Manic, Obsessive, Not Compulsive, Mind Loops

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Stuck in a loop – mindfulness gets me out (Photo credit: bikeracer)

I am happy. My mind is happy. I thrive on novelty, new thoughts, learning, and creativity. I have all of these right now. In fact I have so many ways to keep my mind happy right now that I have to decide which one to do in any given moment.

  • Work has given me the lead on some very interesting projects and allowed me to delegate all of the tedious portions. Hooray!
  • I have enrolled and started 3 online courses. Yes 3. One for computer programming, one for writing memoirs and self-publishing, one that actually applies to my current job.
  • I have won another art commission, with a deadline to complete the project in early Aug.
  • We’re going on a little family vacation soon, lots of planning for that.
  • I still have all my kids here with me. All day. Every day. Well except when the lovely neighbors, that I am ever so fond of, invite them over to play.

I’ve been getting up early every day for the longest stretch I’ve ever managed before. Without an alarm. I wake up, no fog, no hate, no inner scolding. I just wake up, get up, and start doing something.

This is so unusual for me, and is why I am noting something that otherwise seems unremarkable.

The interesting part though, is that although I am more productive than ever overall, I keep finding myself stuck in a manic, obsessive, not compulsive, mind loop. I will check the same email 3-5 times before I realize it. Or I’ll switch computer tabs in the same sequence 3-5 times without doing anything at any one of those apps. Or I will write an email response in my mind 3-5 times before I actually type it. I can stop – and do stop – so it is not a compulsion. But it has interfered greatly with completing my work tasks in the last few hours. Mindfulness has allowed me to stop each loop, but I seem to jump from loop to loop, simply switching which task I repeat.

I almost wonder if I have found a new way to distract myself from hurling negative thoughts at myself obsessively.  Like I need to be repeating something, and if I won’t permit that negative tape to loop any more, I had to find something else.

So then I thought, OK, I am really irritating myself now that I am mindfully aware of this –  and it is time to break this loop. But how? Blogging of course. Always the quickest mind fix.

Another day I will look into why repetitive behaviors may be soothing, or why they start up like that. Until then, it just gets filed under the ‘my brain is fun’ category.

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3 thoughts on “Manic, Obsessive, Not Compulsive, Mind Loops

  1. I think there is a certain comfort in repetition. It’s familiar. No surprises.

    I loved reading about the wonderful things you’re doing!

  2. I hope that this doesn’t sound too weird but could the repetitive behavior be subconsciously presenting itself as a coping mechanism that is actually providing brief ‘breaks’ between (or during) all of the awesome work that you are involved in? The fact that you are stopping these episodes may mean that your mind is telling your brain that you are avoiding being overwhelmed (burnt-out) and are ready to continue on with the task at hand which would explain the absence of a true compulsion. Since you have so much to soak in at one time (and you will do it successfully), have you thought about this behavior being a ‘naturally triggered’ necessity? You are one that can deal with a LOT as a whole whose results are very productive at the end of the day…Controlling it while embracing it also could be the way to go with this. I am so happy for you and I KNOW that your endeavors will reward you in a great way! Put simple – keep workin’ it lady!! 🙂

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