Hi, my name is Alicia, and I like to be in control....of everything! At least, that's how I used to be. My need for control stems from my anxiety, which stems from having the chronic illness, fibromyalgia, a condition that causes extreme fatigue, overall pain, cognitive dysfunction, muscle stiffness and weakness- plus so much more.
Sometimes, my need to be in control is okay, especially with regards to my illness. Symptoms can come on at any time so planning ahead and making sure I have everything I need is very important. My problem, however, was when that need for control spilled over into other aspects of my life in which being in charge was not a necessity. And when things didn't go exactly according to my ridiculously well mapped-out plans, my anxiety would increase tenfold, and in my head, everything would be ruined. Now, for the most part, I've learned to let go control and just "be."
With summer vacation almost upon us, the warm, sunny weather tempts us to get out and do something fun. Family outings and vacations come into play, but so does that "Mommy Instinct" to be in charge of everything- making sure your plans turn out perfectly. But sometimes you need to learn to just let go. Allowing someone else to take control can be quite freeing. There's no worrying about whether your event will turn out exactly as you planned. Besides, sometimes, no matter how much you prepare, things don't work out the way you expected them to, and guess what? That's okay. Yes, you read that right. It is alright if things don't go as planned. It's impossible to have control over everything that life throws at you. Plus, letting go control allows you to actually enjoy what's happening around you while setting you free to just have fun with your kids.
Every once in a while, try being spontaneous too. Please don't be freaked out by that statement! Sometimes the best experiences in life end up being ones you didn't initially plan- moments that you and your family can cherish for the rest of your lives. There are instances, of course, in which you have to take the wheel, but learning to let go by trusting others to take charge can help relieve you of unnecessary stress and anxiety. So the next time you feel that incessant need to control everything to do with your fun-in-the-sun summer activities, take a step back, take a deep breath in and let it all go, and take pleasure in knowing that you don't have to worry about a thing!
Alicia Emamdee, RMHCI (Registered Mental Health Counselor Intern), is the author of the YA romance novel, "Aloha Self-Esteem?" which provides ways for teen girls to improve their self-esteem. She is currently working on her second novel in her self-esteem series for women in their 30s and 40s.