Over the years, I’ve learned a lot about myself. Not only due to the obvious causes (aging, growing, maturing, etc) but due to my chronic pain as well. My chronic pain has given me a lot of insight into why I think and act the way I do sometimes.
See, my daily headaches have taken control of my life. They control my day, what I do during the day, who I see, my ability to work, play and exercise. They control whether or not I have to cancel plans or if I can go out and be my social self. They control what I eat and when I sleep. I’ve lost a lot of control in my life to these headaches. They’ve taken the reins on this one.
Starting this blog has resulted in me really digging into some of my emotions, feelings and reactions that I have because of my headaches. I take a lot more time to actually think about myself and my situation. Recently, I’ve noticed that I’ve become more of a controlling person. Molding myself to where I have that personality trait where I want to control the things around me and sometimes try to control what the people around me are doing. It’s not the most endearing quality and can often make me come off as being unreasonable.
I hadn’t noticed this until pretty recently. While I’m not proud of it, I can try to explain it.
Losing so much control in your life to something like chronic pain results in you wanting to control whatever else you can in so you aren’t left feeling completely subordinate to your pain. It’s a subconscious thing I guess. Feeling like if you can’t control so many aspects in your day and life, why not try to control whatever you can? While my headaches control my pain level, I can control my reaction and feelings like anger, frustration, optimism, faith, etc. (although it’s much easier said than done.) However, because my headaches control my plans throughout the day, I think I subconsciously sometimes try to control other people’s plans so that I don’t feel totally left out. This is one situation, among others, that I need to work on. I’m sure I could think of many more examples regarding this idea of control.
Some people who know me may read this and laugh and think I’ve always been this way despite my headaches, but I like this explanation better. I’m hoping that other people in the chronic pain/disorder/illness community can tell me that I’m not alone in this feeling. That I’m not the only one who has noticed a loss of control in their life, while also gaining a more controlling personality.
Everyone around us has their personality flaws. While some flaws people are born with, others they have developed due to a situation we might not notice they’ve been through or are currently facing. Instead of brushing someone off because they’re too noncommittal, stand-offish, or controlling, try to be patient and understand that sometimes these flaws develop from a place of pain, experience and struggle.