Friday the 13th. Obsession and 11:11
Today I opened my Facebook to a myriad of Friday the 13th posts. Personally, I have no beefs with the number 13 and as far as I know 13 has no beefs with me. I like 13 that much I flew to Europe on Friday the 13th. There is a lot of numbers out there that people either love or loathe and even movies made about obsessions with numbers and the Friday the 13th posts reminded me about experience with numbers and obsession.
Being bipolar I can be obsessive and obsess over and over on something that my minds created, people hate me, she’s cheating on me, my son thinks I’m a shit dad. I have some little recurring number obsessions as well, my main one is that on a volume control I need to have it on an even number. Most people close to me know about this stupid little obsession but they pretty much all just accept it and when changing volumes, they make sure its always an even number. So, my number obsessions are nice and small, except this one time when It wasn’t and my life was consumed by the evil maniacal mother fucker, the number 11.
Now you all might see 11:11 and say make a wish or 11:11 means good luck. But at one point in my life this number quite literally made me break down and lose my mind. The number obsession started small, every time I’d look at the clock it was 11:11, being that there is only 2 x 11:11’s in 24 hours its safe to assume there was some delusion and hallucination involved which is something ive never thought about until just now. The more I thought about it’s the more the number showed up, I noticed it in books, articles, phone numbers and even car number plates. The more It showed up the more obsessed I became with the number. I started being a mathematician to numbers Id see add to 11. I would even count letters in words to make 11 to find some weird meaning.
As the obsession for the number 11 grew the rabbit hole got deeper and I’m pretty sure I was that crazy guy in the subway in the movies with a sign saying, “THE END IS NIGH”. I started to research the number 11, I was so obsessed over a god damn number. Out of the million and one answers for what was going on my obsessed mind found the darkest one there, the number 11 is a destructive number and it is the end of all things. The word destructive itself has 11 letters. 11 was going to be my demise and the end of the world. Now I’m not going to go into detail of what I found about the number 11 and the destructive powers ect because while writing this I have Goosebumps, shivers and a gut feeling of impending doom. And I am not entertaining this obsession again because its just a fucking number. Right? I spoke to a person who follows numerology it made it worse. I think I may have spoken to my dad about it because for some reason I ended up talking to his good mate Mick about it, I don’t remember how or why or what was said during that call but my obsession stopped not long after that and I went back to normal… or at least as normal as a bipolar mid mania could have been. That experience of obsession is something I never wish to experience again. It took over my life, my thoughts and I swear if I dreamt it would have consumed those as well.
Obsession needs management.
Obsession still creeps into my life now and a gain and fucks with me sometimes a social or work thing I’ve fixated on recently I fixated on the progress of another not for profit, I know it isn’t a competition but my mind still fixated until I removed the things fuelling my obsession over it. But more often it is a numbers thing I have that recurring obsession over the volume level always being on an even number. Unfortunately, it’s just part of having Bipolar and because Bipolar will never ever go away this battle with obsession is going to keep on coming back and so management is the only thing we can do to keep it under control.
We manage obsession the best we can, by identifying it early and removing things that stimulate the obsession social media is the worst for fuelling obsession. Distraction, meditation and mindfulness are all tools we can use to keep obsession under wrap. But we need to accept that it is what it is, we are going to have obsessions because of our illness and that’s ok. Learning to accept and manage obsession and our illness in general is the best way to contain our inner subway nutter.
Ben Russoniello | ©benrussoniello2019