Attack of the THINKer-TOO-MUCHer

I think WAY a little too much.  Thinking, in general, is good. In fact, I would argue that it is an overall encouraged activity. Thinking too much, however, is bad. Thinking too much is one of  the diagnostic criterion for several psychological disorders: Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, and Major Depressive Disorder among others. My over-thinking falls into the categories of  Generalized Anxiety Disorder and Major Depressive Disorder because it tends to be extremely worrisome and self critical. But, rather than discuss my neurotic over-thinking issues in clinical terms, I’d prefer to go back to my childhood to explore them (not in a Freudian way, but in a Dr. Seuss-ian way…and maybe with some Star Wars in there, too).

think about SCHLOPP

And I totally DO think about SCHLOPP. Repeatedly.

I like to personify my neurotic habit of over-thinking, and refer to it as the Thinker-Too-Mucher thing (original name, huh? 😀 ) The Thinker-Too-Mucher thing is a Dr. Seuss-like, salesman type of character who lives in my AMYgdala. I believe the lil’ guy started off with good  intentions.  He enthusiastically encouraged me to think, question, and learn.  But, somewhere along the way, he got a little too enthusiastic and turned to the DARK SIDE <—-Star Wars reference.  Now, he takes regular jaunts through my frontal lobes peddling his wares of neurotic worries and senseless insecurities; all of which I buy on a regular basis.

Note the following example of my thought process while writing an email.

Thought 1: “I hope my last email didn’t come across as too snotty…maybe I should have written it differently…I’ll write another one and put a couple of smiley faces in it…and maybe I’ll add a smiley in the subject line, too”.

30 minutes later….

Thought 2: “Hmmm…but, I don’t want to come across as a push-over or trying too hard, so maybe I should just put one smiley face in the email, that way, they’ll know I mean business…but friendly business.

1.5 hours later…

Thought 3: “Hmmm…but, before I send it, I should probably make sure I used ‘into’ correctly…is it ‘into’ in this case, or ‘in to’?”  “And, what about these dot dot dot thingies I like to use so much? Am I using them correctly in this context? I totally forgot…I’d better look it up”.

Thought 4: “Is it really THAT big of a deal if this email isn’t 100% grammatically correct? Just hit send and be done with it already!” <—NOTE- this type of thought typically occurs after the consumption of an adult beverage, at which point the Thinker-Too-Mucher is off duty and can take a nap. If an adult beverage is not consumed, however, he continues to employ his most effective marketing strategies… 

2 hours later…

Thought 5: “Well, I suppose it IS POSSIBLE, at some point, that an English Professor, or some sort of respected linguistic professional may come across this email, note all of the grammatical errors, and debunk my credibility as a human being.”

3 hours later…

Thought 678: “!@%@#^!!!  !@#%^$!! UGH!!! I’ll just send this #$@$^@^$#$&#*#%& $%^#&# email tomorrow!!

The Thinker-Too-Mucher seems to work over-time whenever I encounter a stressful life situation, or drink too much coffee. It’s almost as if he is hosting one of those “YES YOU CAN” motivational sales conferences in my head…the kind in which he recruits other Thinker-Too-Mucher’s, and offers prizes and free cruises to those who can sell the most ridiculous concerns.

Think

Come one, come all! Win a free cruise to the Caribbean, or the mall!

Recently, an unusually sad event occurred in my family. I wanted to write something about it, but my purchasing power was spent on neurotic worries and ridiculous concerns before I was able to write about it eloquently and in a timely manner. The struggles I had in trying to write about this event prompted me to notice just how present the Thinker-Too-Mucher is!

Although the Thinker-Too-Mucher does simmer down quite a bit after I’ve  consumed  a few bottles of Chardonnay, and I always feel like I”m writing better when I’m drunk, becoming an alcoholic is probably not the best coping strategy. So, I have been pursuing other, more cost-effective means of coping that will also allow me to drive legally.

I’ve been reading a lot about mindfulness and meditation, and took an 8 week meditation class as well. With all of this mindfulness and meditation influence, I am learning to accept and befriend all aspects of myself, including the Thinker-Too-Mucher. I can  befriend the Thinker-Too-Mucher, and thank him for providing me with such high quality  product. Those neurotic worries and senseless insecurities are top-notch. But, perhaps I might politely suggest that he consider peddling some other, more constructive obsessive thoughts; such as local gas prices, how many miles per gallon my car gets on the highway, or, which direction I am facing when driving away from the sun. Questions I devote absolutely NO THOUGHT to whatsoever, but would feel super smart in front of males if I could answer.

P.S. I would have posted this two weeks ago, but believe me, I thought WAAAAAYY too much about it!

