November 18th, 2343
I feel I should explain that I am a naturally obsessive person. Some people call it Obsessive Personality Type, but I don’t really like that label. I just think about it as my brain is extra-thorough. I have to think and think and think about something before I declare it Thought Over and can drop it, and sometimes it’s not even that easy.
You know when you get a song stuck in your head and no matter how hard you try, it will not go away? They call it ‘earworm’. I have what I call “chronic earworm”. At all times, I have a track of music running in the background behind all my other thoughts. It never ceases, but it does change frequently, depending on what I’ve heard lately. On Earth, when I used to wake up to an alarm, by brain would latch onto the grating, droning buzz of the alarm and repeat it to me for hours after I woke up. Every single morning when the alarm went off. I eventually trained myself to wake a few minutes before the alarm went off, but then my mind would just imagine the sound and off it would go. I made the mistake of telling a therapist this once and they promptly told me “You know that’s an obsessive trait, right?” as if I should just stop it already.
When I find something I’m interested in, look out. I will obsess and obsess and obsess. If I read a good book, I have to think about it for about as long as it took me to read it, because my mind is still pondering it. A good video does the same thing. When I find music I like, I listen to it almost exclusively until everyone around me begs me to put something else on. Then I just switch to headphones and keep listening.
When I was a kid, I would play terminal games until I could play them perfectly all the way through without making a single mistake. Long after all my friends were sick of that game, I would still be obsessing on it, sometimes for years afterwards.
I don’t do anything about my obsessiveness because it’s so benign, and the treatment is so heavy-handed in comparison (read: drugs). Frankly, I don’t want it to go away because I find it helpful. As screwed up as I am from past trauma, I would never have been able to continue schooling without the ability to put my head down and really tackle a problem. I would never have been able to do the necessary research involved in creating one’s own AI without my obsessiveness. And, of course, the necessary concentration to actually do so was boosted by my ability to not be able to think of anything else.
Of course, it also gets me in trouble. Holding down relationships with other people is always a challenge for me, since I’m always lost in my own world, obsessing over this or that (or this and that). Worse, sometimes I obsess over that person, and suddenly I appear needy, clingy and generally over-enthusiastic. Either way, it drives people crazy, and eventually drives them away.
But I am who I am, and I can’t really help that. My predilection for obsession is who I am and it’s not really my fault that very few people can deal with it. If they can’t deal with me being obsessive, they’re probably not a good fit for me anyway.
I bring this all up only because right now my brain is obsessing over this strange dream I keep having. I’m big, then I’m small, then I’m old, then I’m young, then I’m dead, then I’m alive. It’s just… Weird. I’ve been having it for a couple weeks now, and, of course, I just can’t stop thinking about it. This has happened to me before, and it always goes away eventually, so I’m not really worried about it, but it did start me obsessing on obsession, so I thought I’d write about it. Maybe now my brain will let it go…
I’m not holding my breath though…