One of the things I’ve noticed about myself is I can’t stand it when I’m unable to pull my own weight. It doesn’t matter if I’m sick, injured, or what; I grow annoyed when, for whatever reason, I am unable to contribute in some way. When my gallbladder had to be taken out a few years ago, in the days leading up to the operation, I kept dwelling and stressing over all of the things that I thought wouldn’t get done while I was recovering. The same thing happened when my wisdom teeth had to be removed. I realized I am this way because when I was younger, it didn’t matter what was wrong with my mom or even myself; responsibilities still had to get done. The apartment still needed to be cleaned, dishes still needed to be done; none of my chores were allowed to have a day off. If they didn’t get done, I would get in trouble.
So now, as an adult, I’m mentally preparing for what might be another surgery, and once again I’m stressed about all of the daily tasks I do to maintain my home and my family. The reality is, my husband will step up without a problem. He will make sure the kids get to and from school. He will maintain the home and may even be able to get some time off during my recovery. But I am mentally struggling with letting go of that control. I feel like if I let go, I will get in trouble. It’s unfortunately how my brain has been wired, and how a lot of us operate.
How am I fighting these feelings off? Honestly, I’m not doing a very good job. I’ve been playing video games, which is my number one hobby. I’ve been listening to a lot of Christian music, which is my go to thing here lately since we’ve gone back to church. I’m keeping things around the house as clean as possible so nothing piles up. I’m making lists instead of keeping it all in my head so my husband will know what I had planned to do if I don’t get to it before the surgery. Most importantly, I keep having to remind myself to take a deep breath, and focus on where I am at in that moment. It helps bring my mind back to reality, where I don’t have to worry about carrying it all on my shoulders alone.
Control is one of those things that’s like a safety mechanism for those of us with traumatic or abnormal childhoods. As long as we were in control of anything in our lives, it gave us a sense of stability we otherwise didn’t have. This carries on into adulthood, and like what I’m experiencing, it’s hard to let go and remind yourself “you’re safe now”. If you’re going through something that is requiring you to give up some control of your daily life for a little while, try to remind yourself it’s only temporary. You will be back to being you before you know it, and so will I. ❤