Racing thoughts. I had never encountered them in my life until I was in my early thirties. Have you ever had them? If you’re not sure, you haven’t. Because they are the most frustrating thing I have ever encountered in my life, and I hope to never have them again.
Imagine having thoughts coming at you 55 miles a minute. No sooner do you have a thought, and a profound one at that, poof!, it is gone. You try to go back and remember what the thought was, but it has forever disappeared, never to return again. We all have this from time to time, thought blocking. But imagine thought after thought after thought racing at you like bullets flying, like rapid machine gun fire, until you can’t finish a sentence. It is as if your mind is so busy, that you become communicatively incompetent. I mean this literally. I once tried to send a text message to my father and mother. The crux of the message was “help me, I think I am manic, and I need to go to the ER”. The one little string of three sentences that I was trying to write literally took thirty minutes to complete. Getting words and sentences and thoughts across to others when you are speaking to them is like wading through quick sand. Just thinking about that time in my life, is frustrating. Just trying to describe it is frustrating. Just trying to convey it, it’s frustrating.
I remember the first time I was able to finally identify and label racing thoughts. I was sitting in the doctor’s office. My doctor was asking me questions, and I knew the answers, I just couldn’t slow down my mind enough to focus on them and express them. She finally got frustrated, and said, “okay, you are an intelligent person, and you can’t answer simple questions, what is going on here?”. It was at that moment that a light bulb went off in my doctor’s mind, I could see it in her expression. She said “your thoughts are racing, aren’t they?”. So I said yes, that’s it! I don’t even know how I knew that this was the case, kind of like the time I was fainting, had never fainted before, but immediately knew that was what was happening. I was so relieved just to have a label, and a description, and just to have someone understand. It was then that treatment started heading in the right direction. Up until that point, all treatment had focused on depression, and the treatments that were given to me actually skyrocketed me into mania. Now we had an answer, a treatment method (mood stabilizer), and now I had hope.
If you are encountering racing thoughts, first of all, I’m sorry. This is incredibly frustrating, and it sucks! There is help though. You must reach out for it. You can’t and shouldn’t try to do this on your own. Tell a trusted friend, loved one, etc. If you need help accessing the resources that you need, I will be glad to help! Secondly, buy a little memo book and keep it in your pocket with a pen. As you have thoughts that you can grasp, write them down, before they can get muddied by what is coming at you. Then you can come back to the important points, organize your thoughts on paper, and remember important things. The process can be tedious, but like the example above, it may have taken a half hour to convey an important text message, but in the end, it was conveyed, and help was granted.
So what do racing thoughts have to do with self-tanner? Honestly, absolutely, positively nothing. Just like the thoughts that came at me like bullets. One thing did not have to do with the next. Everything was tangential and all over the place. Plus, I promised that this site would talk about things that make us happy and give us a boost. I remember that summer described above, I started using self-tanner, and have used it ever since. Don’t ask me why or what that has to do with anything, other than the fact that a little color can give us a boost (a good one, not a manic one!). Self-tanner, however, is tricky. It is hard to find one that doesn’t streak, and doesn’t smell bad. I highly recommend So Bronze Airbrush by Hemp. It is a spray tanner, no odor. It is especially good for us fair gals, who get real streaky with the average tanner because it is too dark and won’t blend with our own skin tone well. After spraying it on, blend it with a mit. It dries almost instantly, you won’t believe how quick and simple it is. Another good one is the Tan Towel. No streaks, a little more of an odor, but it is a nice pina-colada- with- lime type of scent.
And if you get a streak, nail polish remover can help lighten it. If that doesn’t work, always remember, it is temporary, not permanent. Just like the depression and the mania, the racing thoughts, our circumstances, and all these things that make us feel hopeless and helpless. With time, they fade, and voila!, you are back to yourself again. 🙂