Illusion of control

22 Nov

Today’s session with T was a bit varied, but I brought up the idea that I am not afraid of change, but rather of the unknown. She agreed with me that it is different, though there is some underlying fear of the unknown with change. But we ended up touching again on the illusion of control…and the illusion of being prepared for change.

Okay, I wrote that paragraph two weeks ago, but did not follow up on the post because I wasn’t sure what I wanted to say. I saw T again today and I’m going to try to think about what we discussed. After pleasantries, I said to her with a clap of my hands, I have something I want to talk about. I rarely ever, if ever, say that. Normally we just roll into a conversation and whatever is on my mind comes out. But I’ve spent the last two weeks thinking about control, the illusion of control, how to let GO of control, and the like. And it’s been bugging the ever-loving shit out of me. I am a control freak. I like to be IN control. I often will do things with the thought that if I don’t, it won’t get done and everything will break down. I use control as a way to keep my anxiety in check. I get that. I totally get it. Thanks. So now what?

I said to T, how do I practice letting go of control? I told her I’ve practiced many other things, and we’ve discussed how to practice other things–distraction, mindfulness, thankfulness–but how do I “practice” letting go of control. I see where wanting to be in control is tied to my anxiety, but I don’t know where to go from there. So T looks at me and says, hmm, interesting question. *rolls eyes* After some thought, she asked me of the things I like to be in control of, what is a low-level issue? And we discussed it, and she told me to practice not doing what makes me feel in control. Literally, or figuratively, turn my back and let it go. Think about what’s the worst case scenario and what would be the results or consequences of that worst case scenario. It’s is very similar to my anxiety practice, I guess. But seriously, just “let go” and see what happens. I’m not really sure how to address that.

So I asked her, because it has been bugging me, how do you give up control and still be responsible? I mean, who is going to do the things that need to be done if I’m over there practicing “letting go”? Because after 22 years with Hub, I know he is not going to pick up the slack on certain things. He would, in fact, continue to ignore lots of things because they are not important to him. So how will the things get done? T told me that I need to find the line as to what I can “let go” without my world tumbling down around me. Obviously, bills need to be paid. The dogs need to be fed. We need to buy groceries. But how all these things get done are up for “debate” so-to-speak. And whether they have to be done the way *I* do them is also debatable. And here’s the thing…Hub has ADD. So there are things that don’t cross his field of vision…and T tells me that they likely never will, because of how his brain works. And she literally said to me, he’s never going to change. And she told me that generally the person who “care less” about doing something generally holds more power in the balance regarding that issue. And she tells me that this is why those issues get me so upset…because HE holds the control. And being the control freak that I am, I HATE THAT. **ARG**

T indicated that I need to make a list of things that I feel I need to control and start with the lowest level issue and try letting that one go. I said I would practice it and see how it goes. And at some point I guess I need to sit and talk to Hub about how he can help me, when it’s possible for him to do so.

Something that upset me, though, was that T told me she didn’t think I’d be able to let go of my anxieties. She told me I was holding onto them too tightly and she didn’t think that would ever change. I do feel that I’ve worked hard and made a LOT of changes. I know that there are anxieties that are hard for me to release–like my health anxieties–but I don’t let them affect me as much as they used to. It was kind of devastating to hear her say that, and I’m not sure if she really believes it or if she’s trying to nudge me forward in a way. I didn’t bother to argue with her, but it was painful to hear.

We touched briefly on my need to know things. My need to ask questions and know how things work. People, equipment…it doesn’t matter, I just want to know. She told me she understood how it served me because of my career and that I have a “science” mind. It’s interesting, because I hate science, and I don’t think of myself as having that kind of mind.

Anyway, it was a very interesting session and I wanted to be able to get it down in my blog so I didn’t forget it. And so that I can refer back to it again in the future. Meanwhile, I stopped at the post office to mail a bunch of packages, then I came home. And then I backed my vehicle into my garage door (and the molding around the garage). Damaged the molding and the garage door. Broke a lens on the brake light of the SUV and damaged the bumper. Fuck.


Posted by on November 22, 2013 in anxiety, control, questions, therapist, thinking


Tags: , , , ,

6 responses to “Illusion of control

  1. joeyfullystated

    November 22, 2013 at 11:18 pm

    Bummer about the parking incident.

    I don’t think I’d want to hear that I couldn’t let go of my anxieties. I think that’s a really defeating thing to say to a patient, especially when you’ve come so far…

    • meANXIETYme

      November 24, 2013 at 7:22 pm

      Yeah, the whole thing with parking my car sucked. I’m not keen on backing IN to anywhere, but the way our garage and driveway are situated, it seemed easier to back IN to my spot than to back OUT. So I’ve been successful for the few weeks at backing into the parking spot, but this time I think I just hit the gas pedal harder than I expected and made a horrible noise and messed up the garage door and the parking/reverse lights. Fortunately, repairing the garage door so that it WORKS was less than $100 and replacing the rear light (the whole damn assembly!) was less than $40. The dent in the garage sucks, but it doesn’t mess with the function of the door. I’m still waiting on a price to replace two of the four garage panels, but I suspect it will be out of our budget considering Hub’s job issues.

      It was kind of defeating to hear from my therapist that she thought I wouldn’t be able to let go of some of my anxieties. I am still on the fence about confronting her about it. I love her a lot and feel like she has really helped me. I just wish she hadn’t put it like that. 😦

      • joeyfullystated

        November 24, 2013 at 7:33 pm

        I’m glad it wasn’t terribly costly.
        We haven’t even found out if our vehicle fits in our garage, but there is no way I could back it in! Thank tacos I’ve got a long driveway!

        I really think you should confront her. Kinda defeatist, hm?

      • meANXIETYme

        November 24, 2013 at 9:00 pm

        Yeah, I have no idea if our vehicles fit in our garage as we’ve never parked in there! This was just me pulling up to the closed garage door to park in front of it.

        Yeah, I’m going to have to say something about it. Again, not sure if she was trying to nudge me toward confronting the anxieties or if she really believes it. *sigh*

      • joeyfullystated

        November 24, 2013 at 9:32 pm

        It really matters. If it’s a challenge, that’s one thing. To doom you to suffering is altogether another.


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