It’s not my fault- it’s my biology etc

I haven’t blogged or commented on blogs for what seems like ages. I then avoid looking at mine and other blogs through a combination of shame and reduced motivation. The Jim machine is grinding to a halt.

Hold on a minute, this isn’t the Jim way! Where’s your energy, your positivity man? Goddamit you’re British, show some resolve. OK OK, so how to get out of this black hole of lethargy and procrastination?

I know, I’ll take my lead from Trump. I need to find someone or something to blame. That’s the real man’s way of dealing with a crisis. So let’s play…… THE BLAME GAME!

The first person to blame is my partner. God, that feels insensitive but hey I’m desperate here. Nearly 4 weeks ago she came off her bike and slid along the road on her face. She fractured her upper jaw and damaged her teeth. No dentists operating but there are emergency hubs so we’ve been travelling back and forth getting that sorted. I hate to use that as an excuse but in reality it has been tough physically and emotionally for her and it’s meant, quite rightly that I’ve spent more time looking after her. Her not being able to chew properly has meant I’ve become really good at soups and smoothies. Thankfully she is slowly on the mend and we console ourselves that it could have been much worse.

That brings me onto my main excuse for not blogging- My Biology and Evolution. Stick with me here. The scientist, Amy Arnsten was writing in an article I read a few weeks ago that in times of stress basically our primitive brains come to the fore and the stress hormones kick start the old flight or fight response. The impact of stress also tends to reduce the impact of our “pre frontal cortex” or more sophisticated part of our brain. I’m doing a poor job of this I know but the bottom line is that the chronic stress of living in these current days is affecting our ability to focus and concentrate. Apparently it’s not just me and it’s not laziness, it’s good old neuro science.

This reduced working of our “thinking, reasoning” brain and the increase in stress hormones doesn’t just lead to an inability to focus, but also leads to an overall lack of motivation. Arnsten explains that an often forgotten part of our flight or fight response to danger is to “freeze”, which can feel a lot like mental paralysis. “Losing the ability to have really motivated, guided behaviour can be linked to all these primitive reflexes,” she says.

For many people, this has led to what Arnsten calls a vicious cycle of losing focus, beating yourself up about it, and then making your prefrontal connections even weaker . “Why understanding neurobiology is so helpful is that you can watch yourself in that downwards spiral and you can say, ‘This is just my biology, evolution is making me do this, this is normal neurobiology, and I don’t have to blame myself, it’s okay,’ she argues. Arnsten is my new hero!

So there we have it. A convoluted way of saying it’s not my fault that I’ve been remiss in my blogging. But having said that, non- primitive brained Jim intends asserting himself and getting back into blogging and I’m looking forward to catching up on other’s blogs.

Time to make another smoothie. I’m coming!

Jim X

18 thoughts on “It’s not my fault- it’s my biology etc

  1. sobrietytree

    Wow…. we must be on the same sobriety wavelength… I’ve been absent from here too. All kinds of reasons, excuses and blame-games as well.

    Wow… you have indeed had a brutal time of it lately… as has your wife. Looking after someone full time… and/or being looked after by someone full time, are some of the hardest things ever.

    You are so awesome as usual. Thanks for posting and sharing, Jim. :))) Hugs xoxo

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    1. sobrietytree

      How I managed to get two wows in there who knows lol. But yes, you are definitely justified. Massively so. Hope you are holding up okay, and somehow managing to give yourself a break. :))

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      1. sobrietytree

        Lol. Made me smile. Thanks Jim. :)) My own urge for the same has coincidentally disappeared… replaced by friend-induced smiles. But shh, don’t tell anyone that either. 😉

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    1. Jim Simmonds Post author

      Thanks Claire
      Yeh, tough times all round for a lot of folks at the moment. My partner’s doing OK – better when distracted. Thanks for your thoughts. Hope all is good with you. Jim X

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  2. gr8ful_collette

    I’m glad you’re back. And I’m sending good thoughts to your partner to a full and speedy recovery…sounds like you’re being the perfect nurse! 😊💕

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  3. Astrid

    So glad to he ar from you. I love your sense of humor and you certainly haven’t lost it. I’m sending positive thoughts your partner’s way.

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  4. nomorebeer2019

    hep, the Jim machine is a universal phenomenon. There is also an Anne machine – hence the lateness with which I am commenting on this. Mainly to say I AM SO SORRY this happened to your partner, it must have been really painful and scary and she is lucky to have you to make all those smoothies. Sending big hugs in liquid form ❤ Anne

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    1. Jim Simmonds Post author

      Thanks Anne- scary yes in the sense that when something like this happens you realise what’s not currently happening; dentistry, routine GP appts etc. But hey ho- its an adventure and a test of our adaptability and resilience. X

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