Releasing control

I have never been a fan on online grocery shopping.

I’ve made a few orders over the past years with a variety of supermarkets, but always found that I preferred selecting the fresh produce myself. I have never questioned why?

Why, when so many people rave about the benefits, did I dislike it so much?

Why, even when I had huge anxiety around public places, did I not make the switch?

Why, when the boys were younger and grocery shopping with them was an absolute nightmare, did I not take advantage of having it delivered straight to the door?

These ponderings came to me this morning while brushing my teeth (odd time for inspiration to strike?!)

Owing to my hectic week, I didn’t need a supermarket trip adding to my commitments, so on Sunday I did an order with Tesco for delivery yesterday afternoon/evening. The ordering was relatively straightforward as I mainly ordered fruit, veg, bread, cereal, milk and yoghurt. The availability of delivery times was good, and it suited me for delivery to be after school pick up and before our evening meal. The delivery man was polite, friendly, prompt and the produce was all of great quality.

All of these positives made me consider what was preventing me from regularly using this service. And the conclusion I reached was that there was no reason.

Except relinquishing control.

Whether the following character traits are genetic in origin or resulting from my life experiences is unknown, however, in learning about PTSD I have found that such traits are incredibly common in those with PTSD.

I am a perfectionist.
I fear failure.
I worry about letting people down.
I believe everything (and I mean everything) is under my control, so if something doesn’t work out right then I must be responsible.
I blame myself for things that are out of my control.
I have unrealistic expectations of myself.
I accept people for who they are and that their best effort is good enough, but do not show myself the same level of compassion.
I like the familiar (safe).
I do not like uncertainty (unsafe).
I like order and routine (safe).
And I want to be in control of everything, if only so I can blame myself when it goes wrong.

And this, I believe is the problem with online grocery shopping. The risk that my order won’t be perfect. Giving the responsibility to someone else to select the produce on my behalf. That they might not bring everything. That they may substitute items. That I will forget to order things. That the delivery will be late. That it won’t arrive at all.

All my objections relate to a loss of control and increased uncertainty, which for me is a big deal. In therapy we touched on this and I agreed that to relinquish control would be liberating. To accept that I am good enough and not to blame for everything that goes wrong would provide a release from perfectionism and fear of failure.

In living through trauma, we feel powerless. We fear the unknown. We don’t have control over what is happening to us. It’s scary stuff and one way to deal with all these negative fears and feelings is to gain control. For example, you are in a car crash as a passenger, to gain control, in the future, you would always insist on driving. It makes sense that living through something where you had no control would give you a desire to bring control into your life.

I am working on this. Working on releasing control. Small steps. One thing at a time.

However, with regards to grocery shopping online, I think I’m ready to make the leap, I think I’m ready give up control and embrace the positives.


7 comments on “Releasing control”
  1. bravingmentalillness says:

    Well said and kudos to you for knowing when you need to take care of you and what your limits are!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Karen says:

      Thank you ๐Ÿ˜Š

      Liked by 1 person

      1. bravingmentalillness says:

        Youโ€™re welcome ๐Ÿ˜Š

        Liked by 1 person

  2. ashleyleia says:

    Good for you! I do online shopping for other things, but never for food. Control can be hard to relinquish…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Karen says:

      Likewise, happy to buy other things online, not clothes or groceries.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. indishe says:

    Good you made the change.
    It is a blessing.
    Saving time and freedom from toting heavy bags๐Ÿ˜„๐Ÿ˜„and quality is not compromised and you pay for what you buy

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Karen says:

      I know it makes so much sense!


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