Control… My Imperfection

My Imperfection – My Need for Control

yung-chang-108329-unsplash.jpgFor those that follow my regular blog posts, I often talk about control–or more to the point when I lose control when my anxiety spirals into a panic attack.

It is the worst feeling in the world for me because I crave control in all things in this life. It is my imperfection, and sometimes I wish that my life was more perfect (I am a perfectionist as well, but lately I have relinquished some of those feelings. Those seconds, minutes, and even hours where I lose control of myself during a panic attack is what I describe as the worst thing to live through in my mind. Many people say give into the anxiety and relinquish the control. I wish life were that easy.

I have always been this way. When I worked on my bachelor’s degree, I had to be the best in the class. It is a type of control I crave. When you’re the smartest person in the class, it means a lot–at least in my mind. I was like that in everything in this life, but the bad parts of being this way are what always got me into trouble. When things go wrong in my life, it brings me down, and I had to learn through therapy.

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Working This Out in Therapy

When talking to my therapist it the idea of “control” often comes up in my sessions. In truth, it feels like it comes up in every session at times. I need a set schedule each moment from the time I open my eyes. My days are generally planned, and I go into a major panic mode when people ask me to go outside my usual comfort zone and do things on a whim. I am not a whimsical human being. I think my need to control is why I do better in individual therapy over group because there I have no control. With my therapist, I can decide where the conversation goes and often my therapist that “You’re too hard on yourself James.”

That is where working on yourself comes into play. I am still struggling with the “need” to have control, but I have been working on it. I think as humans we get caught up in our imperfections because they make you feel good. It is an area that you believe that makes you stronger, and there is nothing wrong with that in my opinion. Still, it can also hinder you because when things go wrong, it could lead to a dangerous spiral into depression or anxiety. Therapy helps.

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Makings of Real Change

What got me back on track was earlier this year in the middle of a bad depression cycle that lasted from March to early May.

I could feel myself losing control of all the parts of my life. As I spiraled it helped to write here on my blog and I could see the trend. Instead of continuing to get down on myself I sought out help from my therapist. I realized that wanting control was making me spiral and I gave up when life got too hard (not completely, I was still in school but I was doing just enough to get by.) Things really changed after that and while I still hate losing control during a panic attack I have somewhat learned to accept it. That something I can work on in the coming year.

What are things that you struggle with or consider imperfections, and how does it affect your mental health?

Stay strong my friends.

Always Keep Fighting

James

Photo Credit:

Patryk Grądys

Yung Chang

Kira auf der Heide

Jonathan Rados

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12 Replies to “Control… My Imperfection”

  1. I find that the more I don’t have control in my life (ex. my son’s mental health) the more I try to control other things. I too am a perfectionist. It makes me great at my job, but it can sometimes be exhausting; especially coupled with my OCD. AKF! And on’t forget to celebrate progress.

  2. I also want to control and be perfect. The trends you pointed out are situations I see in my life.

    I even realized that I don’t try some things because I can’t be the best, not because it can’t be perfect.

    The latest ‘trick’ that’s helping me is to not allow things to pile up. I am doing all the dishes before bed and sorting laundry when it is done drying. I am putting my shoes and coat away instead of on a chair. I take a misplaced object with me when I leave a room and put it in its place.

    In writing, I take the opposite approach. I ensure that I start something and leave enough direction that I can continue later. I can’t yet do this with poetry, because the feeling I convey in a poem needs to be that one at that time, but waiting and revisiting helps the other writing.

  3. James, thanks for your post, I can definitely relate, for me, sometimes my “control” manifested itself as (low level) OCD, which sometimes would create high levels of anxiety over time (six months to a year) I would usually then self medicate (usually booze and stimulant drug) to relive that trapped feeling of anxiety and the all consuming feeling of doing something over and over.. Till this day, I struggle to find my window of peace in daily life. I think I will find IT!, but if I don’t I certainly will try to enjoy my roller coaster life. While I do have a certain level of envy of people who go through life on an even keel, I have known for a long time, this is not my path. In some respects, that is a good thing. My UPS have provided me with alot of great memories, my DOWNS have taught me alot about myself. I try to enjoy the ups and take the downs w/ a grain of salt! (we are all human!) Be well my Friend!

  4. Would you have any interest in writing/working together? A lot of your ideas are great, I have noticed many people struggle with similar things. Let me know what you think. We write a lot about mental health, the world, etc.

  5. Control – this is exactly what I struggle with the most. My OCD derives from my childhood – as my parents always drove me up the wall to be “perfect”. As I got older, it started to manifest in a way where perfectionism became my obsession, and I wanted to control everything. My therapist also always tells me how I am so hard on myself! I am slowly seeing how that may be the case, but it’s still a working progress.

    1. We are always works in progress. It is such an obsession for me as well. It gets tough sometimes. Keep fighting Haelim, we both will get better at not letting perfection overtake us.

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