HomeBlogBoundariesChronicles of a (recovering) Control Freak: The Secret Sadist

Chronicles of a (recovering) Control Freak: The Secret Sadist


Ok, since we are being honest here, I have to admit that I was secretly sadistic if you haven’t figured that out yet. But I’m not the only one, you might be too. Are you a chronic over-giver and under-receiver? You know the type, “Over my dead body will I ask for help or show any kind of weakness” or my personal favorite line, “I don’t want to be a burden.” ? Then you might be one too! Keep reading and you’ll find out why.

As a control freak, I had this weird sense of pride and accomplishment from being the strong, reliable one that always came through- even though it often took a toll on me or was a major inconvenience. Pride is weird like that, what can I say? I’ve seen people be proud (prideful) of some ridiculous things in the past- and the amount we have suffered is probably the most common (but I’m not going to get into that one just yet).

Why do we so easily welcome others placing their burdens onto us, yet quickly shirk the idea of sharing our own in return?

Chronicles of a (recovering) control freak: The Secret Sadist

That was the question I had to stop and ask myself. Here is what I realized as I started exploring that question more:

  1. I thought my value came from how much I was able to provide and give to others.
  2. In childhood, I was taught to suck it up and move on- meaning my problems and feelings weren’t important or worth others’ time.
  3. Number 2 led to me believing that showing weakness was bad and that I had to always keep up appearances of being strong (for the sake of others).
  4. Number 3 led to me developing imposter syndrome and seriously questioning if I was fit to be a leader and wondering how tf I got there because I did NOT feel prepared and asking questions and asking for help was a weakness.
  5. I didn’t know how to say No or when enough was enough- so things kept pilling higher and higher until I literally couldn’t walk (hello bilateral hip surgery at 28).

To overcome all of that nonsense my biggest challenge was accepting that asking for help wasn’t a weakness, and didn’t make me look bad. Strong leaders know their limits and know when they need to seek answers from others. You don’t have to know it all. The key to kicking the sadism to the curb was learning to be receptive to suggestions, ideas, AND assistance.

One of the other things that helped me was learning to be more discerning and how to balance how much I took on, as well as, when to say no and when to delegate. We overachievers like to pretend that we have a Thanksgiving platter that we can load up and pile high, but in reality- we have a dessert plate.

To do both of those, I had to learn to get out of my head and start living in the present moment, rather than planning out the fifteen million possibilities and how I could shape them to be what I needed (yes, that is also another form of control). As I learned to be present I was able to take cues from my body to tell me what I had the energy for and what just didn’t sit well with me.

To this day, I still have to remind myself of these things. Some days are better, but some days it’s easy to fall back into old habits. Give yourself grace- but also- breathe and unclench your body.

It’s okay to ask for help and receive guidance- I promise I won’t be the one to judge you for it. I’ll be cheering you on. So, if you need support lightening your mental load and sharing some of the burden, I’m here to help. All you have to do is ask. If someone was stuck in a pit, you’d throw them a rope and expect them to accept the help- it’s time to do the same for yourself now. Here’s your hand up→ Click here!

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