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The Obsessive Mind

Ever since I can remember, I’d get these mini obsessions. Not the creepy stalker kind of obsession. Just a hang-up. Mostly a topic that my brain just couldn’t get enough of.

Starting in primary school, I was obsessed with boys. ‘Boy crazy’ my mother called it. All I could think of was boys, boys, boys. Having a boy like me. Having a boyfriend. Getting married.

Luckily my innate shyness kept me from chasing boys. But I worshipped and longed for them from afar.

Looking back, I think I was simply bored. Cursed with a mind that races 24/7, my brain requires food and a lot of it. It needs something to race about. Boys fit the bill for many years. Boys were my first obsession.

Then I met Rhys. The obsession was satisfied but my mind continued to race. I needed a new source of mental food, a topic to grind on to keep the old grey matter occupied.

As a new wife, cleaning became my next obsession. Cleaning, cleaning, cleaning. But that wasn’t enough either. After all, I certainly didn’t want to end up like my Nan who spend her whole life talking about dust, complaining about dust, fighting dust until, in the end, she became dust herself. ‘Ashes to ashes, dust to dust’.

So I rationed myself. I did a normal amount of cleaning each week but obsessed about cleaning even when I wasn’t physically doing it. How do you clean brickwork round the fireplace? I don’t know either. Hoovering seemed inadequate. It crumbled under my scrubbing brush. Yet I continued to obsess about possible pockets of filth, corners of dirt.

Now I realise this obsession had nothing to do with cleanliness iitself and everything to do with my need to keep this racing mind fed. The obsession doesn’t matter. The topic doesn’t matter as long as my mind has mental fodder, i.e. an obsession.

As I wrote in my last blog post, grooming went from being a daily necessity to being an obsession that cost me thousands of pounds and much unhappiness. Not realising I was already overgroomed, I aspired to greater heights of grooming, cleanliness, hair removal, makeup, hair, nails. Enough was never enough. The obsession was never satisfied. I never felt well groomed enough.

That’s when it occurred to me that this had nothing to do with hygiene or grooming but everything to do with my constant need to keep my brain fed.

The particular obsession doesn’t matter. What matters is providing grist for the brain mill. Hence my obsessions.

This new knowledge provided the perspective I so badly needed. A breath of fresh air. Suddenly, I could see my Obsession-of-the-Moment for what it was: brain food. The fever had broken.

I’m finally able to understand that I have an obsessive mind. That’s just how I’m wired.

With knowledge comes power. The power to live deliberately. To recognize obsessions for what they are, so they don’t rule my life.

I can’t change the mind I was given. But I sure can change my behaviours. My obsessions no longer control me. They are my servant, not my master.

The Obsessive Mind


Ivy Blonwyn

Ivy Blonwyn is a Welsh freelance writer and photographer. She and her husband have been trying, unsuccessfully, to start a family for several years. Ivy can relate to the pain, confusion, jealousy and sense of injustice that accompanies infertility. But she also knows the pain of being a step-mother to children who’s vindictive birth mother has systematically employed Parental Alienation to distance them from their birth-father, Ivy’s husband, Rhys. Her articles, often illustrated with her photos, are intended to validate and comfort those who suffer from infertility, Parental Alienation and the pain of sexual abuse. She finds solace in indulging her passion for plein air photography during long tramps with her husband through the fields, hills and castles of Cardiff. Follow Ivy on Facebook at www.facebook.com/fullheartemptyarms or contact her at ivyblonwyn@gmail.com.


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APA Reference
Blonwyn, I. (2019). The Obsessive Mind. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 23, 2019, from https://blogs.psychcentral.com/full-heart/2019/10/the-obsessive-mind/

 

Last updated: 1 Oct 2019
Statement of review: Psych Central does not review the content that appears in our blog network (blogs.psychcentral.com) prior to publication. All opinions expressed herein are exclusively those of the author alone, and do not reflect the views of the editorial staff or management of Psych Central. Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.