My Secret to Writing: A Manic Mind
It's not what you'd expect
My secret to writing great articles is something not many people can replicate. It's something I can't control and it's something I would gladly get rid of if I could. Don't get me wrong, when this secret tool rears it's ugly head I gladly take advantage of it.
I just wish there were another way.
So What's My Secret?
My secret to building great squidoo lenses is having Borderline Personality Disorder (or BPD). In case you're wondering, BPD is a mental condition. That's why you can't replicate it. That's why it's unpredictable and why I can't control it. That's why I don't want it.
But I have it and I've accepted that fact. I even try to see the glass as half full by using my symptoms to better my life.
Symptoms of BPD
- Frantic efforts to avoid real or imagined abandonment.
- Pattern of unstable and intense interpersonal relationships characterized by alternating between extremes of idealization and devaluation (generally called splitting).
- Identity disturbance: markedly and persistently unstable self-image or sense of self.
- Impulsivity in at least two areas that are potentially self-damaging (e.g. spending, sex, substance abuse, reckless driving, binge eating).
- Recurrent suicidal behavior, gestures or threats, or self-mutilating behavior.
- Affective instability due to a marked reactivity of mood.
- Chronic feelings of emptiness.
- Inappropriate, intense anger or difficulty controlling anger.
- Transient, stress, related paranoid ideation or severe dissociative symptoms.
People with borderline personality disorder are always in a state of uncertainty; one minute they are upbeat and happy, the next they become sulky and highly irritable.
How BPD Helps Me
The upbeat and happy part helps me. It's called mania. When I'm manic, my mind starts racing and I come up with all sorts of ideas for articles and great content. All I can think is "How can I make it better?".
So I add-add-add more content.
18 of my 'manic' articles have even
been awarded purple stars!
Mania Isn't Always Helpful
In real life, being manic sucks! Anything can trigger it.
~Going to the store.
~Having my husbands friends come over.
~Job hunting or, god forbid, having a job interview
~Just being happy or getting excited
~Knowing a special event is coming up
~Getting some good news
~Talking on the phone
When people see me being manic in person, they tell me I act like I'm on Meth. I talk really fast (so fast I trip over my words). I'm shaky. My mind races so fast, sometimes I can't even form a functional sentence. It really affects my personal life.
For instance, during a recent job interview, I was being asked questions about certain past job experience. It went something like this:
INTERVIEWER: Tell me about a time when you had a poor performance review. How did you react?
ME: (talking super-fast) Ummm. Ok. 3 years ago when I was working construction I would always ask my boss how to do things if I was well I didn't know what I was doing when I started I always do what the boss tells me to do I'd ask how to do certain things and he would show me and I'd do them I even got a bunch of raises because I kept learning new things and I'm usually good at whatever I try to learn so even if I don't do something right at first I always learn the right way. (takes a deep breath. looks like a deer caught in headlights) I'm sorry. I'm really nervous.
Notice how my answer had nothing to do with the question? I was so manic, I couldn't think straight. Thankfully, the interviewer realized I was nervous and small-talked until I calmed down a little. So I was able to finish the interview with a little more decorum.
How BPD Hurts Me
It's the sulky and highly irritable part that hurts me. It's called depression. If I'm depressed, I have trouble thinking up ideas for articles. Plus, what little content I come up with isn't written very well. If I ask myself
"How can I make this article better?"
the answer is
"I don't know".
All my 'depressed' articles rank low.
This book has been a life saver (and probably a marriage saver too). Through the book I was able to understand more about my symptoms and why I'm like this. Completing the exercises is giving me the skills needed to understand my triggers, spot the warning signs and prevent certain episodes from even happening. In fact one of the biggest struggles I dealt with is all but gone now.
Why Is This Article Black and White?
A borderline tends to see everything in black and white.
Things are either wrong or right.
Something is either good or it's bad.
People are either angels or devils.
There's no gray area, no in-between.
And our opinions on what's wrong or right, good or bad and angelic or devilish
can change in an instant.
Photos and text; Â© 2010-2013 Catherine Taylor. All Rights Reserved
Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.