Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Sensory Stimulation

Is this a bipolar thing, or is this a Jon thing?

I need sensory stimulation. Always have. If I sit down, I reach for whatever is within reach to read. These days I have a computer within reach of virtually every chair I use. If it's not a computer, or book, then it's TV. And music is a given - it's always on. I used to even go to bed with headphones on. When we were dating, many years ago, my wife used to hide all reading material in her house so she could have my undivided attention.

When I sit outside and relax in the sunshine, it's with a cigar and a drink. To do it completely empty handed would be unthinkable. When I'm camping, it's the same way. I'm smoking a cigar while tying hair rigs and staring at my fishing pole. When I'm walking or biking, I'm scanning the grass, and the woods, and the trees for some sign of wildlife. I'm looking in the creeks and lakes for a glimpse of a fish. If it's just grass, I look for snakes to watch or catch. When I'm sitting on the stool, I'm reading or playing minesweeper on my handheld. I'm either being bombarded with stimulii, or I'm asleep.

There are 2 exceptions to this. Kind of. When I lay down to sleep these days, I relish the time. It's an opportunity for my mind to bombard me with stimulii. I just relax and open up my mind and see where it takes me. It's still sensory stimulation, but done internally. And when I shower, I use that time to think. I used to set up a boombox for every shower, now it's purely mind time. Of course, I can do that because my senses are being soothed by the warm water beating down.

I watch others sit down, relax, and just zone out. I can't do that. I don't envy them, I just don't understand them. There is so much to do and experience, why do nothing?

So - is this typical? Or is this just Jon accustomed to a life more hypomanic than not?

8 comments:

gen said...

i'm the same way.. i constantly have to be doing something. there is always something going on around me.

The Queen said...

I am the same way, Jon. I cannot just sit and zone. I drive my family nuts..LOL

Mr. 12 Step said...

I have to be doing something all the time too. Even when I'm watching television, I'm doing a crossword puzzle or something.

Maggs said...

I have to keep doing something all the time *unless* I'm in a major depressive state. Then I'm numb.

Mermaid Girl said...

My daughter is a gifted child and she is extra sensory. Everything you described is like her behaviour patterns.

Sometimes it is exhausting watching her!!

MG

lysie6211 said...

I have some sort of sensory going on at all times. When I sleep it has to be music, tv or even the sound of a fan. It's because of this that my P-Doc thinks I'm a little bi-po...I have other tendencies too but so far they just claim me as 'clinicaly depressed' what the fuck ever.

jane said...

I think I have to keep my mind occupied, but I can't have things with words going when I read. Like I can't have the radio on or tv when I'm reading. I don't know if it's a bipolar thing, we're each so different.

Jon said...

Thanks, all, for the comments.

Jane, I think you hit the nail on the head: We're all so different.

The ideas are churning, I'm going to have to write this one...