Standing in the Way of Control

I considered making a whole new category for this post, because I now spend so much time on here talking about things-I-think-are-wrong-with-my-life-and-how-I-should-probably-fix-them. But then that is a really long category title.

I’ve been thinking for a while that I should talk about my control “issue”. I’ve gone over my social anxieties and my general complexes and it’s been very therapeutic because everyone has problems but talking about them is difficult. Especially when you have a bit of a social anxiety thing going on. I find writing about them much easier and ultimately beneficial (even if I know my Mum reads this and it weirds me out a bit thinking that she’s inside my head. Hi Mum!)

I think a big part of why I like writing my thoughts down like this is because I really do want to engage with people – that’s why a journal that I hide under my pillow won’t cut it – but I need a level of control over what I’m saying and how I’m saying it. Which brings me on to my feature topic of the week.


When I was about 10, I refused to go to school for a couple of weeks because I was terrified that something would happen to my family while I was gone. When I did go back I had to have my Mum sit in the school library so I knew where she was. I don’t really know what happened just before the problems started, but I do know what the feeling was. It was my first real understanding that there were huge, life-changing things out there, which were just beyond my control.

I don’t worry so much about things beyond my control now, because part of being a grown-up is knowing that stuff happens and you can’t always do anything about it, and that’s fine.

But things within my control, or bordering on within my control? WELL.

I am a control freak. I’m dependent on a plan, I like to have it, stick to it, and make it the best it can be. 50% of the time that’s great, because stuff gets done at the right time, in the right way, and people have a positive response to it and it goes swimmingly. 50% of the time that’s terrible because sometimes plans change, or people let you down, and that shouldn’t be a big deal but for me it really is. I need that plan to stay sane.

I also don’t like being able to see someone else plan something badly. Friendly meet-ups with no real start time or location? My nightmare. It’s not that I don’t like the people doing the planning, or that I even think they are bad at it – they aren’t, they’re just normal. But normal amounts of planning leave space for doubts, worries and fears (which I’ll address at a later time). An airtight plan leaves none of that, and I like that. For someone who is incredibly unclear most of the time, I demand clarity above all else.

I’m slowly learning to let that all go though, and that’s good. I am accepting spontaneity (I have to in my new job, where things just happen in my general direction), and learning to quickly reset when something doesn’t quite go my way. It’s a game of peaks and troughs and I’ll never be any less of a control freak really, but that’s OK because sometimes it’s good to have a person around who gets things done, even if they are a bit picky with how they go about it.


PS – This is the first of a few posts about issues of control. I’m going to title them all with song titles because that’s what real bloggers do when they’re been cool and intense and deep. Which I obviously also am. Obviously.

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