I recently had a conversation with someone about my need to control practically everything in my life: my relationships, other folks’ relationships with each other, with me and more. Needless to say I pushed back and denied this trait. Unfortunately after several examples I had to admit there was some (and maybe more than some) truth to the assessment of my behavior.
Why do I try to control everything? Well, part of it is my OCD for peace and stability around me and my intense desire for *everyone* in my life to be happy but in reality a lot of it is driven by fear. I worry about most everything and often live in that way, worrying about the other foot falling, like life can’t possibly ever be and stay good.
There’s always someone reminding the world that change is coming, right? Well I tend to default that as something negative. Not such a great approach as it doesn’t lend itself to a positive life, which can easily lead to spiraling into depression. Sometimes there is an aspect of paranoia about what’s coming next and its impact on me and those I care about. Other times it’s just plain old rumination on stupid things like whether or not everyone will eat or like it whatever I’m making for dinner. Other times it’s over important things like whether or not we have enough resources and the well-being of those I care about the most. If I lose contact with someone then I really worry, often. It’s not the best way to live as far as I can tell.
Ultimately I want everything in my life to look like my dream. Unfortunately that intense desire often backfires. Instead I end up overwhelming myself with expectations that are more than I should have taken on and do nothing rather than try to attack the reality of my responsibilities. It’s not that I want to live like that of course but most of the time it’s my default and frankly I’m not sure how to change it. That’s where therapy comes in.
Not everyone believes in therapy and its benefits but I’m a huge fan. It gives me space to vent and also learn new skills to help manage my symptoms and cycles. So far in my life I’ve had a few different professionals and although not all have been a great fit I’ve found out a lot about myself along the way, but that’s for another blog post.
Next up: Identity & Bipolar