This is my brain weasel, Martin the pine marten. Whenever I can’t sleep because of brain weasels, I imagine him in a tiny leather jacket (because brain weasels always travel in gangs).
You’re welcome to as well. Martin gets around.
What is a brain weasel, you ask?
It’s that little voice in your head with the nagging self-doubt, the one that tells you that you can’t do the thing, the one that is trying to solve problems with infinite unknowns 1000 steps in advance.
Martin isn’t content to just think way too far ahead. Oh no, this little brain weasel is an overachiever. He not only thinks really far ahead, he feels really far ahead. And that just ain’t fair.
Out of character voice:
One of the best strategies for dealing with stress is to create a symbol for it — especially one that’s funny or weird. That way you can separate yourself from the feeling of being stressed in a way that’s non-blaming and makes you laugh, instantly improving your mood. Creating a symbol puts stress in its place.
Martin has worked well for me, especially as a polyamorous person, as a shared symbol for stress, insecurity, and doubts. In particular, Martin also has been convenient as a way of discussing jealous twinges in a non-blaming, un-dramatic fashion (the way I recommend dealing with any sort of jealous feelings). When a partner asks me what’s wrong, I can tell them, “Martin’s rifling through the pantry again,” or “Martin is an asshole,” and they understand.
“Don’t listen to Martin, he’s a liar!”
“Martin can go to Hell!”
“Martin was up in my face last night, too. Let’s get him.”
And the loveliest response of all, from someone offering drinks and chats, “Let’s roofie that weasel bastard.”
Sometimes it takes a village to wrangle Martin.