This Bipolar Life: My God Complex

First, let me say I have never once thought I was actually God. I just sort of play one in my mind. How? By trying to control my environment and, if I care about you, I’ll try to influence yours too if I think I’m being helpful. I’m here to tell you that this doesn’t work. At all. Anywhere, anytime, or with anyone. I’ve never thought of it as controlling until recently but now I see it as such. This behavior pattern is very common in people with bipolar. I’m not alone. That still doesn’t make it okay.

Looking back I can see now that even when I think it did, it really didn’t. Apparently I am only able to control me and my choices. Odd concept, right? You’d think at my age I’d have figured this out well before now but apparently it took some serious consequences before it really hit home. Here’s my journey to the discovery of my broken and off-kilter approach to this concept:

For years, my whole life come to think of it, I’ve had this intense desire to “save the world”. After much introspection I’ve realized that I do this for two reasons: first, I do have a true desire to leave the world a better place but second and perhaps more importantly, I do things to get people to like me. That’s right. I said it. I’m putting it out there. I’m selfish. What I do to improve my world and yours is basically designed, however unintentionally, to encourage people to like me. In retrospect it appears to be something I desperately desired and apparently would actively interfere with others’ lives in order to achieve, however unaware I was at the time.

Interestingly enough even the concept of someone not liking me is still alien. In my sometimes irrational mind I just don’t get it. I see myself as a generally likable person and find it odd and disconcerting when I’m genuinely not liked. I didn’t realize this until recently when I made some choices while trying to play God and save everyone from themselves (as I saw it anyway) that hurt people I cared about and now they truly don’t like me, with good reason. I violated those relationships by sticking my nose in where it didn’t belong and trying to control situations. Why? Simply because I arrogantly thought I was going “help” and “make things better” – for what? Now I’ve simply achieved the opposite of my (now apparent) goal to be liked and hurt several people in the process. Exactly what I would never want.

As I mentioned above, I have discovered I have a deep need to be liked and I think that’s what has driven a lot of my attempts to control people and situations rather than stepping back and letting people run their own lives. I guess I just kept thinking that if I could be “the problem solver” and “make everything okay” for everyone that I would be the hero and thus, everyone would like me. I want to save the day and then collect the gold star. I’m not sure what that’s called but I’m sure it’s not good – probably narcissism or something along those lines. Whatever personality trait that is I know I don’t want it anymore.

I intend to make better decisions going forward and, while I might find satisfaction in “playing God” when it works, I am standing here to testify that in my experience, when it doesn’t work it fails badly and the collateral damage can be intense and overwhelmingly devastating. I will no longer be this way and to achieve that I am actively taking steps to learn new skills and improve my ability to see potential damage before I take action. With luck and hard work I am confident I will make better choices going forward and, hopefully, cause less damage along the way.

I will become the person I wish I’d been all along.

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