Outta control!!

I think that one of the most universal ingredients in addictions of all sorts, is a desire for control. Sometimes just an iota of control, and sometimes absolute omnipotence.

Miss Jackson sang about it

When I was a younger girl, I had some symptoms of OCD, as well as an eating disorder. (I wrestle with body dismorphic disorder, still) As I grew older, I became aware of the kind of relief I gained when I did my ocd things. It was a time and an activity that I could control. Same with the food. There were other motivations, of course (for the ed), but it all came back to attempting to have some kind of control over my life.

Control what?

I suppose what it boils down to is trying to control the emotional pain. In my case, I was undiagnosed with depression from a young age, as well as the residual effects of having a rageful and quick-tempered parent. As a child of a child of an alcoholic, I had no control over much of anything until my parent’s divorce, and then I was left to fend for myself a lot of the time, while babysitting my younger brother. Yes, it was an average family situation as far as I could tell: Mom worked herself ragged, trying to provide for us (she did a great job, really), I watched my brother every afternoon, and Dad was only around often enough to keep Mom on edge. And no child support, to speak of. Pretty normal, right?
But I digress.

“I wanna make my own decisions. When it comes to livin my life…”

I wanted to be The One in control. Thankfully, I found the answer when I was about 15-16. My non-medicinal numbing activities weren’t completely doing the job, so when I was given an opportunity to “check out”, I jumped on it!

Oh what a relief

In one year’s time, I discovered Maker’s Mark (sicker than a dog, throwing up all the way home – what a glorious night!!), and after babysitting for an older schoolmate’s brother, I recieved a small bag of (skunk) weed in payment.
I’d stepped throught the looking glass, at that point. If I couldn’t control my life, I would begin finding various concoctions to help me stop being aware of it all. Somewhere between my freshman year in high school. and the end of sophomore year, I’d gotten more comfortable in my position in life. When I was high, the continual bullying didn’t hurt as much. After a few drinks, it didn’t bother me as much that my Dad had walked out on me.
Lunch money was never used for lunch; it paid for diet pills, maybe, unless I stole them. And the vast majority of money that passed through my hands – it was never much, mind you, but good drugs were cheaper then – went for pot or acid.
My peers at school began calling me “the acid lady”.

Today, I’m powerless.

The more I remember that “me having control” is an illusion, the easier my day goes. It’s difficult knowing where to draw the line, sometimes, especially as a parent. But besides the parenting gig, I’m content letting God be in charge. Shoot, I wish I wasn’t supposed to be navigating the waters in the role of Parent, a lot of the time.

What can I control?!

Only the stuff inside of my skin. That can be a daunting enough task, thank you.

Posted from my cabin in the mountains.


12 responses to “Outta control!!

  1. Yeah, control… Very much a thing I went for too. 😦 Making sure I did not have to feel. 😦 Which is why I called myself Feeling. πŸ™‚ To do EXACTLY the opposite from what I had been doing. I am also starting to realise that feelings are not ‘holy’ – the do not NEED to be obeyed per se. But it is very handy to have awareness of them. Because they are the ones that could make us relapse. Don’t want that. πŸ™‚
    Enjoy your mountain cabin!
    xx, Feeling

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      • Yes! And…. that is a dangerous one to practice too quickly because the people I have heard saying that the most and with the most conviction are those who run away for their own feelings so…. I am in doubt. I do think feelings are good indications. Why else would they be their? The have a very important function. But indeed, they are not facts, if such a thing exists – however, when in trouble, most people take them as such so the idea of ‘feelings are not facts’ might not reach them. I do not think it is a useful tool, like quitting on will power is not a tool since the will will be easily bend by the will to drink.
        Yeah, and there is another thing that bothers me about feelings are not facts: the people who are confused about their feelings are mostly those whose feelings have been manipulated and denied by caretakers, spouses and/or themselves throughout their lives. Going about telling them what they feel are not facts is another form of denial. I do not think it is the way. Or not until the person itself finds that the extend of the feelings, or their response to them are not ‘accurate’. Today I almost unfriended the man I am in love with because he turned up the radio. I think I would have given up my job right there and then if we would have come to have an argument about it. πŸ˜€ I fear that the next step in my sobriety might have something to do with anger management. While everybody seems to think I am as impressive as an angry butterfly. All or nothing. Lesigh… Well, let’s see what the future brings.
        xx, Feeling

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        • Well said. Here’s my take on that: while in active addiction, I did whatever my feelings dictated, ie if I was angry, I threw a fit, yelled and screamed, etc. If I felt sad, I had to react immediately – logic had nothing whatsoever to do with anything. My life was feelings driven.
          I’m not saying by any means that feelings ought to be ignored or discarded! Rather, when I feel angry, I stop and consider whether my anger is, for example, covering up fear? Or if my (unmerited) jealousy actually has anything to do with anyone else but ME. Likwise, because I am no longer dominated by emotions. I stop, when a strong feeling approaches, and I CONSIDER.
          I guess what I’m saying is that rather than “following my heart” which NEVER turned out well, I am using my head to guard my heart. For me it’s also an impulse-control thing.
          And also, feelings can change so rapidly…I can’t trust mine (completely). Does that make sense?

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  2. What a great piece of perspective this is Abbie. I like how you said The One (capitol) in control. I want to play God all the time. Controlling other people. I think the sickest part is trying to control how other people feel about me. Which is impossible and really immature. What a great post this was. Thank you.

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