My brain

left brain right brain

Totally oversimplified, I know.  There’s plenty of new research shows how brains can adapt to injury. Left brain functions can be taken over by right hemisphere and vice versa.  The neuroplasticity of the brain is remarkable, even if it has a dark side.

But anyway, this image and the descriptions below is just plain fun.

The left brain

I am the left brain. I am a scientist. A mathematician. I love the familiar. I categorize. I am accurate. Linear. Analytical. Strategic. I am practical. Always in control. A master of words and language. Realistic. I calculate equations and play with numbers. I am order. I am logic. I know exactly who I am.”

The right brain:

“I am the right brain. I am creativity. A free spirit. I am passion. Yearning. Sensuality. I am the sound of roaring laughter. I am taste. The feeling of sand beneath bare feet. I am movement. Vivid colors. I am the urge to paint on an empty canvas. I am boundless imagination. Art. Poetry. I sense. I feel. I am everything I wanted to be.

What side do I use most?

When I worked in the biotech field, I was utilizing my left brain.  Now that I’ve left my field, I’m more creative (minus the sound of roaring laughter – the sad legacy of PTSD).

I have more access to my whole brain.

What about you?  Which side do you feel at home in?

 

 

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About Casey

“the only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars and in the middle you see the blue centerlight pop and everybody goes ‘Awww!’ ~ Jack Kerouac, On The Road Again
This entry was posted in Creativity, Left brain, neuroplasticity, neuroscience, Right brain, Scientifc Mother, The Artistic Mother, Your Amazing Brain. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to My brain

  1. I keep an apartment in both neighborhoods. During the workweek I’m in the neighborhood to the left with brief stops to the neighborhood to the right. Weekends are spent in the neighborhood on the right. Some days I just say f’itall and go for a walk in the woods adjoining the two which has a mix of overgrowth from both, but it’s hard to discern the origin of each with the trees and all… It’s a great place to get lost for awhile before finding my way back to one neighborhood or the other. The last couple of weeks has had me question my living arrangement within the hemispheres though. Because of crippling depression for so long I had to live on the left. The right, being full of emotion couldn’t be trusted, so cold reason and logic was necessary to survive and maintain. At least for now, there seems to be a break in the storm. I can wander about more freely.

  2. Yes, I understand that.

    I always felt deeply, intuited a lot emotionally, but functionally, used more left brain analytical ability and mastery over language to create a stronger persona that could come out and deal with the capriciousness of others. I spent a great deal of time in my own imagination, and related better with ideas and nature, than I did with other people in my life.

    My left brain intelligence and logical approach to things helped armor myself from registering the bulk of pain dished out by my family members, but I believed for many, many years I was fundamentally flawed, as a lot of us do.

    Before I became a mother, logic and analysis helped keep me safe. I had good friends over the years with whom I could share deeply with. I could talk and analyze the absurdities of my experiences as if they happened to someone else. I could even joke about them.

    That changed when I became a mother and my own daughters and experiences as a mother called up a lot of unprocessed feelings and sensations. Plus, my lovely daughters had a lot more needs than the typical infants and children do. Active, alert, highly sensitive, emotional. The exact opposite of what I really could cope with.

    Though I am compassionate, I really wasn’t born with a maternal gene. I still worked in the biotech field when my first two daughters were born. I felt safer in the lab where it was highly structured, regimented and organized.

    I knew more about the ABI 3100 genetic analyzer than I knew about babies and children. And, so….in typical fashion, I set about researching human development. And because I was understimulated, I started a few blogs – one about general education for young children and a place to put my pictures of family excursions to historical reenactments; one about science experiments and other science related stuff for kids; and one about raising smart girls, selective mutism, highly sensitive kids, attachment theory…and trying to parent while dealing while triggered by my own children’s sensitivities and anxieties.

    Putting off all my real healing was a mistake. Logic and compartmentalization got me through till I became a mother and quit my job. That’s when I lost the stabilizing factor of large doses of left-brain activity, but it was only supposed to be a temporary hiatus.

    I was supposed to take the summer off and start on a master’s degree in biotechnology in the fall. It turned out, I got pregnant again 3 months after I quit my job. It was a happy/sad time for me. Glad for my daughter, sad for my future.

    Crippling depression was always threatening. A period of great emotional upheaval ensued.

    What it boiled down to was a major period of positive disintegration (though no, it doesn’t feel so positive while I go through it) and the shockwaves touched every area of my inner and outer life.

    My head would explode, I think if I kept it all in. I’ve been functionally depressed for the past 42 years…to larger and smaller degrees but usually always functional until the past two years or so. I’ve grappled with strong currents of suicidal ideation off and on since I was 13 (more so in the past few years). But through sheer mental force, I carried on. There was no other way for me [some amount of grandiosity helped 🙂 ]

    My focus on my education and career goal had always been driving me forward, until I had kids, and then I’d turned my intense intellectual focus on my developing children and early learning (trying to give them new experiences; and with my youngest, doing Montessori sensorial and practical life activities to keep her busy while her sisters were in school), then my middle daughter’s selective mutism gave me the opportunity to research more about sensory processing disorder, retained primitive reflexes, neurodiversity, autism, neuroscience and therapies I could modify for home application.

    Now I’ve turned the focus on myself because of major burnout. I can’t really call it major depression because while’s hard, I’m still plugging away at it and I have small lifts depending on what positive things are going on.

    I spent some (too much!) time looking at psychopathology. I didn’t really like what I saw, nor how it made me feel about myself. Like I’m still fundamentally flawed and in need of fixing. I’ve looked at myself through the lens of pathology to explain my struggles and my ways of coping, and while I resemble a few DSM conditions, none of the labels really describe my experience.

    I’m reading When the Labels Don’t Fit by Barbara Probst. It’s a great read for parents of challenging children. A temperamental trait or a difficulty in an area of life that resembles a symptom is not an indicator of a disorder.

    What did people do before the labels? They simply lived as best they could. They loved, they cried, they laughed, they got angry, they made mistakes, they had successes, they formed connections with people.

    So, now, I’ve given up on psychopathology and started looking into healing modalities to fix not me, but my perception of me. I am turning away from analysis and towards synthesis. Integration. Strengths-based approaches. Self-directed neuroplasticity. Taking in the positive experiences. Mindfulness practices. Creativity and meaning-making. Renewal.

    I want to have my thoughts and emotions. I don’t want my thoughts and emotions to have me.

    I’m beginning to regain a sense of wonder about life.

Would you like to share your thoughts? I'd love to hear them.

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