Hands up if you like to be in control?
As a recovering control freak, you are my people 😅
The need to control people and situations is a common personality trait in people with chronic pain. And this is a trauma response, because we have acquired the false belief that if we can make other people do certain things, or behave in certain ways, we can keep ourselves safe.
But this is untrue.
As with many of these maladaptive coping mechanisms, our attempts to control things ultimately harms us.
Stay in your lane.
When we try to fix other people, or make them behave in a certain way, or try to control situations that are actually out of our control, it almost inevitably ends badly: either in conflict, disappointment, frustration, or a combination of all of these.
And you can also drive yourself crazy trying. I speak from painful experience (no pun intended) but being caught in this type of relationship dynamic was one of the big drivers of my pain symptoms.
Also, it’s important to realise this:
The more you focus on what other people are doing, the more you are abandoning yourself.
So, next time you feel yourself being drawn into controlling something or someone you don’t really have any control over, stop and ask yourself:
“What do I need to do right now to help myself?”
Turn your attention inwards instead of outwards, and save your energy for the things you can control.
Working on acceptance of reality helped me a lot. I found Byron Katie’s book, Loving What Is, really helpful for this as well. You can find out about her book and her work through her website: The Work of Byron Katie.