My apologies for the blogging hiatus. I once again ended up in inpatient, and had limited computer access while there. I am ashamed to admit that I had to go back, but it was definitely for the best. I got the kick in the butt physically and mentally that I needed.
Moving on, as I have mentioned in past posts, I really struggle with making decisions. I was writing a post for my other blog, The West Wing in Real Life, and I realized that the quote I was using for that entry just so happens to be a quote I cite almost every time I talk about my struggle to make decisions.
President Bartlet: “Every once in a while, there’s a day with an absolute right and an absolute wrong, but those days almost always include body counts.”
Intellectually, I know that what President Bartlet says is true – for most decisions there is no absolute right or absolute wrong. But in reality I still get really hung up on making a right or wrong decision.
My old therapist once wrote me a great email that said “There are no wrong choices. There are only the choices we WANT to make. If we make choices based on avoiding or fear, then that is the choice we WANT to make. To try to WANT to make healthy and positive choices for ourselves we need to take a hard look at our values and make sure that the choices fit with those values. What are a person’s values? Being powerful, Achieving success in work life, being financially stable, being safe, being respectful, being spiritual, contributing to the larger community, having integrity, feel secure, advocating for equality or fairness, caring for nature or the environment, to name just a few…For example – if your emotions/values tell you that you are safer being “sick” than being well, then your choice will be to do the behaviors that keep your symptoms going….[but] If you don’t like where you are with your ED, it is your responsibility to take action to change that. It is not easy to take the risks we need to take in order to change ourselves, but it can and must be done. Otherwise we stay stuck and resentful.”
So, thinking about it in those terms…I never think “what choice do I want?” I always think “what is the right choice” and “what is the choice that others will approve of?” Thus, I get super stuck because as President Bartlett says there is rarely and absolute right and an absolute wrong. Furthermore, it is impossible to know what others will think of me in advance without using distorted thinking like mindreading. And, both of those things values (doing what is right and what others think is right) are going to be tied up with a ton of “shoulds” because there is always room for second guessing when it comes to what is “right” and what others think.