I am not sure that I have yet seen the movie Inside Out all the way through, but I get the premise of the movie. It uses characters to represent emotions we all have. Joy is the main emotion. She works hard to oppress the rest of them, and I guess that’s a good thing we all want to feel joy right? Well, I think the movie is brilliant. And I used it’s premise to explain the war in my head to my husband tonight.
In my head there is a war waging. But instead of just the normal emotions of Inside Out- Joy, Anger, Fear, Sadness and Disgust. I have some other characters in there. Let me introduce you to them
Insight-also known as rational thought, and frontal cortex. Poor insight. She knows the right decisions. She’s rational. She knows that her thoughts and feelings and sometimes actions are irrational. She unfortunately is not as strong as the rest of the characters, and they tend to beat her up a lot. She is often found crying, hiding in a corner rocking back and forth repeating “this isn’t the truth” over and over. The other yell shut up so she just says it more quietly.
Next is depression- depression is one of the Kings of my brain it (it isn’t a he or a she) thinks it’s in control, but it often saddened to learn that there is someone stronger you will meet later.
Meet Anxiety. When you get to know her at first you really like her. She’s a real go-getter. She has a list, she gets it done, she tries to keep control of every situation. But then as you get to know her better she also has a dark side. She likes order, and if you disrupt her order she causes her hosts body to go through physiological changes that can be scary. The host starts, sweating, heart pounding, looking for escape because Anxiety has just activated the DANGER button… you know the red button in every movie you aren’t supposed to push? She pushes it, a lot, and it’s scary and bad things happen.
Meet Anger. We all have a bit of anger in us. But for me, anger is always right at the surface. He is waiting for someone to dare cross his host. Or for anxiety to push the danger button, and when that happens he comes out and it’s not pretty. He gets people’s attention. He is loud, he yells, he sometimes scares people with his loudness and sometimes he says things he doesn’t mean. But it’s job to protect. OR so he thinks.
Next is our friend PTSD. He changes shape often. This is his default form, but sometimes he can be found as a 4 year old little girl, a teenager, a preteen, an infant a young adult or anything in between. PTSD comes out when triggered by a memory of an extreme situation in the host’s life. PTSD is scared, PTSD is more than scared it is fearful and in fight or flight mode. It wants to run far far away and escape the pain. PTSD gives no warning when it arrives but when it does you have no escape until it decides the memory has been fully relived and the danger is over. I personally think He and Anxiety are dating.
And finally we come to our friend, and the one in control of the host’s mind 99% of the time OCD. OCD and Insight are mortal enemies. OCD is out to destroy insight. OCD wants order, OCD has rules and they must be followed. OCD makes the host do his bidding whether through an obsession, a compulsion, a rule or some other weird ritual whether or not the host wants to. OCD runs things around here. And he is constantly making up new rules. His newest rule is that there are 4 sets of clothing per day- clothing that is permissible in the barn (thereby being contaminated by the chickens and their dust), clothing permissible in public (thereby contaminated by being in public), clothing allowed in the house and on the furniture (but not in her bed, tho I do allow on top of the duvet), and pajamas. Pajamas are only allowed only inside the covers, not on top of the duvet, allowed in the bathroom if it’s a must, and to go to the kitchen to get tea or a snack to be brought back to bed, as long as no furniture is touched. He also controls whether or not the Host has the need to self harm, over eat. not eat or punish herself in some other way shape or form. There is not a rational bone in her body, and she has settled in for the long haul. Everyday she adds new rules to the list, and they must be followed or contamination happens, or something bad might happen, to her, everything is life or death.
So there you have it, the characters living inside my brain, waging war against poor Insight. The meds are trying to help insight along but she’s simply limping along. Most of the time she just goes into avoidance mode and let’s her host sleep, because during sleep the war is quiet, the battle is at a cease fire. But she knows this can only go on so long. She’s not sure what will happen, or who will win, but she’s running scared that’s for sure. She often wishes she didn’t exist because if she didn’t then she wouldn’t have to fight so hard. She could let the others run the place and she could park her butt on a beach in Tahiti and relax.
It really isn’t a fair fight.