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Decisions. Saturday April 12, 2014

One thing I know well about being in a depression is how it can suddenly take you ages to make a decision and even postpone making those important decisions until the very last possible moment, or until we might feel better, even though we know that could be some time.

Structure and organisation by someone else helps guide us in what we do in work situations, but in our private life we have to balance, organise and choose everything ourselves.

We decide whether to go to the shops or not, to pay our bills or not, to eat a healthy meal or not, to get out of bed or not.

The funny thing is, by not making a decision we DO make a decision.

If you don't, want or can't decide whether to cook today, you will end up simply not doing it. Which is a result of decisiveness. You postpone making a decision and you end up simply, not consciously, making a choice which leads to not doing certain things.

Not being able to decide about something can be an indication that you have too many (hard) decisions to make and don't know where to start. These are probably things that make you fearful or unsure.

Make one decision today. Write down everything that you know you need to decide on doing or arranging. Consciously choose every day to review one of those subjects. If you have trouble making any decisions and need some structure, use something I've been using for years now. It's called the Eisenhower model. It helps you to decide to do something, to plan, to delegate and eliminate.

For me, the decision I will make today will be about reviewing my financial situation and what measures I need to take to make sure we make it to the end of the year.

If you have big life decisions to make about changing your job, what to do with your relationship or perhaps moving house and need help, find someone you can talk to. It could be your best friend, a coach a therapist or even a random person on the train.

A Moodscope member.

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Anonymous Sat, Apr 12th 2014 @ 7:55am

Very interesting and apt, Suzanne. Thank you so much.

Anonymous Sat, Apr 12th 2014 @ 8:21am

Thanks that was really interesting :-) I often struggle with decisions, both big and small. I think it can be an issue of confidence, but it was interesting what you said about indecision actually resulting in decision. Thanks Suzanne.

Lex McKee Sat, Apr 12th 2014 @ 9:15am

Thanks Suzanne. I believe the very act of writing something down gives a useful distance from it and reduces the emotional 'flavour'. My guess is that we all suffer from a sense of overwhelm from time-to-time. Externalising these pressures to decide by moving them onto a piece of paper in front of us can sometimes give such a sense of relief... and distance.

Anonymous Sat, Apr 12th 2014 @ 12:20pm

Excellent recovery point. I once went to a 3-day retreat on stress reduction. The leader had us talk then write about a 10 year plan. Then the top 5 things from that for a 5 year plan. We did this all the way down to: if you had six months to live, what one thing would be on your to do list? Now that your top priority amongst your highest values.
It was life changing: I divorced an alcoholic lawyer, went back to school, changed careers and life has never been the same!

Anonymous Sat, Apr 12th 2014 @ 5:27pm

Beautifully put Lex, as always! I urgently need to write a letter (which will never be sent) to someone who has yet again managed to wind me up dreadfully. And thank-you Suzanne for the clarity of your description about the decisiveness of indecision. Frankie

Quacko Sat, Apr 12th 2014 @ 5:43pm

Needed this this early afternoon. Am completely overwhelmed- leaving a horrendous job situation, going to a new job Monday. Have not had a vacation in 9 years. House needs to be dehoarded. I am doing something I call "Don't Think.I set time for one hour to work on hoard of books and papers. I stop. One issue I have with decision making or movement forward is overthinking. Writing a short list of what to do really really helps. Thanks.

Anonymous Sat, Apr 12th 2014 @ 10:54pm

Oh Quacko. Good luck for Monday. I really recognise the "overthinking" issue. Thank-you so much for this post which I really appreciate. Frankie

Mary Sat, Apr 12th 2014 @ 10:56pm

I recall a line from a song by the rock band Rush, way back in the eighties "If you decide not to decide, you have still made a choice." So true. When depressed I let everything slip and slide away; but it doesn't slip away - it piles up and overwhelms me totally. A plan and a structure is a fantastic thing. Must apply it to emails!

Julia Sun, Apr 13th 2014 @ 7:42am

I loved your blog Suzanne. Sorry I couldn't comment on the day. I have visitors so am busy ALL DAY! Despite being in a low mood for much of the time, I can make decisions. I think I like to decide on things as it's a way of controlling every aspect of my life apart from the depression which seems to control me. Anyway good blog Suzanne.

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