“Mental LogJam” is a Game Changer for Me. I’m not Crazy. I’m a CASIGY.”
I stood there tongue-tied. I wanted to say something, but four ideas competed to get out first. In my resulting confusion, nothing came out but stuttering and stammering. My supposedly great ideas got stuck inside of me and I couldn’t get any of them out. Instead of making the significant contribution to the discussion that I wanted to make, I felt like a fool. Has that ever happened to you? Has it happened over and over again? Welcome to one aspect of being a CASIGY™! (A Creative, Acutely Aware, Super-Sensitive, Intense, and/or Gifted You)
Many highly sensitive and gifted people have told me that they have frequent LogJams in their heads. Recently as I spoke with Nancy, who describes herself as a highly sensitive, intense, gifted woman, she related how difficult it often is to get her thoughts organized to communicate her insights in discussions with her friends. As we talked about the depth of processing and complexity that often happen in CASIGYs’ heads, she said, “This is a game changer for me. I’m not crazy; I’m gifted.” She went on to say that she had often felt embarrassed and ashamed, thinking that this happens only to her, and that it meant that there was something wrong with her. On the contrary, I have listened to many a CASIGY’s tale of woe about the LogJams in their head. Nancy’s response reminded me how much others might be helped by this perspective too, so with her permission, here it is.
Have you had a LogJam in your head? You have several thoughts swirling around in your head at the same time. One thought invites another and then another, and soon there’s this hubbub going on inside your head. Sometimes it’s fun; sometimes it’s a hot mess. The real trouble comes when someone interrupts your stream of thought, or when you want (or need) to communicate some of it to someone else. You may go silent. You may stutter and stammer. You may blurt out something irrelevant. You feel embarrassed. People may react like you are an idiot. If any of your “great ideas” come out at all, they are garbled and maybe nonsensical. How can you be smart, let alone gifted!? you ask yourself. Or you tell yourself, ‘I must be crazy to have this happen all of the time.”
As I shared with Nancy, having LogJams in your head does not make you stupid or crazy. You just have a LogJam in your head. That’s all, nothing more. Your depth of processing combined with the complexity of your HSP or Gifted mind results in this multiplicity of simultaneous thoughts. You process information on a deeper level. You see the big picture and often see the details, too. You catch connections that never occur to most other people. One idea prompts another. One fact reminds you of another. The implications of a situation stimulate one idea after ….you get the picture. Getting these thoughts to stop competing with one another and line up one-at-a-time cooperatively and at least loosely organized so they can come out in a coherent fashion can be challenging, and of course, this process takes time.
It doesn’t matter whether you’re an adult or child, the same thing can happen. Doing school related homework or home school lessons can take forever when this happens. Writing a paper or report can also take much longer than anyone expects it to. Each concept brings up thoughts, conversation or questions about five others, and each one of those brings up still others. And they all are interesting and seem significant.
So what do you do when you have a LogJam in your head, or your child or spouse does? I’m having a LogJam in my head as I write this. I want to say three or four things at once. As I work with them to line them up, they vie for first place, then second and third. So here’s some possibilities, in random order:
- Admit/describe what has just happened in your head – that you have multiple thoughts all wanting to come out at once. This lightens the air immediately. It gives you time to gather your thoughts, and while you do that, often one of the competing thoughts will bubble to the top. You can retrieve it and put it out there. Then you can decide whether any of the others also need to see the light of day or not.
- Take a deep breath, than another and another. That sends more oxygen to the brain. Slowing your body can slow your mind and gives you a chance to sort things out. As above, one idea will likely take precedence, and you can go from there.
- Make a silly sound or a joke out of what’s happening. Then proceed with one of the other options above.
As Nancy and I talked more about getting and dislodging mental LogJams, she went one step further. The next step for her, and a good one for us to consider, is to think about events or situations that are coming up, and to identify ones where a mental LogJam is likely to happen. Preparing for it can a) fend it off or b) help us get through it faster or in better shape.
I’m sure that you can, or probably have, come up with other options to cope with having a LogJam in your head. I invite you to share your experiences, comments or questions in the Reply/Comment Section below. Have you had other scenarios in which you have a LogJam in your head? Feel free to share them also!