On Fighting being a “Control Freak”

I’ll admit it, I’m a bit of a “control freak” as much as I don’t like that phrase. I like to know what’s going to happen, and when, and where, and who with, at least a week in advance. I don’t like people springing plans on me. I don’t like people messing with my plans, with my schedule. To an extent, I think that’s all well and good. There’s nothing wrong with having a routine. In fact, it can even be beneficial. It’s not a crime not to be spontaneous.

However, it does become a problem when, like me, you start to find deviations to your routine so stressful that you start to have anxiety attacks about them; when the idea of breaking your meal plan causes your heart to race, when missing the arbitrary laundry time you set yourself because someone else is using the washer makes it feel like there are a tonne of bricks on your chest, when people trying to make plans with you makes you resent them even though you know you love them and want to see them. My need to be in control has made me anxious, angry, antisocial and someone I don’t want to be.

So, my need to be in control of everything in my life is the next demon on my hit list. As ever, I don’t think that I’m ever going to solve the problem, just tackle it a little bit. Plus, as I said at the start, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with liking things in a certain way, and it’s probably quite a key part of my personality.

This one is more of a work sheet that requires a bit more input, because, at least for me, the war against the constant need to be in control is one that needs to be fought on a number of fronts. I went with freeform, slightly irregular boxes to help fight the fight against control one arbitrary wiggly line at a time. While this one hasn’t had an immediate effect on how much anxiety I feel over being in control, has helped me be more conscious of where that part of my personality is being a negative influence, and has encouraged me to try and break some of my bad habits. *

You can print and keep the worksheet using the pdf here, in pink and plain white.

Let me know how you get on with the worksheet and please share anything you’ve tried that helps reduce control based anxiety.

*I’m clearly not a psychologist or a therapist, so yeah, just bear that in mind – this is just me trying to tell my own demons to politely fuck off.



  1. February 21, 2017 / 9:00 pm

    I totally get what you mean – I love everything to be set in stone and hate it when anything is unplanned! x
    Izzy |https://pinchofdelight.wordpress.com

    • Natalie
      February 21, 2017 / 9:32 pm

      Unexpected plans are the worst!

  2. February 22, 2017 / 1:01 am

    That sounds so tough! I find that routine did help me get a grip after a particularly bad depressive episode, but this is on another level. I hope you find that your worksheet helps! xo

    • Natalie
      February 22, 2017 / 10:16 am

      Routines can definitely be forces for good, but I guess like everything we need to use them in moderation – I’m glad to hear they helped you!

  3. February 23, 2017 / 2:28 pm

    The first paragraph totally describes me!
    I can see how the worksheet would help – breaking something down to make it more manageable.

    • Natalie
      February 23, 2017 / 5:01 pm

      A kindred spirit! That’s exactly what I was aiming for with the worksheet, breaking it down and realising it’s not as big of a problem as you think

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