It’s a funny thing control. Are you in control or out of control? Have you got a grip, or have you lost it entirely? People talk about control a lot, controlling others, controlling yourself, control your mind, your feelings, your urges – it seems everything is about control at some point or another. I’ve found throughout my life however, i’m very good at controlling things about myself – and that way, my control of myself can change the world around me. Or at least that’s what I tell myself in order to make sense of things. Perhaps there’s elements of mild OCD in there somewhere – or maybe that’s just how people actually do deal with things? I suspect not considering the looks I get when trying to explain myself now and then…

Due to various occurrences through my life (yes… I WILL get round to the University years when I get the courage, it was a TOUGH TIME, so it’ll take me a while to face up to reliving some of those memories…) there have been times when controlling myself was the only way to keep me sane – flicking onto ‘autopilot’ almost – i’m sure everyone’s had a moment like that? Whether it’s stepping foot on a scary themepark ride, or waiting for the anaesthetic to take effect in an operation, and all you want to do is run as fast as you can? But you don’t – your subconscious takes over and you do it anyway?

It is a strange thing really because I am rather scared/worried of many things, the usual accepted phobias such as creepy crawlies, clowns etc, and also some much stranger fears such as a fear of furry plants (they might sting), or ‘must wash hands’ after stroking animals, or simply closing my eyes in the shower if i’m on my own in the house… Irrational, strange, ridiculous. I know all of these things, but still… They’re there. That was one relief that my first medication attempt managed… I may not have felt anything except for sadness, however this also had the effect of wiping away my fears too. So despite not being able to feel emotions, I did at least have a period where I wasn’t actively scared by anything.

So how do I control these and stop them taking over my life? With difficulty really. It’s hard not to become overwhelmed by a fear, each time it cycles around your head it gets larger and more fearsome, until the point you do end up having a panic attack. i.e how am I going to cope today? What happens if my other half dies at work today? (Yes – I DO think silly things like that!) Why did that person blank me on the street? Why have I not heard from my Sister in a while? So many little thoughts which get blown out of all proportion. But – there is hope. I used to be terrified of flying. I used to have to go through a ritual – I had CONVINCED myself that if I wasn’t terrified my plane would crash. I had to check my seatbelt three times, ensure I knew how many rows I was from the exits, and read the safety leaflet twice before takeoff, and then panic quietly the whole time I was in the air. Pleasant flying companion I was not. However earlier this year I grabbed it by the horns and re-convinced myself that if I wasn’t relaxed the plane would crash. So now, turbulence is enjoyable, and I love the experience. Control re-gained, however tenuous my reasoning behind it.

Weight is another of my foibles. I have only ever been reasonably ‘skinny’ at one point in my life, and it was my most unhappy time. For this reason I now associate being unhappy with being thin, so although i’m not grossly over-weight, i’m not exactly lithe. This for me is also a control thing. I have had many issues with men thinking they can ‘use me for their desires’ in my life, whether that be beatings or worse, and the worst time for these occurrences was when I was thinner. Having extra fat to make me ‘less conventionally desirable’ allows me to blend away into the background if I want to, become the faceless lump that people don’t see. Don’t get me wrong I can be very flamboyant and stand out from the crowd if the moment takes me, comments such as ‘I wish I could have your confidence and look as good as you at that size’ fly my way very often. And although I know they’re not meant to be derogatory – ‘at that size?’ can only mean one thing. But for me, it’s my protection. My control of those around me. The chubby jovial ‘eager to please’ happy girl in the corner is less prone to attracting trouble, than the overtly curvy, sexy, skinny that turned heads in entirely the wrong way.

Thing is, I know that being as heavy as I am is bad for my health, I recently lost 3 stone to become more of an acceptable size for my health. Still a big girl, but healthier, and TBH I could do with losing another 2 – 3 stone, and i’d still be ‘larger’. But for me it’s about control. Losing weight for me is a huge fear that everything i’m comfortable with, everything familiar and happy could be lost. Funny how Depression affects you – it changes us all in ways that may or may not be obvious at first, but fight each battle one by one – i’m halfway to my goal, I just need the courage to continue this one particular fight with my self-control.