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  • Chris

The Struggle Of Wanting To Do Too Much

For several weeks I've been quiet across pretty much all of my social media channels, and also even somewhat in my life. I needed to take a break - my mind felt like it was going to explode. I stopped writing, stopped reading, stopped playing my instruments, stopped taking my advertising courses, stopped my language classes, everything.

I just put it all down and relaxed - it was meant to only be for a week, but it easily extended into a month or two because I realized my body and my brain desperately needed it.

During this time, I also went to the psychiatrist. Because screw it, why not, right? Lol.

I know a lot of mental health physicians like to put labels on things to scare you and get you hooked on drugs or therapy, but look, this is real for me. This isn't a label, this is facts. I've ALWAYS been OCD, from when I was young, which I think is something I've kind of talked about on this blog already before. During my late teens and early twenties I thought I had developed some control over it, and maybe I did, but now in my late twenties - and as I've embarked on this journey that is my writing career, but also my career to make myself a better person - it's come back in full force.

Not only that, but I also seem to have a little thing they call hypomania. Which is basically a milder form of mania. Which is the mental disorder that gave way to the term maniac.

So I'm a maniac. Lol.

Mania is essentially the "up" mood swings that a person diagnosed with bipolar disorder experiences. It's the moments where they are consumed with energy, creative thought, a relentless pursuit of their desires. It's the 24 hour window of crazed painting by artists like Jackson Pollock, the days-long mad scribbling of authors like Ernest Hemingway, the week of minimal food, sleep and relaxation, instead your hours filled with a burning NECESSITY to achieve, create, succeed, finish, do, start, think, change...

It's the contrast to the "down" mood swings - the depression. The lack of interest, of care, of emotion. The lying in bed all day, not wanting to do anything but sleep. This I don't have. Mania is the opposite of this. It is a blessing and a curse. To be in a full on bout of mania, true mania, is dangerous. It causes delirium, and you lose all abilities to function. To a person diagnosed with bipolar disorder, it may very well come as a relief upon onset. A relief to the gray and black of depression... but it quickly becomes tiring, exhausting, and too much. Overwhelming.

Of course, I don't have mania... I have hypomania. It's way more mild. Many CEO's, successful artists and businessmen, have hypomania. You can still function. It doesn't consume you. You're not a mad scientist, or a drugged artist. You're you - but inside, you can't rest, won't rest, until you get what you want, or where you want to be. It's a sense of competitive spirit, of desire to succeed, that slowly bubbles beneath everything you do and experience.

This, coupled with OCD, is a problem. I want to do so much - write compelling stories, speak multiple languages, play and master many instruments. I want my loved ones, here or in Heaven, to be proud of me. So, in my hypomania, I take on more, and more, and more, and more. My days, LITERALLY from the moment I wake up to the moment I go to sleep, are suddenly filled with activities and jobs and tasks and to-do's that my OCD WILL NOT ALLOW me to skip. If I do, I boil with irritability, I think I'm a failure, I consider myself undeserving of relaxation time with my wife and my family.

Compound this over several years, and the result is a TIRED human being. This is my struggle with wanting to do too much.

I'm still early on in this block in the road, so I cannot impart any words of wisdom or advice, but I can say that I'm dealing with this, as I'm sure many individuals are. I'm learning. I've cast off several of the things I want to achieve, because I have to. I will have to take this one step at a time. Slow, but steady. The Tortoise and the Hare. Hopefully, at this pace, I can still get where I want... but I can get there the right way.

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