Take Back What’s Yours!

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I’m taking back my CONTROL.

An appropriate post for my return to the blogosphere after an almost three month absence, to be sure. Because really, that’s what this absence has been all about. My loss of control.

Or at least the feeling that I’ve lost control taking control of me.

I just really lost my grip on things the last few months, and honestly, I’m not entirely sure why. Trying to look at it objectively, I don’t think the end of this semester has been any more stressful than usual… There were a few hiccups in the road due to health problems within my family, but quite honestly after the last few years, that’s kind of par for the course – and what happened this semester pales in comparison to my life two years ago anyway.

So I don’t know. I don’t know why it happened. But the last few months have left me perpetually feeling like I’m grasping desperately at straws to keep things together. A constant feeling of “I’m forgetting something important. I must be forgetting something important.” And when that anxiety takes the wheel, I draw into myself. And the more I draw into myself, the less in control of my own life I feel.

So now that the semester is over, and I have a chance to sort of “hit the reset button,” it seems like the perfect time to finally make my #TakeBackWhatsYours post that’s been in the works since Emma from Blu Chicken Ninja posted hers alllllllll the way back in February.

The Take Back What’s Yours Campaign is a blogging initiative started by Chloe from Chloe’s Concept to help spur bloggers to come together and make positive changes in their lives and the lives of others by, well, taking back what’s yours. What exactly that is could be anything from your happiness, your confidence, your dreams, your freedom, and so on and so forth. If you want to read more about the campaign, or get involved yourself, head on over to the campaign website.

For me, the thing I need to work on taking back the most is my control.

Now, that doesn’t sound entirely healthy, you may say. You can’t after all control every aspect of your life, after all… There needs to be SOME flexibility there. Life is full of the unexpected, and if your goal is total control, you’re going to find yourself losing it pretty fast.

And right you would be.

Let me explain. My problem is not necessarily needing to feel in control of every aspect of my life. I’m actually pretty decent at taking things as they come when life throws me a curveball. I’m usually pretty decent in a crisis and generally work well under pressure. My biggest problem is continuing to keep a handle on the thing when I’m either NOT functioning in crisis mode, or when crisis mode simply gets too overwhelming. I need to keep enough of a handle on the smaller, more controllable aspects of my life so that I no longer constantly have that “you’re forgetting something” feeling hanging over me.

So essentially I need to find a balance, so that even when the unexpected hits, I still feel like I’ve mostly got my shit together. Bills paid, apartment clean, schedule under control, To Do list mostly checked off, etc… So that whether I’m in a relatively low stress period, or functioning in what my officemate and I have taken to calling “Navy SEAL Mode*,” I still have the feeling of having a grip on the general direction my life is going, and that “you’re forgetting something important” anxiety is kept at bay.

Now, a lot of this may not make sense to you. I’ve never been terribly good at explaining the way I think/feel/handle my anxiety to others. But I figured I should probably put it out there anyway. Putting things down in writing always helps me feel like I’ve officially STARTED something, and frankly this is something I desperately need to start.

So, control. I’m taking back my control.

What would you all take back?

* Focus only on the immediate task at hand. Do not think about the big picture. Do not think about what’s next. Do not think about everything else you have to do after this. Just take it one thing at a time and get through the day that way. This is the way several SEALs have described how they had to function mentally to make it through BUD/S (SEAL training). This “mode” has served me well the last few years in terms of keeping my anxiety under control and helping me tank through periods of high stress without it taking over.