How do you keep from getting overly magnified or obsessed,with one particular thing-? with me being bipolar type I, I find its a hard thing for me to balance things that I want to give me all to, i tend to take things to to the extreme,in one area,then it tumbles over. I have had this illness for 11yrs,and normally I steer clear of things that I know will end up in a mess,but just wondered how you personally keep things on an even keel,when you want to do something without overdoing it so that things don’t end up haywire (if you have that issue too ?)
In college, I found myself hell-bent to teach myself quantum physics. I majored in criminal justice and psychology; how was I going to figure this out? I sat in my room for days on end, thinking. And thinking. And thinking. And then I’d get up and make a cup of tea, which would go ice cold while I thought some more. I began to ask friends; to diagram on their whiteboards while they slept. I didn’t need sleep, or food, especially when I had important science-y stuff to sort out! And, really, that forensics lab that I looked forward to for an entire year, I don’t need that when I have this cat and this atom. I disappeared into my own mind. I thought I could find the answer.
After 21 days of this nonsense, Campus Security arrived at my door with a giant orange bucket on wheels and told me I had to pack up and move out.
Since then I’ve been much more aware of the consequences that monomania can have. I’m still developing my coping technique, but the most important thing I use is something I learned a thousand years ago from Mr. Rogers. I stop. I know that’s a lot easier thought than done, but hum a few bars of “What Do You Do With The Mad That You Feel” to yourself while you take stock of what you’re doing. Even if your brain says “no, you can’t stop!”, if you can remind yourself and your brain “No, I drive this boat! And this is what we’re doing!” life gets easier.
The most important thing I do, though, is that I seek a reality check now and then. I have no problem asking my companion, “am I doing this right? Am I doing the right things? Is this what I need to do to be successful?” and I always get an honest answer. I hope you have someone in your life who can provide that for you.
It’s perfectly okay to want to give your all to something– but it only works if you are able to prioritize. When I am energetic and intensely focused, I need to start by making a list of things that need to get done. I make sure I take care of basics (dishes, laundry) before I embark on a new mission (painting the kitchen cabinets). Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. But the most important thing to do, even if impractical, is to look for that balance I mentioned earlier.