I'm not sure why I have such a difficult time letting things go. I often say I am going to "let it go". However, I later find myself (or should I say, 'catch myself') replaying the entire situation and interaction in my head. Even better: when I am upset about a past interaction gone awry or anxious about an upcoming interaction. I rehearse the entire interaction in my head. I think about what they will say and then what I will say in response (might I add, I am much more brilliant in these rehearsals, leaving the other person quickly humbled). Is this the illusion of control? "Rehearsing" upcoming interactions and "replaying" old ones that left me feeling hurt? I think it is. Prior to an interaction, I have no way of knowing what's going to be said. In fact, I rarely come across as brilliant in real life as I do in my head. Therefore, when people don't say what I think they should say and I say something less than charming and graceful in response, I've lost all control over the entire conversation. Then the conversation quickly turns into a black hole. A giant opening in the ground, swirling and sucking everything down. We just spin and spin and spin. Stuck in a circular argument from hell. Sucking the life out of everyone involved. I swear, those conversations age me by a year or five every time (I'm around 300 in arguing years). I feel hopeless and exhausted at the end of them. I typically have a throbbing headache in my frontal lobe (where my impulse control lies) from it being exercised so much. Sadly, it still doesn't seem to be effective in these situations. At the end of these unpleasant interactions, I feel weak and shaken. Even if I've made "my point", I don't feel good about it. I don't feel relief. Instead, I waste more energy, more time obsessing over what I could or should have said differently. THEN, what THEY should say in response. I start the whole damn argument again in my head!! Now, as I write this, I am realizing the INSANITY of this process. I can justify (a little) rehearsing the interaction prior to it happening. However, this last one is asinine. Let's see: the conversation didn't go as "planned" (this is an impossible task from the get go). The conversation then goes awry (probably because I am stuck on getting it back to script). So, I replay and rehearse again. Changing words, actions, tones, and emotions. REALLY?!? This is REAL LIFE!! Not a Hollywood screen play. This isn't a Lifetime movie, an after-school special or even community theater. In the grand scheme of things, this interaction and how it plays out is nothing! A drop in the bucket. Or, more like a drop in an Olympic-size swimming pool. It really probably isn't that important. Yet, a lot of energy goes into preparing (and fixing) it to my standards. LET IT GO!! Instead I find myself going: Well, he said...Then I said...So, he said...So, I said...LET IT GO!! THIS IS EXHAUSTING INSANITY AT ITS FINEST! My new favorite saying: "It is what it is". I learned that in Al-Anon and I love it. It is what it is. What can I or anyone else do about it??
I now think I have answered my original question. For those of you who may be lost at this point; it was, is this "movie in my mind" an issue of control?
The answer (drum roll please...)
The light that just illuminated above my head could light an entire country block. The clarity is almost laughable. In the sense of, why didn't I think of this before?
Now, don't I feel like a horse's pa toot??