Do you have “control issues?”
I do. Off and on.
Back in the bad old days when I was seeing therapists right and left to figure out what was “wrong” with me, I was told repeatedly that I was “too controlling.”
Well, I’m feeling pretty controlling right now, too. But it’s all about feeling so OUT of control on the inside. And that’s all about my ADHD.
Can we be honest, here? I don’t like being “controlling.” It takes a huge amount of energy. I constantly have to monitor what’s going on outside so I can respond appropriately on the inside which then comes out for the world to see. Oooh. That didn’t make sense, did it? Let me try again.
When something happens “out there,” I don’t trust my natural instincts for a response. My natural instincts have gotten me in a lot of trouble over the years. I’ve flashed back in anger. I’ve clouded up in pain. I’ve been a little too honest. The reaction from the “other side” to my honest reaction has been, shall we say, less than positive.
As I reported in my book (“Confessions of an ADDiva”), I learned to hide myself and my instinctive responses. Which took even more energy and focus I really didn’t have.
The good news? Light at the end of the tunnel? Other cliches? I finally let myself breathe and be ME. I gradually stripped away the thick public personna I had layered to hide my inappropriate outbursts. I backpaddled through the inappropriate outbursts and faced the “triggering events” that elicited them. Even more impressive, I drilled through to my wounded soft underbelly that had endured the whips of criticism and self doubt.
And there, in the nicked and scabbed and bleeding underbelly, I began to love myself again (for the first time?). I realized that those wounds were real. They weren’t silly or dismissive. They were real to me. And most important they weren’t to be ignored. So I got out the iodine and mercurichome (now that really says something about my age…) and Neosporin and Wound Managmement BandAids and started healing those many cuts and scrapes and dents and injuries.
They aren’t all gone, of course. Some are deep and need more care. And sometimes I revert to my old reactions, especially when I am under a lot of stress. Like now.
With Boomer’s sudden death, ADHD Awareness Week, the ADDiva Retreat, family beach time, reservations for next year’s retreat, webinars, the upcoming ADDA Board retreat, a new dog in the house, unpacking from being away for two weeks, the upcoming CHADD conference, publication of “Let’s Fix It” for the conference, a new diet attempt, guilt over not exercising, a husband who is angry about a particularly vicious deposition next week and the guilt over not enjoying these glorious late fall days and nights…yeah, you could say I am a bit overstressed. And I think I have forgotten a bunch of things on the list.
So my “control issues” crept back in. Today, I pledge to revisit my original solution. Walk backwards through the control, through my overreaction, through my worry about what people think of me, through the pain of losing Boomer and a million other worries and back to myself. Me. Alone.
I will take a breath. I will take a walk. I will allow myself some solitude and some tears. I will write about it (starting here and now) and languish, doing nothing for a while. I need to rebuild my strength again. I need some time. Even when I am in a hurry. I need some time.
And then, maybe, just maybe, I will be loose and easy and feeling fine again.
Excuse me – OMG, I just realized that I missed a deadline for writing a story for a magazine. Breathe, Linda, breathe. It’s OK.