Control. How to keep it when it feels like you’re losing it.

by | Mar 2, 2023

The definition of control is to have the power to influence the course of events.  As humans, we believe that we, to some extent, have control over certain aspects of our life and control over the trajectory of our lives.  However, when a diagnosis is thrown into the mix, that control seems to slip through our fingers like sand.  As quickly as you try to pick it up, it slips through – sometimes grain by grain and other times like quicksand pouring through the gaps of your fingers that you are holding together so tightly.

See, we’re taught from a young age that we have responsibilities, that there are things that are in our control such as what we think and how we act.  Its something we’re showered with as young children, and we believe it because it is true.  If you think negative thoughts all of the time, chances are you’re going to feel pretty crappy.  If you do something good for someone else, you will feel a sense of accomplishment, cue the endorphins.

So why is it that when something happens that is unexpected, that we don’t know which strategy to run.  Why do we feel like our mind is racing, our cortisol is spiking and why not one single person can make us feel better and make it all go away?

Because control isn’t something that’s tangible.  It’s not something we can hold onto and manipulate.  Control is in the power of the mind and that ladies and gentlemen, most people have yet to master it.

As the well-known neuroscientist, Joe Dispenza says “If you can’t control your mind everything and everyone else will.”

So, I ask you when you’re in those early stages of grief.  The early stages of hearing about the diagnosis – ask yourself.  What truly is in my control?  What is out of my control?  And mastering and understanding both categories.  Because although I know you wish I could snap my fingers and poof the diagnosis was suddenly gone that isn’t going to help you right now.  Looking for the quick fix through the alcohol, the shopping, the gambling, the smoking isn’t going to help you right now either.  What will help is understanding what you can control and pouring every ounce of energy into those avenues.  Knowing you can really move the needle with understanding more about Autism, spending time to speak to people and build a community, finding the right therapists for your child, getting good sleep, nourishing your body with good food and not being glued to your device.

The fact is we have far more in our control than not, but its our thoughts that lead us up the garden path or rather the path of destruction.  You have the control to choose a new thought when you find yourself walking that path.  You have the ability to choose again and no one can take that away from you.

So next time you feel like you’re spinning out of control ask yourself:

  1. What can I take control of right now?
  2. What thoughts do I need to choose to make me feel better?
  3. Bring awareness to the choices you are making when trying to numb the pain.
  4. Talk to a coach or close friend about where you’re at.
  5. Incorporate deep breathing and exercise into your daily routine.
  6. Know that you and your child are loved deeply.

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