• caseytonkin

An itch

—Look, it's just a feeling I have.

—Okay, well can you describe it?"

—Not really. I mean, I could. It's in my head, I guess? A feeling in my head. That's kind of all I've got.

—Would you say it is a good feeling or a bad feeling?

—Bad, I guess. If feelings can be bad, or good for that matter. It's just a feeling.

—In your head.


—Right. A physical one or an emotional one? I mean, is it in your head or in your mind?


—Both. Maybe. It has to be both, I think. My mind's in my head and the feeling...

—...the bad feeling.

—Yeah it's in my head and I feel it. Because it's a feeling. And because I'm the one feeling it, me, my brain, I guess it's in my brain.

—Sure. Okay. But you'd recognise that if you stubbed your toe, for example, that you had a pain (a bad feeling) in your toe, even though you, and therefore your brain, are feeling it.

—Right, yes, I think I see what you mean. It's in my brain then. My mind. It's me.

—Now we're getting somewhere. So can you describe the feeling?

—An itch? Yeah, it's like an itch. I have an itchy brain, I guess. Hey, I never thought about it like that! I have an itchy brain.

—Great. Well done. It's important to be able to recognise thoughts and feelings as they arise.

—Yes, an itchy brain. But nothing seems to satisfy it. Nothing I watch, nothing I read, nothing I listen to, nothing I eat, nothing I drink, nothing stops the itch. It's constant. Well, maybe not constant, or is it? I don't know. It might be that the itch is always there actually, I hadn't thought about that until just now. The itch could always be there and I just distract myself from the itch thinking instead that what I'm doing is scratching it.

—Uh huh.

—What do you think it means?

—The itch?

—Yeah. And that, like, what if my brain's always itchy and always will be itchy and I'll never truly get a moment's peace? That stresses me out a bit.

—Well, do you ever get a moment's peace?

—Sure... all the time actually.


—Sometimes when I'm doing the dishes and stop to hear the birds outside the kitchen window. Or even just when I go outside for the first time in a while and I walk into a patch of incidental sunlight.

—And you don't feel itchy in these moments?

—Not particularly, no.

—Maybe that's just it then.