Control.

June 1, 2012 at 8:54 am | Posted in And I ran (I ran so far away), Crazy Talk (aka: Therapy), IVF #6: Quiet Hope | 9 Comments

CD 1 today for those of you following who might be interested in knowing.

But I kind of don’t want to talk about that today.

I’ve been thinking a lot, lately, about my need to MOVE, to DO something. How awful I am at waiting and feeling powerless. How MOVEMENT is the only way I feel in control of things.

I’ve done this a lot, you understand. I switched my major three times in undergrad, settling only on English because I knew it was a strength. After college? I’ve had three separate careers – one as a recruiter, one as a marketing manager, and now as a CPA.

Whenever I get that familiar sense of unhappiness, I pick up and MOVE. Research new careers, school. Take courses. Get all obsessive about learning a new skill. Drop playing the clarinet and take up running. Think about getting a road bike and signing up for a triathlon.

I enjoy the PROCESS of learning something new, because it distracts me from fears. It puts my life back into my control, in a place where I am responsible for being good at learning a new skill.

As it turns out, I am incredibly capable of LEARNING something new. And not only that, but I pull some measure of happiness out of becoming good at a new skill.

Thing is. I am realizing how much of this life really ISN’T in my control.

Infertility is not under my control, and learning more about the process won’t make it WORK.

Neither is spending hours to put together a training schedule for some race in the future, because I don’t know what’s going to come out of this whole cycle thing, and I don’t know how I’ll feel about running if I do get pregnant. Plus, it’s really a good idea for me to spend this time back in the gym, working on building strength again, with runs and swimming sprinkled in here and there.

I made the decision a long time ago that I would never turn my need for control onto my child. (A result of being the eldest child of a controlling mother, of course.) Lucky is NOT mine to control – he is his own person, and I can be a good parent by listening to, advocating for, and guide him to make good choices.

I’ve only recently discovered that I DO, however, try and control Charlie Brown, especially when I feel anxious. Which is also no good. It’s unfair, and demeaning, and he deserves so much more than that.

And so, I think, right now, I’m turning the focus onto my career.

It’s true that I don’t love being an accountant. There are days where I loathe it, actually. I am not naturally good at it; it requires FAR more detail orientation than I prefer to use. (Honestly, I just don’t CARE to spend my time mucking around in the details. I don’t like it and feel like it’s a waste of my time.)

I thought that working more part time hours, gaining a day at home, would make me happier.

It hasn’t.

But right now I’m struggling with the question of whether my unhappiness with my chosen career is really just a smokescreen.

What if it’s because I’m anxious? Because, you know, whenever I’m anxious, I try and control SOMETHING, until the anxious goes away.

Where is the anxious coming from? What is it that feeling in control DOES for me to make the anxiety go away?

It’s this feeling of being Not Deserving, I think. I get anxious to prove that I can be successful, at balancing being a mother and wife and runner and success in my career.

But WHY? Why is it so important that I prove to myself that I can be successful? Do I really think I’m that awful of a person if I’m not being GOOD at everything? What WOULD happen if I decided to quit my job and do nothing? What would happen if I WASN’T good at balancing it all? Why is it so important to me to be in control?

I don’t have any answers. Just sitting here, trying to wait it all out, process through it, uncover the reason which will feel right to me.

Clearly I’m not as Zen as I thought I was, though.

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9 Comments »

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  1. I understand so much of what you said and felt. I had trouble getting pregnant and went through IVF more than once until I had my daughter. Now I resist the desire to be controlling. I changed majors in college more than once. It may be rooted in whether we truly feel we are deserving. On the other hand, I realize the only constant in life is change and learning is growing.

  2. Wow. This post really speaks to me. I see so much of myself in what you’ve written here. I also love to move, love to learn new things. I’m good at acquiring new skills and I take pride in getting good at something. I also get restless and bored easily. I’m coming up on 9 years at my current teaching position and I’m so ready to leave. I signed up for two writing classes this summer, in two totally different genres! I am planning on launching a new site with my friend. I do all this because I just NEED TO DO SOMETHING. I just can’t be here, doing the same thing everyday. It makes me crazy.

