I’m writing tonight because something great is happening here – people “get it”. Right now, that’s so necessary and meaningful. I’m inspired. Thank you!
I don’t cry. That was one of the first conversations I had with my new friend Sam. Today, Sam’s piece made me cry TWICE! This piece got to me. BIG TIME.
Where to start? Where to start? This is hard.
Okay, “What is control?”
When I Googled “control” I found about 3,020,000,000 results in 0.67 seconds. Control means to have power over something. It is when you restrain or direct influence over something/someone; regulate. It implies regulating to keep order (merriam-webster.com).
To me, control is ANYTHING that can make the chaos feel like it’s my fault. Control is what I can call on to mitigate the feeling that I can’t keep up with the chaos anymore. Control is making myself miserable because then at least I’d be responsible. I’d be in charge. Control is cultivating order at all costs. It’s doing whatever it takes to rescue the person I used to recognize as unstoppable. It’s the opposite of spinning – as in spiraling out of control.
Too often these days, there’s no clarity. It’s like everything is in a fog and I’m just barely present ever. It’s so loud and fast in my head most of the time I’m not even able to hear or focus in conversations or meetings – like I can’t listen. I can’t think! The truth is, I’m overwhelmed all the time (and angry too!). This type of persistent whirlwind is distracting and dangerous. It’s frightening and lonely. It’s my reality. I think the feeling that I can’t make it stop even if I wanted to and the fact that I’m getting used to it rather than trying to change it is what’s freaking me out.
Sam NAILED IT when he said, “I start to hate myself a little when I think about how restricting [and other forms of self-harm] like this can feel good – can feel really, really good – because it gives me this illusion that my feet are on the ground.” That’s what it is. It’s an illusion. It’s another attempt to keep up appearances and be “fine”. If I feel like I’m in control and I’m choosing it, then, to me, that makes it okay.
I’m no longer in control. That’s not okay. I’ve moved from portioning meals (let’s be real. apples, trail mix, and hard boiled eggs are snacks) so that I have enough to eat, to portioning food so I won’t over indulge. I need to control EVERYTHING that my body endures. Most days, my ENTIRE caloric intake for the day equates to less than a single meal or has, imperatively, been dissipated by an intensive cardio workout – a workout which eases my mind, boosts my mood, and puts ME back in control . That’s not control. For now, I’ll call it organized chaos.
The appearance of control is deceptive. It makes me SO feel good. It’s when I experience the kind of fast, logical, coherent, intentional thinking I crave – the mentality I miss. The good days mess with me! They make me think “it isn’t really that bad”. I can justify this; I can make it rational. If it’s rational, it’s alright. If the fury can be tamed it’s fine. I’m fine.
I’m fine. I’m fine.
Have I convinced anyone besides myself?
10 thoughts on “What is Control?”
Thanks! I definitely will let him know. 🙂
You should let him know! Positive feedback is always appreciated. I know when I wrote about things that are REALLY honest and vulnerable hearing from others and knowing it’s not just me makes me feel less scared to keep writing.
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I relate so much to your feelings about control. For me, it generally manifests in the form of various compulsions; my way of trying to gain external control when I have none inside. Also the thing about being deceived by the good days–SO frustrating.
Coincidently, I just discovered Sam’s blog yesterday. I agree that his writing is amazing, and I love how he talks about both mental health and LGBT issues, both topics I am passionate about. 🙂