I can't follow a heart that constantly contradicts frightened by unfaithful, fickle feelings This inner guide cannot be comfortably trusted it oscillates wildly in the wind Unable to cope with decisions that can never be taken back just let me linger in limbo forever
ASD and Decision Making
One of the many struggles I have in life that I attribute to my undiagnosed Autism is my utter inability to make decisions. I’ve felt like decisions were so much harder for me to make than my peers even as a young child, but I feel it’s only gotten worse as I’ve gotten older and the decisions I’m faced with every day have become more and more serious and important. It’s hard enough for me to decide what to wear or what to make for dinner, let alone if I should take a new job or move.
I used to be more able to make a decision if I felt somewhat forced into it out of discomfort. I’d wait until I reached my breaking point, where the discomfort of not choosing a different path exceeded the discomfort of change. However, that threshold for discomfort has become larger and larger as I become more dependent on and attached to my routines. It feels impossible to make a big decision regardless of how certain I feel it will be good for me, because I know it will inevitably cause turmoil and disrupt my normal patterns and habits for awhile. Despite unhappiness with where I am, it still feels easier to just let things remain how they are. At least I know what to expect, even if it’s nothing good.
I’ve been trying to focus on the positive things I stand to gain from making a change. Part of me does get excited at the idea of beginning a new phase of life for myself. Who knows what wonderful new things might enter my life if I only have the courage to make room for them? However, I am immediately terrified and overwhelmed with the idea of the immediate future that lies before any of those benefits. How on earth can I bear the pivotal moments of action? It seems like an insurmountable task. I wish I was able to press a button, make the decision, and wake up a few weeks later beyond the initial aftermath.
Possibly worst of all is the feelings of guilt, shame, disappointment I feel with myself for not being able to do this. It’s hard to even talk about with other people, because I am so embarrassed. I can’t really ask for advice, because it’s obvious what they’ll tell me I need to do. Part of me is afraid that their certainty will push me into action. No matter how sure I am of something, there is always a small voice in the back of my head pushing me in the opposite direction, warning me that I might regret this. I know that’s not something I can ever avoid for sure. But I already have so many regrets. I’m afraid to trust myself. I’m afraid to be the one that chooses how my future will unfold. I don’t want to blame myself for making the wrong choice someday.
On the other hand, what if I am making the wrong choice by remaining where I am? There may be wonderful opportunities and people passing me by because I haven’t been brave enough to create space for them in my life. I hate feeling like such a coward, like a child, that needs someone else to make all the important decisions for them. I just want to ask for help, but I know that there is no one that can help me to live my own life. Some things we just have to do on our own.
How long can you try to force something before you finally come to forfeit? it's now been 363 days since my heart broke Walking home on the first crisp day of January wiping frost off pale cheeks with red, aching fingers a year's beginning like a heavy stone thrown into a lake There is a kind of certainty that feels uncommonly cruel a conviction to cut into raw nerves like severing a hand to save the whole Instead I've let this wound continue to fester faced with the same decision, only denser the compounding interest of inner pain
Trapped by the gravity vacuums of the past where each of my roads diverged left forever spiraling the drains of decisions made long ago Only able to follow a single strand of steel from a once finely coiled, now fraying wire the helpless feeling of never knowing the full potential of any life Intrusive daydream distractions of the paths I could have taken pull my attention in different directions hounded by a ghost of half-hearted regret
I don't know how to say hard things without swallowing venom it's more natural to pull away silently than to try to solve my problems Removing myself from my relationships receding from myself inside substances sitting behind layered walls of disassociation until connection becomes a foreign concept Stuck in the strange limbo of knowing what I need to do and being too afraid to do it sickening cycle of second guessing certainty left paralyzed by life's pivotal moments So much of my time has been spent waiting for the pain of inertia to overpower the pain of exerting my will in a decision about the lesser of two evils Hiding behind the bullet proof vest of helplessness because at least then I can cling to the comfort of feeling sorry for myself if I feel like this suffering was not my own choice How much longer can I spend cowering behind a life I know is not right for fear of an unknown, greater misery if I move forward on the wrong path I've always been too ready to lie down and die instead of fighting for what I desperately dream about but have never truly felt that I deserve
Hope holds me back from making hard decisions how long have I spent hesitating on the threshold of houses that were not my home Just before my jaws close on the final bitter bite of despair "what if" makes me wonder if I should put off taking that pill for just one more day It feels so much better to convince myself that this hopeless situation is somehow salvageable never sure enough to give up Leaving my regrets for the universe to decide throwing my hands up and hoping the next step will be made for me in time Soul setting out on a sailboat praying for fair winds but too afraid to pick up the paddles patiently waiting at my feet unable to acknowledge that burden This life is mine to direct a responsibility I cannot resign doing nothing is also a choice lingering in salt water is not the same as searching for the shore
Unable to Move Forward
I have the disease of discontent frantic to change my external circumstances anxiously envisioning the imperative of upward mobility while simultaneously shrinking from the idea of change It's hard to remember that mindset is what matters while also understanding there are choices I can make how am I to determine if action is needed or if it's just an ego's sad attempt to avoid responsibility? Equally afraid of things being different as I am of things staying the same is there any true escape from this paralyzing paradox of self reflection? Should I focus my energies on being happy where I am or on grasping for new paths in life? what would be the best use of my time? or is it all about preference and perspective? There are so many questions I know only I can answer but I'm left spinning in circles inside my own uncertain mind I just want someone to take my hand and lead me confidently onward in any direction as of now I foresee myself simply starving to death at the impassible crossroads of doubt
Who Do You Want to Be?
