Life starts... now.
March 27, 2010 9:44 PM Subscribe
I really want to start living my life now, as is, instead of waiting until things are "right" and obsessing about perfection - but I keep falling into this way of thinking - help!
posted by Chrysalis to Health & Fitness (21 answers total) 89 users marked this as a favorite
I find myself always having this picture in my mind of when things will be better/sorted out/I'll feel different and how great that will be, and I put a lot of things off until that imaginary circumstance arrives, or I'll tarnish the "now" experience by wishing that it were occuring under more ideal circumstances, and most of all get crazily stressed out when I can't or don't control the circumstances as well as I would like/intended to. This can be from minor to major things. Examples:
1. I didn't want the guy I'm seeing to come to my new apartment because I hadn't yet decorated it properly, so it didn't look the way I wanted it to look. I wanted it to be "just right" before anyone saw it, rather than enjoy entertaining people who's company I enjoy.
2. I get really stressed and anxious at work if it's not all "under control" ie my intray or work can be completely emptied, or close to, by the end of the day.
3. If I can't sleep, or am up late one night and I'm really tired, I feel like I need to take the following day off to "reset" and catch up on sleep, tidy my apartment etc and get everything in order so that I can continue to feel good throughout the week. I really get hung up on this idea of needing a "fresh" start. I'm often convinced that the following day is bound to be a write-off because of my lack of sleep and the only thing that calms me down and allows me to go to sleep that night is telling myself that ok, I can take tomorrow off and get things back under control, and then imagining everything being sorted and how fabulous that will be.
4. I often find myself telling myself that I'll do x when y happens, eg when I have the perfect boyfriend I'll go on drives to the countryside, when I lose weight (or if I looked like *her*) I'll miraculously feel attractive all the time (have read and reread the Fantasy of Being Thin adn wish I could tattoo it on my brain!!), when I'm really fit (with no set measure for this) I'll enter a competition, when I'm single I'll be really outgoing and make new friends - silly things that I could just do *now*, but I often forget that and postpone it until an "ideal time" and concentrate instead on setting up the circumstances rather than just doing what I want to do.
5. If I don't eat this specific snack before my workout, I worry that I won't have enough energy and it will be a massive failure
6. If I'm heading out and am not really that happy with the outfit I've chosen I feel like it's going to skew people's impressions of me in a way that will mess up our interaction, like I somehow want to make sure I come across exactly the way I want, and I also feel like I can't feel good until everything's just right - eg if I didn't get time to shave my legs, even if I'm in pants, I kind of feel like the day's a bit of a write-off and I'll have to "reset" tomorrow.
7. Being in relationships causes me a great deal of anxiety as OMG this could all go horribly wrong and I don't know exactly what's going on and there are no guarantees!! So I tend to avoid intimacy and just letting go.
Whenever I'm unhappy or dis-satisfied I jump into "planning mode" and decide there must be some kind of magical solution, where if I just do x then y will happen and it will magically be "ok". I want to get to the point where I kind of just go "ok, x is happening. I'll try to do y but things are still ok RIGHT NOW" instead of my normal "uh huh! this is only happening cos I'm not doing y. I'll figure out what y is and do it like crazy and then everything will be just right and nothing bad will never happen again."
In fact I can see that in this very question - I'm kind of hoping there's some secret answer that I can just do and then everything will be fine!
Obviously anxiety, perfectionism, catastrophising and control freak tendencies here. What has helped you? What do you tell yourself when you get like this? I'm REALLY tired of living my life like this cos I feel like I'm wasting it away, I want to be able to just go with the flow more but I never have and there is a certain security (or false sense of) that comes with trying to control everything so much. The idea of NOT worrying about something seems somehow very risky. Yes, I'm in therapy, but next appointment isn't for a while. Help me make the jump and keep jumping!
Bonus question: Has anyone gone from being an over anxious control freak to someone pretty loose and free and easy about life? Is it really possible to change in the long term?