Purpose and control

18 May

I was watching television and a character said he became a doctor because it was always his way to try to control things. Being a doctor made him feel he was in control of his life and his patients’ lives.

I was sitting there watching and it was like one of those AHA! moments. I started wondering if my fiction writing (which I’d been doing since I was a pre-teen) was my way of controlling things in my life. Or finding a way to have control in a world where I really had no control, especially when I first became sick…which is when I started intensely on my writing career and when I was first published.

When I talked about this with T, it also made sense as to why I haven’t been able to write very much in the last few years. I’ve worked so hard to release my idea of controlling everything, and so my default way of writing–and seeing my writing–is no longer the same. T said she could see exactly what I was dealing with, and she felt the discovery was a very interesting and insightful one. I’m not sure how I will be able to write again, but T thinks I’ll find a way. I certainly don’t want to go backward in order to find my ability to write again, but as I am now, I feel like my solace in writing is gone. I used to be able to disappear into my books and create lives and worlds where everything was the way I wanted it to be. But now, where I see that control really is an illusion–even though I’m still working on that in my own life–I’m not sure how to create stories the way I used to.

At the moment, I even feel like I’m struggling to get my ideas across in this post. I feel jumbled and like the words I want are not here. It’s sad and disappointing right now. The thing that I always went to feels like it’s well and truly gone. I mean, I know I haven’t worked on any of my books in recent years, nor have I really started anything new of note, but I guess I thought it would still be there to save me.

It sounds dramatic, but really my writing did save me when I got sick. There were days I never made it out of bed except to go to the bathroom, and yet those were the days where I wrote my books. Those were the most productive days of my writing career. Through pain and vertigo and fatigue…I wrote my books. I wrote deep into the night, hours and hours at a time, and slept through until noon. I would eat lunch and then go back to my writing. It kept me sane, it gave me a life to live when I couldn’t live my own life. My hands would cramp, my arms would ache (I wrote my books in longhand), my neck would hurt…but I kept writing. That was the first time I ever wrote a full-length book, and it was the first time I persisted in finding a publisher for that book.

And here I am, in need of that solace, and unable to find it.

I’m not the same person I was, no question about it. I just don’t know how to be the person I am and still have the purpose I had then.


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9 responses to “Purpose and control

  1. joey

    May 18, 2017 at 9:33 pm

    I think that’s a PROFOUND connection, and one I hadn’t considered. Of course, I had considered the “pain is good for art” overall, but never as a means to find control. I am awed by your revelation!
    And still wishing you better days. πŸ™‚

    • meANXIETYme

      May 18, 2017 at 9:36 pm

      Yeah, it was hard for me to really write about how “pain” (or “madness”) is good for art, because I didn’t want to offend anyone. But I know there are people who flourish creatively in their “pain” or “madness”. Etc.

      It really was one of those AHA (or OH SHIT) moments. I am pretty sure I actually said OH SHIT during my therapy session with the revelation!

      • joey

        May 18, 2017 at 9:48 pm

        I tell you, it’s profound!
        I get poetic with pain, so I believe in it without offense.

      • meANXIETYme

        May 18, 2017 at 9:55 pm

        Yeah, a lot of my writing came from pain–physical and emotional–even though the writing wasn’t about pain. And so now I do see it was a way to control things when I was out of control in my own life. Cray-cray!

      • joey

        May 18, 2017 at 9:56 pm

        Noooo, not cray cray — brill brill! πŸ˜€

      • meANXIETYme

        May 18, 2017 at 9:58 pm


      • joey

        May 18, 2017 at 10:12 pm

        Frame it right, woman! πŸ˜‰

      • meANXIETYme

        May 18, 2017 at 10:22 pm

        Yes ma’am. 😁

  2. April

    June 2, 2017 at 10:05 am

    I’m going to be reading your posts but not comment on all of them until the end. I don’t want to become spam πŸ™‚ I have been processing what it means to control…or to have control a lot lately. I used knitting as a way to cope and it was something I had control of. I haven’t picked up any knitting needles in almost a year now. I think we need to find a way to tell our minds that we don’t have to control everything….easier said than done, right?


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