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The following quote is from An Adult Child’s Guide to What’s Normal by John C. Friel, Linda D. Friel

“We try to fix the problem with logic. We become excellent problem-solvers. We make charts of behavior. We make lists. We stay up late into the night with our spouse, lover or friends, analyzing and talking aboutproblems. But the problem doesn’t go away. We are in crisis, and we are doing crisis management, but the crisis doesn’t go away. It has become unmanageable.”

I had to laugh when I read this passage. Of course, my initial reaction was pure astonishment when I first became aware of these books. It was a combination of relief and shock to see my issues so clearly defined.

I have been making lists since I was 10 years old and throughout the years it has become a joke to family and friends how I schedule myself relentlessly, trying to control every minute of my day. Some people who grew up as I did developed eating disorders or other unhealthy methods of coping. I never knew why I felt the need to control my environment at all costs, we just do what we do to survive.

The comical part of it, is to acknowledge that I have been coping this way for twenty years now. Twenty effin years. Torturing myself by trying to adhere to an impossible schedule. I still don’t believe that it is necessarily impossible, that is what is unhealthy about it. Deep down, I still think that I can control my environment if I am disciplined enough. Life rarely fits into my little box and it can only be accomplished by rigid isolation, which, is challenging when you have friends and family who care about you.

Currently I cannot deny that I am in a state of crisis managment and have returned to the same coping skills learned as a child. Working from home, I am trying to split my time between three companies while also preparing for a cross-country move. I’ve cut out, or am trying to control, the unhealthy coping methods recently adopted like drinking alone and other damaging habits.

Square one. I have to do it. Yesterday I implemented a new schedule, and of course, it was too tightly wound to survive a lunch meeting and phone calls that went too long. However, today is a new day and I will try to find the balance between a schedule and the messiness of life. Then, in the next year, I intend to develop new ways of dealing with life and the challenges that come along with it.

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