I have a busy brain.
I cannot train it to stay quiet. My brain sometimes drives me to distraction with it’s constant activity, it’s most annoying trait is my need to count things.
I am a compulsive counter. There is no reason that I can think of for this behaviour but I can’t prevent myself from doing it.
As I walk my dog, my brain goes into overdrive whenever I approach a set of steps, without thinking about it I count the thirty six to my third floor condo from the ground floor, every single time I walk up them. For some reason I do not need to count them whilst going down. The number of my footsteps on flat ground doesn’t seem to matter but just a few seconds from the back door of my building is a steep track, mainly used by the local deer herd, that has a hundred and twelve steep paces to the top. There it flattens out onto a path that leads to Black Sage Road. Another few minutes and I am back at the front door of my building and I take the elevator, which has eighteen floor tiles plus nine half tiles, to my third floor home.
My walk through the community park and onto the river walk is on level ground so I can let my brain enjoy the smells of nature and my pleasant surroundings as I wander, however, one direction I take home includes a very steep hill, one hundred and ten steep paces, I reach the top and can once more relax and enjoy the flat walk home.
This ridiculous behaviour doesn’t just apply to climbing, I count the number of cauliflowers in the produce bin at the grocery store and the number of items in people’s baskets. During social gatherings I count people in attendance. Not just a simple headcount but a continuous count from various starting points in the room. This behaviour is sometimes embarrassing if I am called upon with a question, as I am in complete ignorance of what is being asked of me as I was busy counting bodies.
People think I’ m daydreaming but not so, I was just making sure that I got the same number every time I took a tally.
I can honestly think of no sane reason why I do this and it can’t just be because I am bored as I once caught myself counting the number of sound deflectors on the ceiling f the Orpheum Theatre while I was enjoying a ballet.
When I am resting I count my heartbeats, usually a steady 58 beats per minute, luckily this behaviour will usually lull me to sleep. On the odd night when I can’t easily fall asleep, you would expect me to count sheep, but not so, instead I imagine myself on a beach listening to the waves crashing onto the shore. You would imagine this very soothing and a sure way to drift off to sleep, but no, I anxiously count the seconds between the imagined waves even though I am the creator of those waves, yes I am definitely nuts.
This addictive behaviour goes along with me when I am in a car, whether driving or as a passenger I need to count the number of seconds between hydro poles. If I am in conversation or listening to music, this compulsive need fades away but the moment my attention wanders, out comes the mental abacus.
I don’t remember when this neurotic behaviour started, but can’t remember a time when I didn’t do it. One of these days two men with white coats will probably come to take me to a peaceful place in the country where I will be able to count the bars on my windows as I while my time away.