Thursday, April 9, 2009

A Virtual Support Group

I want to thank everyone who's commented in the last few weeks. I'm too tired to list all your names and attach the links, but I genuinely appreciate it. Your positive comments make all the difference, and I always forget how important our virtual support group is when I'm struggling with whether or not to continue this blog.

Actually, I did discuss my blog in therapy this week, although I'd already written Monday's post when I talked to my therapist. I told him about my vacillation and how embarrassing it was getting.

In fact, I'm well aware it's a pattern (All I have to do is to read my own posts to figure it out), which oddly enough hasn't stopped me from continuing it. I also realize that I'm often ready to quit after going through a long depression or when a new one hits.

And he gave me great advice. He suggested it's part of an "all or nothing" syndrome and said that other clients, even those who aren't bipolar, struggle with it. What he also said is that it's possible to have conflicting feelings and not to act on them. Rather, he recommended it would be a good idea to carry both feelings until I examine them and decide what to do. And, of course, it never needs to be "all or nothing," does it?

While it would seem obvious, I somehow didn't think of it that way. I know that acting quickly on something is a personality trait. I also realized that I've been an "all or nothing" type person for decades. But, I believe it's never to late to change traits that make our lives more difficult, and add to our stress levels. So, perhaps this, too, shall pass.

Question for today: Are you an "all or nothing" person, and do you think it's a bipolar symptom? (If you were and changed, how did you do it?)

8 comments:

preciousrock said...

As I age, I am growing out of my "all or nothing" syndrome. I credit the gradual change to burnout rather than any active effort I have made to change my ways. "All or nothing" can be sooooo exhausting!

Wellness Writer said...

Dear preciousrock,
Isn't that the case? It is truly exhausting and you'd think I'd have figured that out by now!

Good for you that you have!

Susan

marja said...

Yeah, I guess some of us are all or nothing people. Had never thought of it that way. Hope you'll be a hang-in-there-and-see-how-it-goes person, Susan.

Writing a new book would be a juicy project, Susan. I wish you stimulating ideas and passionate resolve.

Wellness Writer said...

Dear Marja,
I like the way you said it. I think my goal this year will be to convert from being an all or nothing (AON) person to being a hang-in-there-and-see-how-it-goes(HITASHIG)person.

And you're right, it does take passionate resolve to write a book, doesn't it?

Susan

Emma said...

I actually had never thought of it as a symptom of bipolar, rather that it was just me!! I confess it has been the driving force for much of my life, and I agree that age may have modulated the intensity more than my own intervention! However, it IS an attitude I am very aware of, and have been working hard to address. I continue to struggle, so I suppose I would also be interested to learn how others may have moved forward. Being a recovering perfectionist can be a bit of a hindrance as well!!
Em

Wendalyn Love said...

Susan,
I am definitely an all or nothing person, always have been, always hated it. I can still hear my mother saying 'you are up and down like a toilet seat'. Yes, I believe it is part of bipolar. I wish I could change but it usually is happening before I even realize what is happening. And those thoughts seem so real and so urgent at the time. Afterwards I think 'who was that person who wanted to do such and such? That couldn't have been me! Why would I want to do such and such?' And so on it goes.
Wendalyn

Wellness Writer said...

Dear Emma,
I'm not sure if it's a bipolar symptom or not. I've never read a book where people say it is, but, of course, they never discuss symptoms I can ever relate to.

However, the entire arena of personality traits is a field I feel needs further exploration. If we share personality traits that make life more difficult, wouldn't it have been nice to know, and to learn methods for changing things?

I think I was more of a perfectionist when I was younger. And, it's certainly another characteristic that makes life more difficult, isn't it?

Susan

Wellness Writer said...

Dear Wendalyn,
Very interesting, don't you think? I think that sometimes just realizing we have a trait--and seeing that it's not helping us--may enable us to at least try to see when we're doing it...and ultimately result in some level of change.

Susan