘inspiring’ photograph with a trite platitude that makes you want to punch a unicorn up the bum.

I forget the particular photograph in question? Most likely an oak tree bathed in morning dew, or two newborn Labrador puppies snuggling (a white one and a brown one). It doesn’t really matter. You decide.

Pick whichever image makes you think of an NSPCC advert getting engaged to a branch of Clinton’s Cards and that’ll do the nicely.

The bit I am interested in, is the quote.  It struck a chord.  Sir Anthony Hopkins, in all his wisdom, appeared to be speaking directly to me; albeit in a slightly affected Welsh-American accent.

We are dying from overthinking. We are slowly killing ourselves by thinking about everything. Think. Think. Think. You can never trust the human mind anyway. It’s a death trap. Now let me eat your face off and wash it down with a nice bottle R-Whites.

(I made the last bit up)

He has a point though doesn’t he?

Generally, I tend to steer clear of sound bites from the super rich.  I have an inkling that I too could wax lyrical and stare enigmatically into the distance with wealthy looking hair and skin, had I enough money to buy golden underpants all willy-nilly and watnot.  But.…..

He does have a point.

I think about everything. EVERYTHING. And not in a good way. Not in a great-mind-of-our-time kind of way. I’m no poet. No existentialist.  I think in more of a you-have-a-mental-issue-surely kind of way.

Which is funny as it happens ‘cause it’s true. I do have a mental issue, it turns out.  I have Asperger Syndrome, which if you don’t know, means I am Autistic. My brain is wired such that I think about everything x10.

Apparently, an impairment of Theory of Mind necessitates that mental processes that take place in my medicine cabinet shaped head, are cognitive and based in logic and reasoning, not feelings, intuition, empathy and fairy dust. To say I overthink is an understatement.

But overthinking is not just the preserve of the Special is it? I have friends of seemingly sound mind and body, who admit to a damn good overthink. Everyone it would seem is thinking too much. It appears as though Hannibal Lector’s conjecture (I’m not sorry) has alluded to a national epidemic.

I spend most of my day thinking that I’m doing it all wrong. And just to be clear, I don’t mean doing Life all wrong. I’m not being all enigmatic and darkly alluring. Thinking about Life with a capital L, is far too blah-blah-blah and bandwagon for my needs. I’m not writing this from half way up a mountain whilst contemplating a career change.

I haven’t got the time to think about where we’ve all come from, or why we are all here? I care not which celestial body orbits around which other, or whether my Wheat Crunchies were fashioned in a petri dish by a transgender farmer.

Such fodder-typique can join the ranks of, I don’t want to outlive my children and what if the interest rates rise and we lose the house?  Let the apprentices worry about such and so forth. It’s all too supermarket BOGOF for me. My thinking is much more neurotic and time consuming.

When I say I think that I am doing it all wrong, I mean everything.  All of it. At a base level. Not all up in the ethereal of touchy-feely.  Everything. Every interaction with every person. Every comment. Every look. Every overly proclaimed exhale. Every body posture.  Every facial expression and every thought.

Every thing on the list afore has to be thought through first (I think) in my business like Aspergic noggin. I’ll respond to someone, when required, in good faith, but then spend a fair-old-while thinking about whether or not I did it right?

Was my tone of voice appropriate?  Did I look at them enough/too much? Did I use enough words to not sound abrasive or blunt? Did I miss their intended meaning? Were there lines that I failed to read between? Did I manage to hide the fact that I wanted them to go away? In short, did I adequately adhere to social protocol?

I’m a walking example of perpetual motion of overthought. This is all endemic of the Aspie mind.

Don’t get me started on what you think, because I literally have no idea.  I still think about it though. I’m guessing from the multitude of online memes aimed squarely at our faltering psyche and lack of self-belief that you think about stuff too? That and all the empty bottles in your recycling.

So, what you got cooking good-looking? Is it your love handles that keep you awake? GCSE results? The colour of the walls in the spare room?  Or, perhaps deep down, you don’t quite feel you are up to the job of being you?

Would a black and white photograph of an orangutan deep in thought, and all wrapped up in personification, with the words We Are All Human make you feel better at all?  No? Misery guts.

And thus it appears Sir Hopkins has a point, at least in my case anyhoo. But I’m betting I’m not alone.  The content of the uber-thinking may be specific to the individual, but the regularity of the occurrence and the predilection towards it, I am sure is common-place.

So the question is folks, what’s on your monkey mind?

Answers on a postcard.

For more wonderful musings, poetry and comedy from Sam visit his blog  Man in his Pyjamas and please make sure you follow him on Facebook and Twitter to stay updated!

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5 Responses

  1. Al

    Such a fresh perspective and really honest post. This should be shared to everyone! I reckon we all fall into over thinking on occasion. I’m terrible at making decisions! Gonna have to work on that!

    Reply
  2. JOhn Adams

    Wow, this is a very different perspective. It’s very infortaive as to what it’s like living with Asperger’s. I used to work with young people with Asperger’s but I hadn’t actually considered the over-thinking issue but it makes complete sense. SO what do I overthink about? DId I really expect to be a SAHD in my forties? Am I messing up my children? Why didn’t get dinner out the freezer sooner so it could defrost? All manner of things. Thanks for a very interesting and – dare I say it – thought provoking post.
    JOhn Adams recently posted…Feeding the family with a slow cookerMy Profile

    Reply
    • Honest Mum

      I’m the same John and this post really resonated with me, we all over think so much…thank you Sam for this powerful piece.

      Reply
  3. Adam Alexander

    Sam has a wonderful way of writing! It’s true, so many of us overthink. There is merit in sometimes DOING rather than thinking (within reason of course!). How many times have we lain awake worrying about what we’re going to do? Sometimes we just need to be decisive. Make a decision, commit to that decision and strive to achieve that goal. Well said Sam x

    Reply

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