Monday, April 12, 2010

Just can't decide...

Here's a confession about myself:

I have a really hard time making decisions.

I'm an incredibly detailed person.  Some people would consider this a blessing.  Yes, I think it is a blessing on occasion.  But the problem for me is, I get weighed down with details.  To the point where I spend way too much time flip-flopping decisions, outcomes, scenarios back and forth in my mind. It drives my husband crazy at times, because I can't ever seem to make a decision and stick with it.  I'm always worried about making the WRONG decision.

My example story happened this morning with a $20 gift card at Target Supercenter.  Let me start off by saying that unlike many women I know, I do NOT like Target.  (For many, many reasons.  But that's another post on another day.  Maybe it'll be my letter "T.")  So, the fact that I had to spend the twenty bucks at Target began my shopping trip on a negative path.

For someone like myself who has trouble making decisions, spending the gift card was SO DIFFICULT.  There were so many things that we needed but I just couldn't reconcile my thoughts around what was needed the most.  Yes, in the end, I picked up a few things with the gift card.  But the frustration that accompanied all of my decision-making haunted me for the rest of the day.

Sounds crazy, right?  Well, I used to think it was just an ordinary thing.  Until I truly realized how much of my thinking was enslaved to decision making... how I was always afraid of what might happen if I made the wrong choice.  Then a year ago I found out the issue.

This is actually a common tendency of people with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.  Now, I don't mean to the degree of constantly washing my hands or locking/unlocking doors or any other type of compulsive behavior.  My issues are all stuck inside the gears of my brain.  The "Obsessive" part of OCD.  And I fall into the category of "Doubters and Sinners."  A person in this category is always "afraid that if everything isn't perfect or done just right something terrible will happen or they will be punished."

So how do I deal with it?  First of all, I've found that sleep is a major player in my symptoms.  When I don't get enough, I have an incredibly difficult time making decisions or getting out of my thoughts (if that makes sense).  At the end of the day, if I realize I've had an anxiety-ridden day over decisions, ninety-nine percent of the time I can blame it on inadequate sleep.

Exercise also helps tremendously.  It pumps up those seratonin levels and other big-scientific-named things that the brain needs to feel good.

Prescription antidepressants, such as Prozac, do a great deal to help ease the symptoms.  I've been extremely inconsistent with these since I can rarely get past the side effects that many of them cause.

Lastly, the three therapies I mentioned above are essential, yet NOTHING can take the place of spending time with the Great Physician.  He is the Prince of Peace, at whose feet I can lay all of my burdens, worries, decisions, and cares.

 Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.  1 Peter 5:7

Now that I know the root of my decision-making issues, it's much easier now for me to deal with them.  I'm thankful that my personal level of OCD is extremely mild compared to other stories I've heard or read about.  I'm also glad that I've been made aware of the issue and can now watch for early symptoms in my children, as well.

If you have thoughts, advice, recommendations, or just a comment about this topic, I'd love to read them!

See you tomorrow for letter "K."


melodygreen said...

I have a hard time with decisions too. It is pretty typical for me to have a gift card for months because I just can't decide what would be best to buy with it! Love your tips... and need to do them more. I have to leave my absolute favorite Bible verse (I'm sure I'll be blogging about it later) -- Philippians 4:6-7 "Don't be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."

Also have to say that I am interested in why you don't like to shop at Target! :)

Linda said...

Sorry about that Target issue. My daughter is a manager for them so I fall on the opposite side - I love Target! Maybe I can help you with your dislike! :-) Interesting post - glad I found it. And glad you joined the A-Z. It is so fun.

Suzie said...

Man, I have pretty much the opposite problem. I make a quick decision and then determine too late that it was wrong decision. I think there is some middle ground. Do you think there is anyone out there who has that figured out though? I guess that's why God made us all different---so we balance each other out :).

arlee bird said...

I have 2 $50 Target cards but I don't think I'll have much trouble deciding what to get -- I'll just get stuff I need. My problem is deciding when to go.
I'll be mentioning your blog in my post for Wed 4/14.
Blogging From A to Z April Challenge

CK said...

Well, I think my issues are mainly rooted in the particular Target store in our town. So I apologize to all you Target-lovers out there. I promise to explain my "disgruntledness" in a future post.

Tori Cooper said...

You would be surprised if you really knew how many people silently struggle with anxiety and worry. You are not alone. It is a process to be a worry overcomer... but it is possible although it feels so hard.

I have dealt with anxiety and worry my entire life... I have learned the hard way that the antidote to worry is trusting in God & Casting my cares upon God.

"The beginning of anxiety is the end of Faith, and the beginning of True faith is the end of anxiety and worry." (George Mueller).

So the best way to starve the anxiety monster within is to feed your faith... Faith comes by hearing the word of God and doing the word of God... Get the Word in you... allow it to change the way you think and to cleanse you... Jesus will help you overcome through the power of the Holy Spirit. Read Romans 12:2!

Love you chick! You are beautiful inside and out! :-D