Breaking down jumbled thoughts

Everything is a jumbled mess at the moment, annoyingly. For a few brief days my mind allowed itself to actually think logically, (of course it was still freaking out, but I was managing to get stuff done). Now I seem to find myself grumpily sitting here, condemning what feels like everything. Of course, it’s not everything – I feel pretty great about some things, but in the immediate future, and right in this very moment my brain and thoughts are frustratingly jumbled, and trying to pick stuff out and actually put things into action is too big a job.

Sara Herranz
© Sara Herranz

I feel like I’ve moaned a lot lately, to others and to myself. The truth is, I probably haven’t ‘moaned’ any less than I usually do, it’s just everything seems a lot more real. I’ve been pretty self-reflective as of late, despite tirelessly trying to avoid having any alone time, I still seem to be in a wave of dwelling over everything I’m doing wrong, or all the stuff I’ve missed out on in my life. Which, I’ve been told is quite a cruel thing to do as there’s no ‘right or wrong way’ to do life, but still… I can’t help but acknowledge everything that I don’t have, or haven’t done, or things that I could have done differently, or things that I should be doing. But, still I’m sat here contemplating everything that I need do, and feeling drastically mortified at how much I need to do, and how badly I feel like I can’t do things. When I reflect on what I do have in my life, I then panic because I fall into that motion of thinking about how I’m not making the most of what I do have, and how I need to appreciate things more, and stop blocking everything out.

The problem for me at the moment is that I’m really finding it tricky to do things, it’s not that I can’t decide what to do, or I can’t commit to doing things – it’s just once I start doing things, or agree to do things I then freak out majorly, get horribly anxious and feel unbelievably insignificant, incapable and lost. The thing that I’m really avoiding at the moment is allowing the Home Treatment Team’s medic to come and do an assessment – admittedly I do have a lot going on at work, but I also know that whenever I arrange a visit I then freak out, phone them and ask them to rearrange. It’s silly because I’ll happily have a visit from one of the support workers, but for some reason whenever I have a medic appointment arranged it seems too big a task, and immediately I start prioritising everything else that I have to do in my life.

My confidence in my ability to cope, and get on with things seems to have dwindled – though I’m weary that this confidence has been pretty low lately anyway. It’s almost as if my mind has decided that it isn’t going to do let me function – something in my head is fighting (thank goodness – because I have a lot of work to do!) But also, I just want everything to be over – as in I want all this ‘not being able to cope’ stuff to just disappear – but when I really think about it, what I need is to find a way to break down all my jumbled thoughts and feelings.

Writing a list – is the logical way of dealing with this, but trust me I’ve done that – writing lists is great, but it still doesn’t mean I get stuff done. Breaking things down into small tasks, and having small breaks, and all that jazz – it doesn’t stop the overwhelming feelings, and it doesn’t stop the jumbled thoughts, it just means that a part of my brain is getting stuff done, but still my thoughts are screaming at each other, and my mind is so cloudy. Resting and taking it easy doesn’t seem to help either because the jumbled thoughts and feelings are still there, maybe even more so when I’m not keeping myself busy. Talking things through should work, but because I’m not used to talking things through most of the time I’m sat there thinking about what I should say, and how I should be acting – which means I’ll spend ages talking about stuff, but still skipping whatever it is that my jumbled thoughts actually want me to think/talk about.

The problem is I don’t know what my jumbled thoughts are (I know that doesn’t really make sense) – I know the generic areas of what they are, but my mind tends to think and work so quickly that when I identify one thing I’ll quickly become overwhelmed by something else. I can’t figure out a way to slow things down, but also I know that if I do start acknowledging everything I’ll be overcome by a lot of different emotions – all of which I don’t know if I can deal with right now.



  1. Something that might be worth trying is to spend time hand writing down the stream of thoughts. Don’t think them through, just write down whatever comes, without judgement. It’s a good idea to limit the writing to a number of pages or minutes so that it isn’t endless.

    There’s a book called The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron and she advises writing 3 pages first thing in the morning. She calls it the “Morning Pages”. This short video explains the process and there are also plenty of other sites which talk about Morning Pages.

    I don’t think it necessarily needs to be done in the morning, but it might be a way of slowing down the thoughts a little, reducing the stream of overwhelming thoughts, and if you choose to read back what you’ve written, get to know the jumbled thoughts a little more.

    Liked by 1 person

    • This is brilliant – I’m definitely going to try it! When I blog I tend to write in a stream of consciousness, and I find it really helps, but obviously I’m editing out certain parts – I’m definitely going to try this! Thank-you!

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  2. Oh Ella, I can so relate to these states of being – for me it sometimes feels like everything crashes in on itself or just becomes one big mush, and I cannot distinguish direction or actions from that. I was interested in the comment from Northernrose above, because it focuses on the artists way, and that is what came to my mind too. Sometimes we try to impose logic and linearity on what is basically healing/ creative process which seems to me more like patterns emerging from chaos or creative freedom (when we allow that to happen). I think both are true for me – distinguishing small logical steps that help me when I am feeling depressed and immobilised and overwhelmed – it is a logical strategy and it works to keep coming back to. But at the same time honouring and giving space and attention to the creative process and this doesn’t look all that tidy. I have no answers, am searching just like you right now, but I wanted to share this, as I have experienced over and again this kind of creativity in myself and in others.


    • I’ve often found that chaotic thoughts works really well when I need to be creative, but that state of mind only tends to stay when I’m getting really excited / enthusiastic about something, so it’s new territory when everything is spinning so much, and I just can’t grab my thoughts long enough to make sense of them! It’s so frustrating because my natural way to respond to this is just by ‘switching off’, so trying to write things down (or just endlessly talk) no matter how hard (or embarrassing) I find things it tends to help when I try and just talk/write about the first thing I can think of. But everything has been so overwhelming / terrifying and annoying this past week! Logic definitely doesn’t work for me – I definitely work best when things are ‘jumbled up’, but for some reason I don’t want that right now haha!

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  3. I often experience the feeling that my thoughts happen so quickly that I feel overwhelmed by them, but unable to pin point and understand them because it’s been flooded by something else- usually another anxious thought. You definitely do make sense! I hope you’re able to let the medic assessment happen soon, as I’m sure you’d feel some relief at having done it xo

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