So much of my life has been about control. At times I have lived in complete chaos. And at others I have tried to control every aspect of my life to the point of not leaving my house for months or interacting with anyone because I could not be in control of my environment if I stepped out my front door. Even as I am writing this, I am constantly deleting, retyping and fighting the urge to give up on the whole thing because I don’t have control over writing it in exactly the right way, or because when I post it I will no longer have any control over who reads it and what they think about it.
I don’t think I was always like this. I think it is an effect of the abuse I experienced. I had my control taken away from me, and to take it back I controlled the things I could. Even if that meant controlling when to be out of control. Or when I want to stop caring. When I want to live in chaos. When I want to give up. When I want to drink. When I want to be angry. When I want to hide in my flat and not talk to anyone. When I want to eat until i feel sick. When I want to control what I’m allowed to eat. It doesn’t seem to make sense sometimes, that trying to be in control can seem like a complete loss of control from the outside. And yet, no matter how much I try to control anything, there is always still a sense of chaos. Maybe they are not always different things.
I am thinking about this today because I’m reflecting on my way of dealing with university. To begin with I tried to be in control of everything. I tried to manage everything and be perfect at everything. I tried to never make any mistakes. I tried to plan the whole four years out in front of me and never step outside of my plans. But when I realised I couldn’t keep it up, or things will continually happen that weren’t in my plans I felt like I was drowning. Because I had no control over any of this. To me that is terrifying. I have no idea what will happen tomorrow, or in a years time, or by the end of my degree and that is scary. No matter how hard I try, I won’t be able to control that. A part of me wants to hide inside my house forever so that I will never have to find out what will happen. But luckily these days the part of me that wants to find out what will happen is stronger.
How do you let go of control? How do you find the balance? How do you become someone who is neither completely in control or living in complete chaos? I don’t know any of the answers, but I am learning how to let some things go. Small steps, patience, acceptance and pacing myself seems to be the answers to most of my challenges. And in one of these small steps I’m going to post this without trying to control every single thing about it to the point I end up deleting it. Letting go.