I'm part of Post A Week 2013

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73 thoughts on “Attack of the THINKer-TOO-MUCHer

  1. I totally do that with emails!! I think it’s supposed to be faster than a phone call, but then it’s not because I have to make sure it’s worded precisely, but maybe not so precisely that it doesn’t seem like I wrote it casually 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • I know what you mean! 😀 I feel like I would rather write an email because I can get it out quickly and move on…but, I think it does take longer, and I end up driving myself nuts! HA!

      Like

  2. Ugh I have the same problem!! Byron Katie helps with that, have you read her stuff? Her book “Loving What Is” in particular 🙂 <—- notice the smiley face to show that I am offering support and encouragement haha!

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    • I have read Byron Katie! Well… listened to the audiobook. Her stuff DOES help! I’m glad you reminded me of that, because sometimes I forget everything I”ve learned and fall back into <—-(hope that was the correct use of "into") old thinking patterns. Pema Chodron helps, too. Have you read anything by her?

      Thank you for the encouragement and support! And, the smiley face! 🙂 haha! 🙂

      Like

  3. Oh, wow!! (Stolen from you-know-who). I really don’t know what else to say – except that (I’m thinking here) ……..I still can’t believe someone who shares some of MY genes can write as well as you do!!

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  4. Liked this one. I wrote a piece on the same subject in my little book The Phantom Speaks. I started with the statement that only man, of all the creatures, has evolved the ability to think of two things at the same time.That is: to do something and also have doubts, misgivings, all the anxiety disorders you listed plus others, at the same time. An evolutionary dead-end/pocket. Ignorance is bliss. I should be happier!!

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      • No, it’s not on the blog. It’s something I hope to print up and make available with the novel One Life, which I’m printing currently (taking me a long time tho).
        I have made up sample copies. It’s illustrated by Alexandria Skaltsounis, so it’s kinda cute. Maybe I could copy that little chapter and post it. thanks for asking, commenting.

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  5. It used to bother me that I couldn’t turn off my mind, but now I realize it’s a good thing. If I think too much, it means the ideas are always forming, and eventually, something good is going to spill out and end up on the page… 🙂

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  6. Great post. I am a total over thinker and analyzer. I used to just say whatever I was thinking, then as I got older I was told that people thought I was rude, too straightforward or that no one wanted to actually hear what I had to say and it was better to keep my mouth shut and put my head down. Apparently some bosses and friends don’t like people who stand up for what they believe in or speak their minds, especially if it causes a stir. I walked on eggshells for years, constantly apologizing for anything anyone could possibly have taken offensively and I tried to be as generic and politically correct as possible to avoid any potential conflict. Then I had children and all that went out the window. I still over think everything, I just say it all out loud now, much to the dismay of the people close to me (they love me anyway!). I think getting all of my thoughts on paper or saying them out loud sort of makes them seem slightly less important than when they were inside my head and it helps me work through them quicker! Good luck!!!

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    • So glad you didn’t hold back here! I caught myself over-thinking my response, and then read your comment again, and decided to just throw whatever comes to mind out there, anyway! Thanks for the inspiration for that! 🙂 … this is especially meaningful since I have had a bit too much coffee today, too! 😀

      Like

    • Rude or not, I’m glad you are able to say what you think! I agree that it does help process everything. I also think it’s a shame to waste a well-thought-out thought by keeping it a secret.

      Like

  7. I definitely do this too, but unfortunately not just about emails. I just had to submit two essays for uni online. I thought my brain was going to explode with all the over-thinking. Your thought 5 pretty much captures that :p Too bad I couldn’t use smileys to make them know I tried my best, :p.
    – Emma

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  8. Haha! Not only are you thinking too much – you’re thinking all my thoughts! I can utterly relate to everything in this post. I too have been trying to embrace meditation of sorts, but it feels so unnatural to a THINKer-TOO-MUCHer 🙂

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    • Hahaa! The meditation IS a bit tricky for thinker-too-mucher! “I keep thinking…I’m not supposed to be thinking, but I’m thinking, about NOT thinking…that’s thinking, right?”

      Thanks for reading! 🙂

      Like

  9. From one who lives in her head editing all possible outcomes – this quote (unknown author) encourages me to exit the thinking world and live in the moment. Hope it offers a positive perspective 🙂
    We lose control of our behaviors at the moment of performance.
    They inevitably return to us as our due heritage.