I often find myself getting weighed down by the futility of a lot of the efforts I make in life to do good and make the world a better place. When it is so much easier to make an unethical decision than the ethical one, why bother doing the hard option if it won’t ultimately matter in the grand scheme of things? This is a question we all face regularly. I suppose some people behave themselves for fear of not obtaining an afterlife or displeasing an all-knowing, all-seeing God. But for those without religion, questions of ethics can be more complicated.
As someone who whole-heartedly believes the human race is circling the drain, it can be particularly hard for me to rationalize why I still care to do as little harm as possible while I’m here. I mean, I think we’re all fucked anyway. So why should I conserve water and electricity if it inconveniences me? Why should I recycle when most of the world is already a landfill anyway? A lot of people also use this excuse to disregard the idea of veganism. “The animals are gonna die anyway.” “Humans will never stop eating meat.” “Individuals will never be able to take down these huge industries.”
For me, veganism will always be worth it because every meal I eat that doesn’t contain an animal, is inherently opting out of the choice to cause more suffering in the world. But for people that are interested more in the environmental impact side of veganism, I can see how they might end up thinking veganism isn’t worth the effort. The world will not go vegan in time to save our planet, unfortunately.
However, at the end of the day, I think we are asking ourselves the wrong questions. Rather than wondering, “will this make a difference?” we should be asking ourselves, “what kind of person do I want to be?” Whether or not the entire earth is impacted is kind of beside the point. Our personal decisions, especially ones that have any amount of moral weight to them, impact us, and that’s why they still matter.
Do you want to be the kind of person that contributes to the suffering of animals or not? Do you want to be the type of person that puts your own personal convenience before the consideration of others? Do you want to be someone that cares about the planet and environment? These are the questions we should be asking ourselves when faced with a moral and/or ethical decision.
Personally, I want to do what I believe is right, regardless of what everyone else is doing. How about you? Who do you want to be?
Haze of Change
Senses sharpened by a shift in reality the surreal sensation of sudden change unstable ground under cautious steps keeps me tethered in the present moment My soul lurches back and forth between ecstatic excitement and utter terror at the prospect of all that's to come should I dare to let myself hope? Surely it's psychotic to leave this safe haven this resting place that's given me such grace the soft embrace of a found family have I formed ties strong enough to last? Still, it's been so long since I've felt this stirring this passionate flutter of energy inside my chest for once I want to let myself follow it to fully embrace my innocent, hopeful heart I've finally felt the hand of fate guiding me I can't bear to ignore the voice of opportunity even as it beckons me beyond my boundaries to new places tinged with fear and uncertainty Perhaps for the first time, I feel ready to be brave making the right choice doesn't mean it's easy left disoriented and dazzled by unknown possibilities it's been the hardest decision I've ever had to make
Big changes are like the breeze creating little whirlwinds of unease small rippling waves made on the smooth surfaces of the mind The gapping maw of an unknown future unable to imagine what may come next hands shaking with anticipation palms made damp by possibility Holding down the hope that begins rising to the throat the droning drumbeat of "what if" holds a steady tempo of new terror White knuckled grasping of what is the daunting decision to sail past the distant horizon where the sun hangs necessary gambles in the game of life What might be lying just out of sight paradise or peril, it cannot be predicted the fear of failure tastes metallic on my tongue but there is no turning back now that I've begun