    And what you wrote about controlling Charlie Brown was really eye opening too. I will be writing about something really similar on my new blog soon. Probably Monday.

    Anyway, I wish I had answers, instead all I can tell you is that you’re not alone.

  3. I could’ve written this post. I, too, am the oldest of a controlling and unhappy mother. As a result, I have a constant need to control, problems with anxiety when I can’t, and find great solace, comfort and distraction by “moving”, both literally and figuratively.
    Being faced with infertility makes all of that so very much worse. It is the ultimate in loss of control.

    PS I don’t think i’ve commented in years, but been following you off and on. Best of luck on #6.

  4. You and I are a lot alike on the control issues. I am happiest when I am occupied with something that I feel I am well in control of. As soon as that is done and there are new things up in the air, I try to control everything around me. My poor husband suffers and feels no so loved.

  5. […] setting out on all these paths because I just need to GO SOMEWHERE. I just need to DO SOMETHING. (Serenity’s post today on this very thing really resonated with me.) All this waiting is driving me insane. I need […]

  6. I feel such a kinship to you after reading this. I can really relate. A lot of the questions you asked about being anxious as well as your personality traits (that I also share) can be explained by this book called the mindbody prescription by dr. John Sarno. It was on 20/20, Larry king, Howard stern, dr. Oz. it has changed my life. I almost didn’t buy it. It’s not a motivational, philosophical book. It is rooted in science/psychology. Im a longtime reader & had to comment. I implore you to please buy it. It’s explained so much to me. Its inexpensive, you have nothing to lose. It’s helped 3 people I’ve recommended so far. Also, good luck with this cycle! 🙂

  7. My controling nature is tipping it’s hat to yours. Hang in there.

  8. I’m going to try this again because my lengthy comment just disappeared into thin air.

    Control was always something I strived for and thought I had a handle on. It was always my goal to be in what thought was total control of my life. When I couldn’t get pregnant that became what I thought was the ultimate test of my control. Even though I couldn’t control whether or not I got pregnant I still did things that gave me a sense of control (taking temperatures, charts & spreadsheets, timed sex, drs appointments etc). Then the ultimate goal was reached and I felt at peace. Enter my husbands addiction. In my mind I could control that, too. My control freak nature went into hyper overdrive. I did an ok job in the beginning, but really I was just controlling how others saw us. When things spiraled and I could no longer control that I literally started to go crazy. My controlling behavior was causing me almost as many problems as my husbands drug use was. I lost my husband to his addiction, but I realized I was responsible for causing problems in other areas in my life because of my need to control. After 3+ years of hell I’m finally coming out of the fog and the only reason is because I came to realization I had to control my controlling nature.. Today my life is nowhere near what I planned, hoped and dreamed of. I find myself at least once a day thinking my life is unrecognizable to me. That being said I am at the most peace I’ve been in my adult life and it is because I no longer try to control everything and everybody in my life. It isn’t easy and I’m nowhere near perfect at it, but I work HARD everyday! It goes against my natural instinct to give up control, but I have to because the alternative was making me nuts. I’m sorry if I sound preachy, but I’ve “known” you awhile now and when I read your posts I just wish you could truly find your blog name “Serenity Now!”

  9. This post really resonated with me. I have huge issues with control (or the lack thereof)- mine stem from being the eldest of two eldest children (one a military man) and being a product of divorce. Thank you so much for your comment about trying to control Charlie. That was a real eye opener for my relationship with Q.

    I wonder if maybe some of the angst about your career right now is actually redirected anxiety from the ttc thing? Just a thought. I was convinced in August 2010 that we had bedbugs, but it was all redirected IVF anxiety. No idea how Q. puts up with me some days.

    xoxo
    T.


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