I had a hard time deciding what to write about this week. I have a stash of tips and ideas that I would like to share with others struggling with Chronic Illness, but I couldn’t write any of those articles. I wrote and scrapped several different drafts, before I realized what I really needed to write about: tough decision making.
I’ve never been a good decision maker. From deciding what I’d like to eat at a restaurant to the Uni I went to, decisions have always come hard to me. As I’ve aged my decision making skills have weaned and waned, sometimes I feel in control and sure of what I want, other times I feel lost in a battle where all sides seem equally good and equally bad.
Living with Chronic Fatigue adds a new element to decision making. Like anyone, you need to consider what you want and what you need, but the disparity between these two is greater for those living with a chronic illness.
I’m at a time in my life where a lot of things are changing. The amount of possibility is both stressful and exciting, but the challenges that lay ahead both; internal and external are daunting. Deciding who we want to be and what we want to come is challenging for every young (and old) person, but CFS demands more attention and snakes its way into every major decision I need to make.
I recently read an article from one of my favourite authors, about reducing small decision making to put your entire focus on the big decisions that need to be made. In theory, this sounds great to me but how do you effectively put that into practice? What if I’m too tired before bed to decide what I want for breakfast tomorrow? What if I enjoy waking up in the morning and putting an outfit together, even though I’m aware that this can sometimes add extra stress? And what about those times when you need to make some big decisions, and thus all decisions including what you’ll order for lunch and what time you’ll go to bed become impossible to make. What do you do when your decision making processes begin to shut down?
Fear lies at the base of all decisions. Fear that you will make the wrong choice, or fear how this will affect your life or somebody else’s. Sometimes, it’s an utter panic of having no idea what to do. Not knowing is one of our greatest fears.
So the question is: how can we cultivate self awareness to overcome this fear of indecision, to make a choice that is right for us in the moment while still seeing the future?
I will be spending a month working and writing from the beautiful Scottish Highlands. Getting out of the city and into nature has made my mindfulness challenge easier, despite the physically demanding work I will be doing.
In a month’s time I will need to be deciding where I will be going, what I will be doing, and whom, if anyone, I will be with. CFS has forced me to collect the tools I need to be resilient, adaptable, and self aware. Now I only need to use them to find my own clarity.
What about you? How do you make those tough decisions? And How does your illness effect them?