These two do not mix well. In general anxious people like certainty, they like knowing what to expect so they can mentally plan for it (well, I do anyway). This becomes very challenging for people like me, who have a problem with making decisions, since what is expected of can’t even be decided on.
I’m not too sure where my indecision stems from, perhaps its genetic, developed from a certain situation or stems from the anxiety, regardless of its origins it surely is annoying.
I do have to cut myself some slack about it though, it’s only been this recent year that I’ve started to make decisions more independently. Before, I would heavily rely on my family and friends to help me out. I’m not saying that there’s anything wrong with asking for advice, it’s just that I would ask for too much advice, to the point that I wanted others to make the decisions for me. I guess subconsciously I didn’t want to feel responsible for the decisions in my life, and felt it was easier for someone else to decide. This system was doomed to fail, and as a result, it did when I entered university and didn’t constantly have my friends and teachers by my side.
Things got really bad during my depressive episodes in which the smallest of decisions became the biggest. For example, I wouldn’t be able to decide what to wear so I would just stay in my pajamas for as long as I possibly could. Now I still have trouble deciding what to wear, but it takes me a matter of minutes, whereas before I would be sitting there for hours (I kid you not).
I hit a turning point where I really wanted to take control of my life, and that meant making my own decisions. I felt so accomplished doing so. Unfortunately, I still have troubles with my indecisiveness. It’s been getting better, but it does get worse during times that I am more stressed.
For any others out there struggling with anxiety and indecision, I feel your pain. It’s so frustrating to want to prepare for something, when you can’t even decide on what that something is. To make life easier, I will try to trust my gut more when making decisions, and remind myself that — whatever decision I make — it’s not the end of the world if it doesn’t turn out as well as I thought it would. In the end everything will fall into place.
About Elena B.
Elena is a 21 year-old college student, sales associate, and volunteer living with depression and generalized & social anxiety. Formally diagnosed with social anxiety in high school, Elena has struggled with it for the majority of her life. During her first year of university she experienced high levels of anxiety and had her first major depressive episode, which was followed by another the following year. Since then she has been recovered and focuses on her recovery daily. She currently runs a tumblr blog, where she shares inspirational quotes, images, and tips to help others with their recovery. Follow Elena’s story on HMC’s Supportive Minds Blog.