My Need To Be In Control Makes My Life Uncontrollable

Derek Hatfield
Derek Hatfield

I am a messy person. I talk without thinking all the way through the words in my head. I make impulsive decisions that, in hindsight, are very poor decisions. A seemingly endless amount of homework, books, notes, and papers completely crowd my desk. My bookshelf is stuffed beyond its capacity. My sheets are hardly every folded in place and my clean laundry is only returned from the hamper to my closet when I need to use the hamper to wash more clothes. The biggest tell of my messiness is my handwriting. If you were to compare my notes to the notes of a 3rd grader, I guarantee that you would find the 3rd grader’s notes more legible.

And yet, there is one thing about me that is organized, orderly and precise: my life. Or rather, I work the hardest at making my life as controlled as possible. I love making plans. I try to schedule everything. Even my studying is scheduled (30 minutes of studying with 10 minutes of break. These timed sessions are kept completely exact). I’m the freshman who voluntarily goes to the advising office to plan out my four years of college.

If there is any uncertainty or problem in my master schedule, I try to fix it the moment I notice it is an issue. But until the issue is fixed, the uncertainty eats at me. The anxiety of the uncertainty will continue to torture me until the uncertainty is made certain.

This happens to me in the seemingly most meaningless and stress-free situations. Like when I had to order my contact lenses during winter break before I returned to school. I freaked out over everything that could go wrong when I would call the office to order the lenses. What if I say something wrong? What if they won’t let me order them? What if the contacts don’t come in time? What if I can’t get them? What if I have to wear glasses for the next semester?

Just thinking about this experience makes me feel unpleasant. And of course, like everything I stress about, it all worked out just fine.

It’s even worse when the plans must be changed. There have been many instances where I have cried over an unforeseen need for me to change the plans I had previously carefully laid out in my head.

I know how ridiculous this all sounds. I really wish I weren’t this way. I wish that I could have the maturity to know that everything will work out just fine. I wish that such a simple task of reorganizing a plan would not stress me out to tears.

And yet, I continue this life of anxiety. It’s my addiction for control. How ironic that my quest for the control of my life causes my sanity to spiral out of control. TC mark

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