Insane in the membrane. Insane in the brain.

Some days I think to myself, “I have so got this whole being sane thing.”

Other days, The Committee that resides in my head tells me otherwise.

The Cheerleader, the Child, the Naysayer, the Nymph and the Bulldog are all self-appointed members.  I’ve realized they aren’t going anywhere, so I have given them permission to decorate their areas of my head to their liking.

The Cheerleader is full of mirth, sass, and flirt and is really annoyed that I don’t take better care of my skin. She is also usually in charge when I hit stationary objects with my car because she is busy putting on bright red lipstick. Her encouragement to exercise my aging body is the best and worst thing about her.

The Child is sweet, scared and often needs a hug. She’s been with me the longest, but understands the rest of The Committee the least. She’s also prone to throwing the food at my kids they specifically requested ten minutes earlier and then refused to eat.

The Naysayer is ornery and exists to tell me I’m not good. At anything. That I shouldn’t bother trying, that I should give up when I do, and that I’m stupid to ever think I am anything but a loser. She peaked in high school and thinks I’m ugly, annoying and fat. She’s manipulative and sneaky, and is convinced no one likes me. Usually she is in charge when I choose to spend time with people who make me feel the same. She has been spending the bulk of her energy in Time Out lately. She needed to be by herself, and I’m tired of her jerk mouth.

The Nymph wretches when I eat fast food, but is otherwise ethereal, loving and always putting flowers in my hair. The flowers make me sneeze sometimes, but she won’t stop, because she’s grateful for the smallest blessings of life.  She’s creative and sees the beauty in everything and everyone, and was in charge when I decided to plant a garden this year. The Naysayer was actually right that time. I’m terrible at gardening, but it was still worth a try.

The Bulldog fixates, obsesses, believes conspiracy theories and is pretty sure everyone is trying to kidnap my children. She is never wrong and knows where all of the best restaurants are from experience and copious internet research. She’s also certain that my whole life should be a musical, and if we all burst into song and flash mobs under her direction, the world would be a better place.

All of them can be friends or foes, or both simultaneously. They tend to get really loud, bossy or whiny if they are not being heard. They get in to epic fights and then tell me it is okay to go on a food or booze binge so I don’t have to hear their yammering for a minute.

Usually they settle down after a while if I let them each talk and tell me how they are feeling.

When I don’t listen to them, things get messy. I forget to pay bills and become livid when my phone suddenly doesn’t have service. I yell at my kids when they don’t deserve it. I snap at my husband. I get jealous of everyone and all of their things.

So I’m doing my best to take everything to my Head Committee. The reconnection fees on the cell service and the self-help book prices are killer if I don’t.

Tricia Oakes

Southern Spark

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