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The Brain Was Built For Survival, Not Happiness

Bonjour, mon ami!


I read a lot of psychology books and articles because I'm naturally curious and I'm always trying to crack the code of my anxiety-wrecked brain. When I read that human brains were built for survival and not happiness, the world suddenly made sense. I am battling about 300,000 years of survival-mode evolution. No wonder I feel like I'm going fucking crazy -- that's a lot of innate experience that I have to retrain, redirect, and dial down to function moment to moment.


The world's failures are driven mostly out of fear and greed. These base emotions are coded in our base brain (#Amygdala). My amygdala overfloods my cognitive brain constantly. I feel like I'm under constant attack even when sitting still. Loud, sudden noises often trigger my anxiety.


Being a mother of two small constantly talking or yelling children has pushed my anxiety to a whole new level. Add to the mix: Becoming a mother during a politically-charged time, near a politically-charged location, while also setting up your first ever home and trying to build any semblance of a community during a two-year long pandemic and no consistent/reliable childcare. This has been a long-term anxiety-ridden roller-coaster and I really just want to get off the ride because my little heart feels like it can't take the rises and the dips anymore. But I am here and I am resilient.


I can't get off the rollercoaster. The rollercoaster is life and life is meant to be experienced fully. The rises are my anxiety peaks and the dips are my depression, when I've finally run out of gas. My body and brain are doing exactly what it was conditioned to do - survive. There is nothing wrong with me. I am simply evolving, learning how to master my brain's default mode in modern society.


I was given this body to experience this life during this time and age. I could have been someone else, another little soul embedded in this body. But I am me and I am here, now. I was chosen to be in this body in this present moment, which is an honor and a privilege.


Instead of fighting against my brain, I accept what it is doing. I accept that my anxiety and depression will always be there, no matter what. I cannot will it away. So I might as well make the most of this life, buckle up, tuck in, and try my best to keep my eyes open during the ride because I want to remember everything.


My goal is not to be eternally happy. My goal is to be at peace with myself.


Yours truly,


#MerryMarie #ChristmasSprite

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