I am a chronic fixater. I admit it. And I’m working on it. That being said, it happens pretty often and when it does it affects me much like I would imagine some kind of dark, life sucking parasite would affect one’s brain and mood: leeching on, burrowing in and draining your metal energy. Bit by bit. Usually it starts with just a seedling of a thought… that then slowly, but surely, grows in to a full fledged, nagging conspiracy theory. That is, after you’ve nourished it with enough painstaking skepticism, elaboration and convolution. Once you’ve successfully graduated that seedling in to a wholly formulated and seemingly sane notion– with all the loose ends tied and all your reasons rationalized– there you have it. Your fixation has come to life!
At this point you’re feeling the growing knots of despair in the pit of your stomach– I like to call them anxiety tornadoes– and the feelings of “craziness.” That thing is tossed and turned in your mind a million different ways, constantly. It’s unnerving and weighs on your mind and soul. All the sudden you’re on a one way train only traveling deeper and deeper in your own head. Your head is flooded with thoughts. It’s a disaster zone. Thoughts on thoughts on thoughts! Basically making you feel just sh*tty. You’re unsettled and irritated that you know you’ve latched on to something emotionally. Whether or not you know it is actually important you simply cannot let it go. Because that parasite has anchored itself on to your psyche. It’s not leaving. Instead of just vanishing away like you pray it would, into oblivion and out of your head, it just got comfortable. Something needs to be resolved asap.
Personally, when I get fixated on something I tend to write out all my feelings about said thing and physically organize my thoughts on paper. To me, I feel clearer in the mind afterwards. I underline, capitalize or bullet point stuff. It’s like I’m taking out the trash. The trash being the fixation and accompanying menacing thoughts clouding my brain and messing with my emotions. SO MANY EMOTIONS! I write about every part of the fixation- how it started, why I might feel the way I do, details and tangents or why I felt this thing was so important… pretty much a thought explosion on to paper. It’s very cathartic in the sense that everything’s out, visible and is something I can look back on if need be. It’s recorded and officially stored in the Chelsea Davis journal of life. It helps me let go and move on, while still feeling like I reached a solid conclusion. It’s fleshed out and understood, and while it’s “let go,” it’s not just some unfinished business that gets repressed and forgotten about until one day, BAM. It’s back to f-up your life like some awful horror sequel!
Now, sometimes writing isn’t good enough. I neeedddd to talk it out!!! After talking with someone who really understands me I almost 100% of the time feel better. So if you have a friend who’s a chronic fixater like me, or just someone who may be trippin’ over something continually- without an end in sight and you see it’s crushing her- here’s a short guide to being the friend that actually helps the problem, rather than one who alienates the person.
1) Be understanding. Never say the words, “You’re being crazy!” Because honestly, when has that statement ever helped? Never. Don’t make someone feel dumb or embarrassed to be stuck on something. Even if it is admittedly pointless or inconsequential. Chances are either a) your friend deep down knows this and feels stupid she’s so hung up on it; or b) there’s actually some important reason this thing isn’t being dropped- just neither of you know it yet. There is nothing greater than a friend who can not only listen to you- and pay attention- but also can identify with you and help you feel understood.
2) Be reassuring. Sometimes the most obvious things need to be said out loud. Say what they need to hear. At times, say what they want to hear. Now, I’m not saying lie to them, but if you need to point out the most obvious facts to them- verbally- for them to get the picture do it! There are times when I need facts stated to me so matter-of-factedly, that to anyone else it would seem like I’m being talked down to. Like I’ve completely lost any sense of reality and I need the basic facts spoon fed to me. #fixatedlife
3) Be patient. This is pretty self explanatory, but so crucial. Freaking shut up and listen until they’re done talking! Sometimes, I’m not satisfied until I’ve explained something at least 4-6 different ways, until I feel like I really got my point across. I like to paint detailed pictures of what I’m freaking out about to whoever’s listening- that way they’re on the same insane page as I’m on!
4) Stay calm and keep it as logical as possible. As a friend, find any way to rationally meet questions with their appropriate answers, based off facts and reasoning. Not emotion. Facts are facts, and as stubborn as I am, even I have trouble refuting truths. Although my boyfriend may argue otherwise.
5) Ultimately, know when to shut it down. After all is said and done, sometimes all you can do is shut it down. Cut. It. Out. Do whatever it takes to help your friend’s mind get off that hype! Distractions, outtings, tv or, one of my favorite past times, eating… And just remember any time you spend needlessly freaking out, that is to say, once you’ve thought about it through and through, is time you can spend doing things you love, being productive or being just deep down happy and well in the mind 🙂
…with that I say fixate no more!