Compulsive and obsessive are words I am all too familiar with. I could well be their poster child. I don’t believe I am ever half way between on or off for very long. My toggle button is stuck. Half measures in my life just don’t exist. I am either on board the boat or can’t even see the water. I have no filter attached to my emotions.
Because I know that about myself I have found some things that help me manage my thoughts and emotions. Writing helps me vent my feelings and frustrations and helps me blow off steam when I am agitated about something. Recently I was in a manic phase. Writing about what I was feeling/thinking helped me level out a bit to the point where I could sleep at night.
I have some sayings that have become my mantras. I also refer to these as self talk. One saying is “Stop stewing and start doing.” I use this one when I am afraid to do something or fearful of an outcome of an action I might be contemplating. I used this one a lot when I was learning how to set up this Blogging site and before I published my first Blog. This saying is a little more refined than one that has a similar meaning which is “S..t or get off the pot”.
Another one of my helpers is “Attitude is a habit”. I learned this worked when years ago, after a divorce, I got my first job. I was hurting terribly and wanted to dump my pain on anyone who would listen to get their sympathy. I had the good sense to know that if I did that everyone would run for the hills when they saw me coming. So I planted a smile on my face, fake as it was, and was very surprised when at the end of two weeks my mood had begun to match my smile. I had contact with all departments where I worked, and I got the nickname “Sunshine”. Big lesson had landed in my lap.
The next jewel of mine is more of a concept. I try not to invest myself in issues I have no control over. Politics is one place I try to use this one. I live in a wacko state, in my opinion. All I can do is place my one tiny vote into the pool when election time comes and let the chips fall where they may. Since I am comfortable with my beliefs and don’t plan on changing them I avoid watching news about politics months before major elections every two years. I do post my biases on Face Book. There I can read, share and forget.
Another thing I have found is that I have to avoid news, etc. about children being abused. Those stories drive me to despair big time. In the past when I have read those stories I wanted to become superwoman and save the world and that was not possible.
I don’t watch scary or gory movies/ programs. I stay away from soap operas as they are always about turmoil. I try to engage in programs and reading material that are inspirational and uplifting. I try to put a positive spin on everything. If I encounter a problem I try to see the lesson in the experience.
I once had a doctor explain my condition to me that made lots of sense. He said that there were lots of clunker cars that get people from one place to another. Then there were highly sophisticated race cars. The clunkers could get by on regular fuel and an occasional skipped oil change and run just fine. A race car required specialized care. If it was not serviced properly or not finely tuned it would not perform well. My chemistry and wiring is an example of a race car.
I just except that being compulsive and obsessive is part of my being Bipolar. My wiring and chemistry are part of that mystery. I hope I put these behaviors of my disorder to good use. I think I have in the past and will in the future.