I feel out of control.
Not wild, not crazily untamed, just not as in control as usual. It is not a feeling I like.
When I was younger, I struggled a lot with control; it is something that runs in my family quite literally – OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) is something they medically have a history of, not like people that claim to because they like to be tidy. I would say it begs the question nature vs nurture as my grandmother strongly has it – as well as being a hypochondriac – both my aunts are the same and my dad is the polar opposite, more seeming to have picked up the habits of living with them, as well as a few little things. So, while I wouldn’t consider myself OCD, I will admit to control issues – not as bad as they used to be, and not nearly as irritating as you would think, I just like to be control of my own life. It sounds incredibly inconsequential, but things like what I ate, where I went, the clothes I wore were all things that strongly affected me. When I was younger, this was obviously a massive problem as my mother (who I lived with at the time) didn’t understand me at all and thought of me as the Antichrist who just opposed absolutely everything she did.
Which is fair enough because I was a total little shit.
We didn’t get along at all; we didn’t understand each other. She thought I was acting up to be difficult and because I hated her and wanted to hurt her; I thought she was deliberately doing things to hurt me, wind me up and just generally make my life miserable. Little children can’t communicate – and a lot of what they think they can’t understand. I didn’t understand why she did things “wrong”, I just knew that she did them wrong and it hurt me. I can’t really explain to you what it feels like – it’s like an intense feeling of compulsion mixed in with just normalcy. It’s like when you watch someone do something and you know they’re doing it wrong and it just bugs you – like when you’re watching someone try to do something on a computer and you’re thinking “ugh, that’s not where you click”, “why are you clicking the same icon 100 times? You’re just going to freeze it, oh my God!”. At first it’s annoyance, but imagine that with everything.
A lot of people develop rituals; a lot of the time unconsciously. You may not even know that you have them, but when someone tries to go against them you’ll feel it – that sense of wrongness and “stop”. That was essentially my entire world view. My mum is a creature of spontaneity and thoughtlessness; not that she’s careless, but she doesn’t specifically think about things she does. My dad is much like me – he has a specific place he goes to park; has done for the last ten years, no matter how much my mum complains that he could get a more convenient place. My mum is what I suppose is normal, and would just park any old place. Now, to a young child that has this inherent idea that things should be a certain way, a mother that is constantly changing and never doing things the same way twice is quite literally painful. And I now logically know that I’m the one that things of things wrong, but I didn’t know that then.
Because that’s how I see things. How I saw things, at least. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve obviously learnt to communicate and handle my emotions. I’ve been able to explain to her that it’s not her that I hate; it’s the way she made me feel, the way the things she did would quite literally disrupt what felt like my entire world. And she taught me how to get out of that – more than that, she taught me that it wasn’t healthy, it wasn’t normal. I’m not volatile, not ready to flip out or cry because I drop a jar of marbles (that happened once. I remember it; I found it intensely stressful) and my mother and I have a very good relationship. I love her; I couldn’t live without her. I probably wouldn’t live without her – for, however much it hurts me, causes me anxiety, stress, panic and at times what feels like complete desolation and alienation, she is always encouraging me to not give in to that false sense of control. Don’t always walk that way, do something spontaneous today – I owe everything to her never ceasing to push me.
Even the fact that I went to an entirely new college, faraway, where I know nobody and I have to travel for over an hour and a half in cramped public transport through London during rush hour for is something that even five years ago would have been unthinkable. I owe my mother the world, I truly do.
But there is one thing above all others that I do not think I will ever relinquish a sense of control over. And that’s my emotions.
I don’t know why, but recently I’ve been feeling sad. Lethargic. Lazy. Unmotivated. All things I do not enjoy feeling, all feelings that I can’t control. There’s nothing wrong with me, with my life. I’m overall in a state of happiness – these last two weeks have just been . . . emotional. And I don’t know why. And it fucks with me – I haven’t been blogging properly, I haven’t been working properly; college is just a joke right now.
I’ve been reading a lot of posts recently where bloggers have been feeling sad, or depressed – a lot of them. A lot of people I genuinely like and care about, all saying they’re sad and they can’t deal with it, or they don’t know why.
Which leads to this post – how to overcome your “block” and be productive. You now know my block, you know the thing I struggle with, what makes it hard for me to function. If you want to share your block below, feel free, but if you want it to be private that’s fine too. Just don’t feel like you’re alone and don’t feel like there’s nothing you can do – because you are in control.
Well, at least a little.
So without further ado . . . here’s:
How To Overcome Your “Block” And Be Productive!
- This one’s a bit obvious, but identify what’s up first. If you really don’t know, you might want to check out my post on how to clear your head a little, so you can think better. Feeling like shit doesn’t inspire clarity. Once you know what the block is, you can start to work at understanding and even fixing it.
- Take a break. I file things like this under Spirituality because most of how I cope with things nowadays is through things I have learnt through delving into Spirituality – namely, Buddhism.A lot of Buddhism is focused on reflection and the mind; balance, peace and harmony. Take a break – take a day off, it’s not going to bring the world crashing down – and switch off. My best friend Faisal gave me some great advice yesterday – turn off your phone and just take a break. Don’t deal with it for a day.
- Get up, get showered, get dressed. This is the cure to laying in bed feeling sorry for yourself. I mean, it must work – you’re no longer laying in bed, right? Seriously, you will feel much more awake and alert once you just get up and showered – laziness kills productivity.
- Read a book.
- Listen to music.
- Turn off your music.
- Sit in silence and think. Muse. Ponder.
- Basically, anything that is not TV. That shit kills productivity.
- Tidy your room. A big part to feeling better is making yourself feel good about yourself – and being surrounded by constant reminders that you’re lazy and messy is not something that’s going to do that.
- Go to bed at 10 and wake up at 6.
- Eat clean. And eat three meals a day. Cut all that unhealthy shit out your diet. Stop eating fast food. Get your five a day. Yeah, I know we don’t all do this (I don’t either – it’s not as easy as it sounds) but your body being in good conditions makes you feel good. Feeling good and having energy will make you want to use your energy.
- Drink a lot of water.
- Create your own “calm space”. Be this a meditation den (I have not made mine yet), or a wall of images you like – something that calms you down. I have a little windowsill display that makes me feel calm and collected when I look at it; it’s something that serves to remind me that no matter how stressed out I am, or how bad things get, there’s always a small area that remains untouched by everything else.
- Do menial work. Tidying your room is a good example of this, but whatever you want to do. Trust me on this – half my ideas come from when I’m absent-mindedly washing pots and pans.
- Be around nature. I find even just watering plants makes me feel calmer.
- Talk to your friends about it.
- Talk to your family.
- Exercise. Dance, do yoga, beat the shit out of a boxing bag.
- Do something that makes you feel peaceful. I like to burn candles, or just let my kittens sit on me for an hour or so.
I hope some of these things help you; the January blues seem to hitting everyone pretty hard. On the bright side . . . Cacti!