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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.


The bottom is an interesting place to find yourself. All of the sudden, the dust begins to settle and you look around, absorbing the state of your world. Everything is so clear when your life falls apart. You are given this amazing opportunity to rebuild and make incredible changes in yourself. Chaos is the perfect time for lasting change. I’ve finally reached a point where I can no longer go on living like this. I suppose it’s partly disgust, mixed with shame and confusion.

I thought I was doing everything right, or at least trying to. But here’s the thing, I now realize that no matter what I bring into my life, it’s all going to slip between my fingers if I don’t fix myself at the core.

I don’t need to recreate my external world. As I get older, I can see that I’ve gone that route too many times. It’s time to take a hard look at myself and figure out why life has never gotten better no matter where my home is. It’s not easy to do, and I know now that I can’t do it on my own.

I’m so fortunate to have the friends that I do, they’re my family. But it’s gotten to the point where I can see the pain in their eyes as they watch me self-destruct. My personal problems have now permeated everything and everyone around me. Co-dependency, self-medicating and escapism have been my downfall.

No matter how many times I’ve felt my heart ache in these past few months, I know I’ve arrived at this point for a reason. All of this pain that I am going through is necessary to become the person I want to be. Every last drop.

I’m not going to let this city turn me away. Because guess what? It’s not the city, it’s me. The only thing I am running from, is myself… and I’m too logical to keep planning an escape when I keep returning to the same place.

If I leave, it’s going to be on my terms and not based off of delusional fear. My personal faults cannot be masked as external factors any longer… it’s as if I’ve been chasing my own shadow.

I created this situation and I am the only one who can pick up the pieces. I feel like I’m finally taking the right path to become the person I know I’m capable of being. Big things are about to happen.


“Man looks into the abyss
There’s nothing staring back at him
At that moment, man finds his character
And that is what keeps him out of the abyss.”

– G.G. in Wall Street