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  10. I am a total overthinker. I have to have just the right witty post, comment or email or I will think on it over and over. I just wish I could get out of my head every once in a while and just write. That is why my posts take so long to write. 🙂 or should it be two. 🙂

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  12. I love this. I do the same thing, maybe not quite so much. I’ll go ahead and send my email, THEN I have second thoughts, so I try to patch up what I said, then I’m on edge until I get an email back, and in the meantime I’ve had a million conversations with the person about the topic of the email. – in my head. Then when and if they respond, they come back with something I havent’ even considered, so I have to start revisioning all over again. 🙂 Loved the post!! 🙂

    Like

    • Thank you, Marsha! 🙂 I do the same thing as well…have a million conversations in my head until I get a response! Somehow, recognizing it and making fun of it seems to help 😀 Maybe it helps me realize that I need to lighten up? 😀 In any case, I’m very glad you stopped by and enjoyed the post 🙂

      Like

      • hahaha We all need to lighten up sometimes, and then there are times, we just need to be sensitive to what others are going through. In teaching we call it with-it-ness. You just have to respond on a case-by-case basis!!! 🙂

        Like

    • Thanks Marie! I’m glad you could relate to some aspects of the post, even if a bit different. Thinking about recipes sounds like an excellent thing to think about…I might try doing more of that! 🙂

      Like

    • HAHAhaha! Love that…”belly up to the Insecurities Bar”! I’m totally going to think of it that way next time I feel the insecurities come on! Maybe I can find a way to have my insecurities in moderation? And, maybe drink water in between? 😉
      Thank you for the comment! 🙂

      Like

  13. Very nice! I find myself overthinking trivial things while more important things I am able to handle a bit easier. Emails, for sure. Good thing that at work I had an awesome office mate who didn’t mind me reading my emails out loud to her before I hit send! 🙂

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    • Its crazy how that happens, isn’t it? I have done the same thing…Emergency situation with someone else…I got it! Trivial little emails…ACK! freak out! 😀 Helpful officemates and friends are amazing sometimes! 🙂

      Like

  14. Loved this! I feel ya on the never-ending thoughts. When I was 4, I came into my parents’ room one night and my mom asked me why I could not sleep. I told her, “I can’t stop the thinking!” You are very talented, thank you for sharing! : )

    cambriacorner.wordpress.com

    Like

    • Thank you so much cambriacorner! You really made my day! And, thank you sharing your ‘over-thinking’ experience as well. I guess its not as uncommon as I thought! <—-oops, I just used the word "thought" does this mean I'm thinking too much?

      Like

  15. Hahaha…….best blog post EVER. I think you’ve nailed every one us of…in the world. No, wait. Maybe I don’t need the elipses after the the words “one of us”. (Perhaps I’ll come across as overly stressed.) But I do want to seem like I’m stressing my point. Ok- I’ll leave it. However, I probably don’t need the quotes around “one of us” in the second set of those words, I mean, I’m not actually quoting anyone, but I do want them to stand out. Ok, I’ll leave them. But…is it really alright to add the dash after the word “ok”? I mean, do I need an M-dash? Certainly not! And I know I don’t need to use a hyphen- ok- a dash oughtta suffice.

    And so on. And so on. 🙂

    I can see myself needing a daily fix of you. Echoing others, you’re brilliant- and seriously funny. You need your own sitcom, be your own writer, director, producer, (etc. etc.)

    By the way, we’re all better writers when we’re half tankered, aren’t we?
    heheh…

    Like

  16. Sorry to go MIA, Did I mention I had a few glasses of wine? (Such a lightweight.)
    Thanks so much, Lucky, I appreciate your thoughts and sentiments. 🙂 I’m getting ready to let my man read this post- I’m not kidding when I say- it’s one of the funniest things I’ve ever read in my life. Pure gold. I’ll hit you back and let you know what he thinks. 😉

    Like

    • HAHAA! I understand! Actually, I didn’t think all that much about English grammar until I majored in Linguistics in college. Then, I started analyzing and OVER analyzing everything I wrote so much, that I had to change my major to Psychology…for sanity purposes…

      Like

  17. Haha this made me laugh but most of all think about my thinking=) You have a great way with words and definitely need to continue writing!

    Like

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  19. I so loved this! It really does describe you. Like “Should I have my nails done or go home and clean house?” “I probably shouldn’t eat so many nuts, should I?”etc. etc. etc. But I have you beat, I am the “over-analyzer” as in “I think the reason she blah blah is…” or “I think you are out of control because when you were young …” drives my family and friends, you being one, crazy. Tee Hee

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  20. You definitely wrote this for me and although this is the first day I have visited your blog, I am sure that we were somehow connected in a past life or twins separated at birth. Well, maybe not. It is almost 1 am and I am up late again being harassed by a wave of panic that hits around bedtime every night because there always seems to be SOMETHING serious to ponder over.
    A friend who is currently in hospital posted this quote: “It’s not what happens to you that determines how far you will go in life; it is how you handle what happens to you.” Zig Ziglar
    I was feeling a bit cheeky at the time and angry about how she goes through so much and I added: “Yeah. You hit it with a baseball bat.”
    I was surprised how much better I felt after that.
    xx Rowena

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Roweeee! I’m so sorry to hear you have been up late with a wave of panic. Although, I can totally relate and it’s nice to know we are not alone it this! 😉 Thank you for stopping by and taking the time to comment! I am looking forward to reading your blog as well! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  21. Pingback: Why Being an Introverted Parent Doesn’t Suck | Lucky Wreck

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