Broken Brain is the title of, creative director, Hayley Repton’s latest short-film, featuring, blogger and youth leader, Penny Jarrett. The film manages to capture an impactful glimpse into the minds of those battling with ADHD—in a comfortable way.
The artistically-shot film follows Penny, as she embarks on what would appear to be a normal night, yet her mind is wandering. As well as being the main focus visibly, Penny also voices over the film, verbalising the deep thoughts in her mind. She is overthinking, having thoughts that would apply pressure on, what some may call, a normal brain—let alone a broken one.
“So frustrating when I can’t articulate myself the way I want to. It’s mad, because people say [that] I articulate myself, and express my feelings so well. But it’s just not how my brain wants to,” says Penny—in a way which resonates, so deeply. As she realises that she isn’t the only one to feel that way, or to be so hard on herself, those that can relate will, also, no longer feel alone. When it seems that you can articulate yourself so well to others, it’s hard for people to understand that you don’t feel okay—because they think that you’re great. Truth is, any of us could be struggling—and there isn’t a one size fits all appearance for that internal struggle.
The visuals include others, yet it feels like Penny is the only person there—which perfectly captures what she’s verbally expressing. It feels like she’s the only one battling a fight with her brain.
For those diagnosed with ADHD, this short-film may be fitting, but it also may fit those who haven’t been diagnosed with the condition. Personally, I’ve never imagined that I could possibly have ADHD until Penny shared her story, and I started to wonder—because it sounds so relatable. However, with my Fibromyalgia comes a foggy brain—which could be the reason for the striking similarities. You don’t have to have ADHD to have a broken brain, and having a broken brain doesn’t make you any less than someone who doesn’t.
“You know, making plans with someone and completely forgetting, then making plans with someone else at the same time, and then realising that you’ve double booked someone you love, and that must mean that you don’t love them. Because if you did, you would’ve remembered the plans, and if you cared about seeing them you would’ve been looking forward to it. But you obviously don’t ‘cause you double booked. And knowing that you do actually love that person, so why are your actions not showing it? Makes you feel like such a s**t person, and like you have no integrity, and like nothing matches,” Penny expresses. The overthinking sounds so familiar, and the actions of double booking—forgetting plans—and feeling like you lack integrity, have certainly been felt before by myself. Internal battles are much more intense than external ones, and even when you’re doing everything right, if your brain thinks that you can do more, you’ll always face down days.
On the bright side, the film ends on a breathtaking note, with Penny stating “that’s not me, that’s ADHD”. Before vowing to learn how to manage her condition, to live her best life, because she isn’t herself without her condition—yet her condition does not define who she is.
Broken Brain is moving, empowering, and a must watch!
I’m not myself without my foggy broken brain, either. But I’m going to be okay, and so is Penny. As well as everyone else that battles with their broken brain daily. The great news is that: we’re not alone—and we can learn to manage it with the right support. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
Watch the eye-opening short film below, and let me know your thoughts.
Love and light, Liss x