Tuesday, November 3, 2009

The Illusion of Control

Coasting through Life On Crazy Wheels

Pronunciation: \kən-ˈtrōl\
Function: verb
a : to exercise restraining or directing influence over : regulate
b : to have power over : rule
c : to reduce the incidence or severity of especially to innocuous levels
(...control a disease)

I'm not sure if everyone knows what crazy wheels are - those are the types of wheels that are on shopping carts that can turn in any direction at anytime, regardless of what direction you are trying to push the cart. You think you are directing the cart where you want it to go, but at any second one of those wheels can lock and then you are dragging the cart around the store trying to force it down the aisles.

That recalcitrant cart is a metaphor for my life. I think I am in control. I do all the right things at the right times. I try to put my ducks in a row, plan ahead, be proactive. I go to great lengths to do c above - "reduce the incidence or severity of [my illnesses] especially to innocuous levels" - even fighting to find a way to get an occipital stimulator installed when I became convinced it was my best path to return to normalcy. Then something else goes wrong and since I am stuck on the path of "controlling" I continue pushing my protesting body to do what I think it should, not what it is inclined to do.

The measures I take do help - such as the occipital stimulator, but they just can't fix what is broken. I'm very fatigued this month, bad times with sleep or lack thereof, very little nutrition, and lots of ouchiness from different sources, so my grocery cart is maybe a little overloaded right now!

Maybe it is my hard headed Germanic heritage, but I have a hard time admitting that I am not in control. I never was in control, I just chose to believe the illusion of control. I feel like I'm rollerskating on a floor of marbles and sure footing does not exist. That Gene Kelly type of finesse, dancing in rollerskates in urban traffic, doesn't seem to exist for me but I can hope for future abilities to form.


  1. My goodness what a great post. I love the analogy with the crazy wheel syndrome. Control is one thing I am trying to give up and have God take over. As hard as it is..... But, I hear you dear one. Thanks for sharing. Blessinsg.

  2. That control thing is one of the hardest to just let go of! And I think my shopping cart ran over some gum in the parking lot so has one really looping wheel!