I’m watching the UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship) fights with my brother Ed. We love hanging out once a month to watch the mma skills and have fun chatting and talking smack. We usually go to a bar where there is a TV in each corner. I do ok in this environment. I’ve learned to just pick a spot and stick to one TV.
Unfortunately, our regular bar can no longer afford the $1200 the UFC wants to show the fights. (Astonishing!) So I’m here at a Buffalo Wild Wings. The people are nice- the TV is huge and I can actually hear the commentators. It’s going to be packed.
My bipolar brain.
As you can see from the picture below, there isn’t one TV in a corner. There are TVs on every wall showing different channels. This leads to what I call:
Bipolar Swivel Head
My brain goes into overdrive and keeps looking at all of the TVs as though it’s going to miss something important. I- the real me- know that I simply need to focus on the large TV in front of me, but my brain doesn’t care what I want.
This leads to big time ADD symptoms, some anxiety and trouble enjoying the evening. And my brother isn’t even here to join me yet!
I know that visual overstimulation is the problem- it’s happened watching World Cup soccer friendlies last week. It’s very, very uncomfortable and I have to figure out what to do.
I know that having the kind of glasses they put on horses who have to walk in the city would help. It’s not the sound that’s bothering me as much as the constant visual change on the screens. I actually rolled up a menu and looked through it to see if it made a difference if I could block out the screens on the side.
I’m sure my brother would love it if I spent the evening looking through a menu tube.
What can I do?
The first step is the most important- I realize that this is a trigger for me. I’m not drinking, so that’s not an issue. I’m not meeting new people and I will be home around 10:15, so my sleep won’t be compromised.
The next step is to keep my eyes focused on the big screen. It has to be a conscious decision. When the swivel head starts, I must physically get my head back in a straight ahead position.
This may seem like overkill, but if I don’t take care of this now, the evening will be one of nervousness and anxiety which means even more trouble getting to sleep.
I won’t come back here next time- but I’m here now and I don’t want to tap out of my evening before it has even started. Ha!