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In Search of Control

They say control is an illusion.  I don’t know who “they” are, but something tells me they are some kind of calm, rational, emotionally stable human beings.

Me?  Not so much.

Nope.  Instead, I find that when the world starts to spin out of control around me, I do my best to control everything.  And the more I try to control everything, the more I realize that I can’t control the things that matter the most.  And so then I start to panic, and I remedy that by trying to control every single little thing that I can.  But I can’t really keep all controllable aspects under control — it’s like trying to juggle way too many balls.  And so balls start to drop, and the more I can’t control the controllable, the more out of control I feel.

I then find myself sitting in the middle of the room, fretting about every possible thing that could go wrong.

After all, if I can’t control it, who knows what it could be.  And if I can’t predict it, then I better anticipate the worst.  Because the only thing worse than not having control over everything is not being able to anticipate every possible thing that could go wrong.

And so, you see, I set a trap for myself where I’m trying to do the impossible and trying to imagine everything that is possible and I wonder why I feel like I’m paralyzed with fear.

The good news is that this doesn’t happen all too often anymore.  Really, maybe it happens once every couple of years.  It used to be a constant, near daily battle.

The bad news is that it still really sucks while it happens.

The anxiety inside of me wants me to keep expecting the worst because it fears that if I think positive then the bad will happen.  But the rational side of my brain knows that anticipating the worst doesn’t actually change the outcome.  It only ruins the current moments I have.

Anxiety is nasty like that.  It makes you live in your worst nightmares even when they aren’t happening in reality.

So I guess I have a choice.  I could indulge the anxiety and play the game of superstition.  Or I could enjoy my life as it is now and worry about the bad things when they come.  I could refuse to give a moment of my peace to what ifs.

I’m going to choose the latter.  It won’t be easy.  The anxiety will try to break in.

But I’m strong, and I’m bigger than the anxiety.

And my peace is worth it.

Photo by .faramarz

In Search of Control

Amanda Knapp

Amanda Knapp is a mother, wife, writer, former writing teacher, and lover of the written word. She writes for Psych Central, Mothering, Catholic 365, and her own blog, .

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APA Reference
Knapp, A. (2017). In Search of Control. Psych Central. Retrieved on July 2, 2020, from


Last updated: 6 Feb 2017
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