So the number one thing that brings me anxiety like no other is decision-making. And that’s been a big ‘ol nuisance as of late. But what has me up tonight is my inability to prioritize.
At work, it was pretty easy to prioritize. I had due dates, and after a while, a sense of the process and how long things took. I knew how long I could hold off on the things I hated, and what days I could slack off if needed.
But now I feel like I’m running around in circles. And I think a part of me is afraid to stop and organize it because that will make the decisions real and I will have to make them. And things are more complicated when it comes to prioritizing your life. It’s hard to place value on something like “deciding if I am ready to move across the continent” or “if I’m smart enough to take this challenging volunteer job.” It’s not a task, it’s a choice and that means choosing a path that may lead to good or bad. I know people say that it’s your path, whatever you choose, but I kind of think they say that to make them feel better for all the shitty choices they have made along the way. (Sorry, I’m a bit crabby.)
I know having options are a luxury, but a part of me wishes for simpler times. I was joking with my mom that I think I was born in the wrong era. Sometimes I crave the idea of an arranged marriage, a job based on what my family did or what was tasked to me, a life laid out for me without having to choose whether it was good enough or not. I wouldn’t have to worry if I “could have done more or been better” because I was following what was expected. It’d never work given my liberal belief system, my innate feeling that I could always be doing more, and just my own self-respect..
I think depression gave me something similar to that. Or perhaps it gave me something to blame, to put fault on. But it helped make decisions for me. It would tell me not to go out, not to call someone back, not to go to the gym, not to try and achieve something or speak up for myself. And it protected me in doing those things and therefore moving forward and risking failure even though I felt like a failure the whole time because I wasn’t doing those things and I wanted to. (It’s really quite confusing.)
There’s a spin app that has a trainer on it that I do for my workouts…anyway, one of things that the trainer say is that it’s better to try to challenge yourself and have to pull back then not try and see if you can do it. And she also says the point is to defeat yourself, to push yourself farther than you think you can, and not make it – find your breaking point. I think the idea behind it is that every time you do that, you can push yourself farther and I imagine it also intends to provide a mindset that failure from trying is success all on its’ own because you won’t know how strong you are until you figure out when you have to pull back.
I think about that a lot now. Knowing your potential. Knowing what you’re good at. Knowing what you can and can’t handle. That sometimes the only way to figure it out is to do it, and yet it’s also important to listen to yourself and if your inner self is screaming “don’t do this! it’s not just fear, we aren’t ready!” you also need to listen to that, no matter how disappointing.
So I guess decision-making, failure, fault, and trust are facing me across the table. And I need to prioritize the choices I must make and the tasks that come with those choices. A part of me craves to just make a decision, have it feel right, and move forward scared but certain. But that feeling has yet to come.
Usually in spin, when she tells me to try and push myself a little harder, I might go up a notch or two, but I don’t really go to a point of defeat. I don’t want to be dissapointed. I don’t want to accept failure or set a higher bar that I might not be able to reach the next time I spin.
I’ve created a system that has put myself in quite a predicament. Because really, there’s no way to win. I can prioritize, I can try to challenge myself, I can try to see failure as success for what it teaches me, but in the end, deep inside, it all feels like failure. It feels instinctual. And while I see how to change certain habits and I give DBT a lot of credit for skills to help break bad habits, this is more of an internal belief system. Next to my values of helping others, being a good person, and always trying to add value, I believe what I do will never be enough and I will never find peace within myself because I don’t deserve it and I should be ashamed for the opportunities I have been allotted and the time I have wasted convincing all of these people to believe in me and give me chances.
This is when if I friend told me that I would tell her she should go to therapy. LOL. My therapist believes and I agree that I established these beliefs from a very young age and they were supported in different contexts and so I came to make these thoughts into facts. She believes I must grieve for what I have lost because of it, understand why it became fact so that I can see it is thought, and from there, learn to question that thought when it arises and tries to bring me to my demise.
And I want to believe her. I’m just not sure I can do it, and honestly, I’m afraid to fail.