Busy Brain

‘Busy brain’ has struck me this week due to having started my new job. I find that busy brain does strike me particularly when something is interesting and new (I am autistic and this is an aspect of my autism). I’m learning to go with it and not to fight it because switching off my brain is difficult and is something I can’t do.

This week I’ve had two 3.30am starts and the rest around 5/6am. This isn’t a sympathy post but one where I wanted to share that busy brain exists and what I’m doing to help myself.

I now know the difference between a peri menopause early wake up and a busy brain wake up. For me peri menopause early wakeups happened (they are very infrequent now due to HRT) and it was a physical thing. I felt like I was on fire and the inferno was inside me and nothing I could do could cool me. Yes, I sweated (lots) and that wasn’t nice but that was it.

With busy brain I’m awake and I cannot switch my brain off from thinking about all of the things that are going on in my life. Currently it’s generally related to all things SEND which is a passion of mine but one I don’t want to be passionate about at 3am.

Yes, I produce some awesome essays around 6 in the morning (‘Reports are ableist’ anyone?) and just this morning I’ve been writing an analogous story about Sam and their wanting to learn to ride their bike but are being taught that they have to learn (and remember and recall at will) the parts of the bike before they can go out for a cycle. Yes, it’s analogous with our current system of learning to read and has been used before but I’m using it as an introduction to then move on and refine the analogy using music education as a better example.

I’m fun, aren’t I?

Slightly intense?


But there’s nothing I can do about it.

Since going back into the classroom I’ve noticed some of the difficulties I had the last time I was in the classroom have returned. Nothing that affects my abilities as a teacher but more how I deal with myself as a person who is a teacher working in the current climate that we do. Perfectionism has returned, busy brain is definitely back, sensory overload (from the God-awful lights and noise and colours and environment), managing my social anxieties, not being able to switch off and missing work when I’m not there (sad but true). I do have one positive change though: I no longer suffer from imposter syndrome. That’s a huge step forward because I found that incredibly hard.

Niching my skills has helped though. I am more able to keep the perfectionism at bay and live by the mantra someone I went to university swore by: ‘I can only get done what I have the skills and resources to do in the time given.’

Niching has meant that I earn money by living out my special interest. I speak to people with the same special interest, and I love it. They don’t glaze over if I start to talk lesson adaptation or finally building a rapport with a pupil who has a low opinion of themselves as a learner -they get just as excited as me. I do need to learn to not ask so many questions of a CPD trainer (their literature regarding neurgivergence was very much written from a deficit model which I disagreed with) and go with the flow a bit more. But then, who am I kidding? I have never really gone with the flow.

I will ride the busy brain episodes and know that eventually my brain will calm down and I will be more able to switch off at the end of the day. It happened in September and by about Christmas my subconscious had decide that having a party with my conscious every early morning was a bit boring, so it stopped. I can’t control when it will stop and no strategy I’ve tried has every altered it, so I just accept it. Let the subconscious party; it’ll eventually blow itself out and will be found sleeping in a corner with a party hat on with various party detritus surrounding it.

So, if you see me at the moment and think I look tired. That’s because I actually really am tired. Also know that I’m happy though and I know that the tiredness will fade as I get to grips with my new thing I’m doing. That is, until the next new and exciting thing my brain comes over ‘all unnecessary’ over but then, that’s me and it always will be.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Latest from Blog

Autism And Best Friends

Best friends. I had a best friend at school who was really my only friend. Sure, I knew many people and was

Autism And Pregnancy

The next few blogs I’ve written are the ones I’ve wanted to write for years but couldn’t. The shame that I felt

Don't Miss

Autism And Best Friends

Best friends. I had a best friend at school who