A while ago I posted this, which was essentially an insomnia-fueled exploration of why I blog (which probably should have remained where it started – an endless, circuitous cycle of thoughts running on repeat in my brain, a snake eating its tail)
But the upside of thinking out loud was the response I received. I’m not sure if it was because in the post I mentioned being wary of writing simply to earn comments, or just that people wanted to voice their opinions privately, but much of the response I received was through emails.
The general sentiment was that it’s good to keep questioning, that when you stop having these questions you’ve usually stepped too heavily to one side or the other. A lot of you also suggested removing comments altogether.
There was one email though, which basically sounded like it was written by me, for me and it said essentially, “Get it together Madeleine!” Like, can’t you stop questioning everything all the time and just DO IT?
In short: No. It’s completely impossible for me to not question everything I am doing, all of the time, over and over and over again.
I don’t know why. My brain won’t let me not do this. I always joke about having OCD but Adam has said several times that he thinks I actually have obsessive-compulsive tendencies, not because of the physical manifestations (Clear counter tops, shoes lined up by the door, things in stacks and piles etc) but in the way he sees my mind work.
This is usually how the conversation goes: I’ll be obsessing about something, talking myself in circles, and he’ll start laughing and say “Oh man, you’re so crazy” and I’ll laugh too and reply “I know, right?” and then he’ll stop laughing and say “No seriously though. You’re crazy. You should get that shit checked out.”
And then I obsess about OCD for an hour or so before becoming distracted by a new Occupy Wall Street post, or an errant shoe.
What else am I supposed to do? I don’t know how any other mind works but my own. I don’t know if it’s normal to turn thoughts over and over until their edges are smooth and they become worn to the touch. Who does? What’s normal, anyway? (I know! More questions! Please don’t write me any more emails, I’m AWARE)
For the most part I don’t see this as a problem. This tendency of mine to fixate and obsess, to become entirely wrapped up and immersed in an issue or an idea or a concept makes me a fantastic researcher, a tireless student. But I think it can also make me exhausting to be around. (Unless of course, you want to know everything about whatever particular subject I happen to be obsessed with at the moment, like say, fall boots, or how to know when is a good time to have a baby, or recent socio-political movements in North America, in which case BOOM! I’m your lady!)
I’m not saying I have OCD. I genuinely don’t think I do. I think we as a species tend to greatly over-value and exaggerate ourselves and our experiences in relation to others because our own experiences always loom so much larger and feel so much more real. In this way, things that are fairly normal seem abnormal simple because we have no idea that others are experiencing it too. But behaviour doesn’t differ that much between humans, we aren’t the special snowflakes we think we are.
I will say though, that I notice myself becoming more intense and less able to re-focus and shift my gaze elsewhere when my kidneys are acting up and I am running low on Magnesium and Potassium.
This is something I never expected when I was diagnosed. It seemed like such a dry, biological issue: my kidneys were wasting electrolytes, I would take medication to replace said electrolytes. Simple addition: a minus and a plus combining to cancel each other out and total zero.
But it’s not that simple- nothing is.
I (of course) have researched this extensively and from what I’ve learned, those with hypomagnesemia (low magnesium) are more prone to anxiety and obsessive behaviours in general as well as depression. In fact many in the medical community are beginning to treat depression with magnesium supplements – who knew? So instead of having OCD, this may just be yet another manifestation of my errant biology, my defective genes.
Jack’s Madeleine’s incompetent kidneys)
This is more than you ever wanted to know, isn’t it? But this is what will happen, one day this will be a running blog, the next an Occupy Wall Street blog, the next a blog about my giant dog, the next a diatribe about kidney disease. Bouncing from one topic to the next, diving to the bottom and dredging for new insights, new knowledge, hopeful that I can create conversation or even just spill some of this information out in order to make room for new ideas, new fixations.
Shall I end this disjointed post with a song Adam dedicated to me with an assholey smirk after one of our most recent “You’re crazy” conversations?