When My Friend Said ‘I Wish I Had Your Brain’


Everyone has good qualities. Qualities others see and envy. Qualities they wish were their own. I was talking with a friend of mine the other day, and she said something that haunted me. She said, “I wish I had your brain.”

I know what she meant. I’ve got academic cleverness, book smarts and that’s what she’s envious of. I didn’t really have to try in school. I was a natural at learning. That’s the quality she wished for herself. What she said, however, really stung me  because I am at war with my brain every single day.

No, you don’t want my brain.

Do you really want a brain that thinks panicking is the appropriate reaction to even the tiniest of problems? Do you want a brain that perceives every strangers laugh or smile as being directed at you in malice? Do you want a brain that tells you all day, every day, how you aren’t good enough?

Do you want a brain that requires constant medication just so you can masquerade as mentally stable? Do you want a brain that tells you to jump every time you cross a bridge? Do you want a brain that uses its powers of logic to argue the world would be better off without you? Do you want a brain that is convinced all your friends and loved ones are staying around out of pity or duty rather than because they actually love you? (This is regardless of how many times those loved ones tell you otherwise.)

Do you want a brain that thinks so strongly that the world is bad? Do you want a brain that makes you struggle to see the good even when it stares you in the face? Do you want a brain that tells you all your good qualities are meaningless or that you are only pretending to have any at all?

Do you want a brain that tells you all the sadness you feel is just ungrateful, that other people have it worse and that you deserve to feel awful as a result? Do you want a brain that says you deserve to struggle? Do you want a brain that will never let you forget any mistake you ever made?

Do you want a brain that struggles to sleep at night but is exhausted throughout the day? Do you want a brain that tells you every relationship mishap you’ve ever had is exclusively your fault, that you don’t deserve love and that you’ll never find it? Do you want a brain that struggles with depression and anxiety?

I have good qualities. I know that somehow, even if my brain makes it difficult to believe. Maybe I even have qualities worth being jealous of. You can be jealous of my imagination, my creativity and even my great bum, but don’t ever tell me you’re jealous of a brain. Because I’d swap it in a heartbeat for one that works.

Image via Thinkstock.

If you or someone you know needs help, visit our suicide prevention resources page.

If you need support right now, call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. You can reach the Crisis Text Line by texting “START” to 741-741.


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