I can be very all or nothing.
I’ve been that way with many things in my life. Work. Relationships. Fitness.
The biggest problem I had would be having the motivation for any of the above fall away after a short time.
For instance, with the fitness, I would set lofty and in hindsight often unobtainable goals. I would go all in, then when I didn’t begin seeing results as fast as I thought I should I would get bored and frustrated with the effort. Before long the fitness regime would be another carcass on the highway of my life.
With relationships, I would become obsessed. I would hold on so tight that the object of my affection would often fall from my grasp. Even my early relationship with Lynn followed this trend, and it is a very borderline trait.
As for work, I would be all in. When I rode on the ambulance I spent my time studying my protocols and picking up extra shifts. I didn’t just work as an EMT, I WAS an EMT. The nuance is subtle but significant.
All or nothing thinking is a very Borderline trait, and one that has haunted me for the better part of my last 30 years. Even through grade school it haunted me.
The ironic thing is, that obsession has led me to where I am today. When I became aware of the diagnosis of Borderline Personality Disorder I researched the hell out of it. I did therapy. I took meds. I continually chased the cure for this curse of the mind. In essence, I became a professional patient, as happens to many borderlines.
It took me years, but I found a new obsession. EMS. My borderline symptoms stabilized and I focused on work. I forgot about chasing the cure.
When Post Traumatic Stress was introduced to my life in 2013, I felt like I lost my core identity as a first responder. I felt again that I was starting from scratch. I got really bad as my mental health continued to deteriorate. I again began chasing the “cure.”
I don’t know how man doctors and medications later, I’ve come to realize something about the mental illness’s I deal with.
THERE. IS. NO. CURE.
I quit chasing it, knowing that for peace in my mind it would have to come from within.
Things within began to shift.
I’m not going to lie and say that I never get dark thoughts anymore, that suicide never crosses my mind. It does, with regularity. I still battle my demons.
One of the biggest gifts that I have been blessed with is Lynn, my partner in crime where it comes to my mental health. She will tell me when I’m getting obsessed again.
As for my fitness and work?
Instead of setting myself up to fail. I set myself up to succeed. I set goals that are reasonable and obtainable.
An example, getting myself under 200 lbs in a month is likely not going to happen, no matter what I do. Dropping 10 pounds in 8 weeks? That is much more obtainable.
When I reach that goal, I hit reset and figure out what’s next.
Even with work my perspective is changed. Yeah, I’m known around town as the local reporter, but it’s not my identity. It’s my job.
We are not one single aspect of our lives. We are a sum of our parts.
All of this said, a little bit of obsession is not a bad thing. It can keep you motivated. It can keep you driven to succeed.
It’s where the obsession becomes all encompassing and starts crossing lines of civility and law that problems arise.
Thanks for following along,