Annalee Kornelsen
Visual Practitioner, graphic facilitation, illustration, and visual thinking


Thoughts and advice on creativity, art, wellness, and living wholeheartedly from a fiercely intuitive soul.

Annalee Kornelsen is a visual practioner, graphic recorder and artist based in Vancouver BC.

Does the Noise in my Head Bother You? Reclaiming Crazy.

You know that person who only has one tone of voice (loud), opinions about everything, and just won't stop talking... ever? Sometimes I feel as though that person lives in my brain. I have days where my mind will play endless songs on loop (especially the ones where I can't remember the lyrics) count incessantly for no good reason and just generally act like a hyperactive preschooler who has eaten nothing but skittles for the last five days. I used to hate it. I used to fight it because it made me feel crazy and out of control, but then it occurred to me:


That is a lot of energy bouncing around in there. Where does it come from? What if all this chatter was my lateral thinking, creative, right-brain just trying to get my attention because it is bored to tears? 

Now, this was a new thought; because my brain chatter does not seem to have anything that I would consider valuable. It is random. Very random. It is disjointed and absurd, a little obnoxious, and sometimes even offensive. For the sake of an experiment, I started giving this metaphorical, hyperactive, child space to just run around and sing hakuna matata at the top of her lungs. I did this by writing and drawing my brain chatter, and the result was nothing short of miraculous.  The struggle just stopped. I felt relieved, a little giddy and really happy.

When we were tweens, my friends and I used to refer to this state of mind as being "hyper", and we relished it. We cultivated it. Somewhere along the line we learned to fear this irrational, non linear, silly state. In my particular case, I have been called crazy many times: by friends and family (usually affectionately) and even health professionals (somewhat less affectionately). So, I began to take my "hyper" state seriously. I disassociated it from it and began to fear it. I called it anxiety, confusion, psychosis*. But, when I began to see it as a tremendously powerful, natural part of me it curled up in my hands like a tired kitten, and purred. I relaxed. I felt happy.

So I have a deal with myself now: I let the chatter be. I give it space to exert its self (like walking an energetic dog) without any expectations or need to be clever, rational,or mature. I started to see it as harmless, a sign of vitality and a potential source of inspiration (or at least entertainment). Funny thing is: as soon as I stopped trying to control my "craziness", it stopped having control over me.



 *I am only sharing my experience and do not, in any way, wish to trivialize or minimize anyone else's experiences with mental disorders.

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