Spontaneity: real or symptom?

Staring into the mirror today I realized the greys are coming in fast and furious.  While considering what colour I should dye my hair this week, I then consider when the last time I even went for a haircut was?  Too long ago is the truthful answer.  Again I marvel at the power of vanity.  I don’t have enough greys to really matter, no one will notice unless they are looking for them. Yet I count each strand as if it was the last few dollars in the bank a month before payday.

As I contemplate calling for a haircut I remember back to the last one. I took a chance on a new stylist and wasn’t immediately impressed. She did a great job, providing just what I had asked for, but it was a dramatic change and I wasn’t in the right mood. Two days later however, styled in just the way I wanted, I felt like my old self. Confidence that was long lost now had suddenly returned. In a spontaneous moment I purchased a Thank You card and a gift card to a local coffee shop. My simple way of saying thank you, and spreading the joy that I felt, finally after so long.

I laugh to myself now.  Now I recognize the spontaneity of my life as a symptom of my illness.  The desire to share and reward people around me, in usually a spontaneous nature, is not necessarily who I am rather it is my illness.  Which is a part of me, so maybe it is me?  Looking back I question these spontaneous surprises and rewards that scattered my daily life.  Now I can see them as my personal version of “risky behaviour”.  Risky only in the fact they always involved money and unplanned spending.  Being generous has always been my Achilles heel.  Turns out I was rarely aware of what was happening, and less likely in control.  An incredible desire to give to others takes over, it is all I can focus on, making someone else’s day and rarely does the cost cross my mind.

This was commonplace during my childhood.  My mom would come home with a feel good surprise because it was a Tuesday.  Flowers, candy, a new movie on VHS, a new book, or a trip for a manicure.  Things that made me feel special and loved.  We didn’t celebrate Valentines, it was too Hallmark and too expensive.  If you wanted to show someone you love them then why wait for one specific day of the year?  Every day, any day is a good day to show your appreciation, love and affection for others.

These thoughts have inspired a neurotic and negative view of my future. Staring at the new grey strands of hair today, I recognized my spontaneity as a symptom. This makes me question if I will ever be happy. Up until now I’ve held out hope that the person I chose as a partner would share the same values as me. One of them being spontaneous and showing love and affection in fun and surprising ways. ‘I was picking up groceries and remembered you like daisies, these are for you’ type gestures. They don’t have to be expensive, but sincere and unexpected. Just because.

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Now I question whether that person exists. If they do, will they only exist if they are just like me? Do these people exist without suffering the same mental illness that I do? Is spontaneity just a symptom for everyone? And if not, what does that mean for my future?

This is where I start to second guess everything . I’m an extremely independent person, always have been. Very few people have been given the opportunity to actually take care of me, fewer still have done so without my finally asking for help, a rarity in itself. Thus I already feel like a burden to the people in my life, and the idea of feeling like a burden in a relationship is more than I can handle. But on the other hand is the idea of being in another relationship with someone who doesn’t share my values, one being spontaneous honest displays of affection.

I question whether I’m strong enough right now for a relationship when I struggle with the give and take idea. Giving is a given for me, but on a time clock that can’t be measured. The take side feeds into my concern of proper take versus being a burden, and if that spontaneous person is just like me, well I’m not sure I have enough give to quell their fears of being a burden either.

Why these thoughts suddenly take hold is unknown to me. Why they persist when I deem them to be stupid and not worth the effort of thought is another unknown. I recognize that I have all the time in the world to figure this out, and to find a partner. Today doesn’t have to be that day, and certainly isn’t the right time for me to be making this type of life decision.

But being stuck in my own spiral, I would love to hear your thoughts on being spontaneous. Can someone actually be spontaneous or is something larger at play? Do you see hope for those living with mental illness to find love, partnership and happiness? I would love to gather ideas and opinions on the subject.

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