Learning to trust yourself is a difficult concept for many people. It is especially difficult for those people who have had life altering decisions made for them by professionals. I am one of those people. I have a strong gut (not literally) and a strong sense of self but over the years, I have found that I have buried my instinctual feelings because I saw how no decision I made ever made anything better, or even different. I have told doctors I wasn’t going to go through with a procedure or test, or try certain medications, and that has always worked out in my favor. I am trying very hard to think back to all of those times when I stood up and did what I thought was best for me. What happened all of those times? I was absolutely right in every single decision I have made. Because of that, I find it difficult to understand why I have been having such a hard time making decisions lately.
Earlier in the week, I barely slept and was just having an awful morning. Usually, when I am not doing well and have a therapist appointment, I would call and cancel so that I wouldn’t have to face whatever it was that was bothering me. This past week was the first time I took the opposite approach. I tried to think about how good it was that I had an appointment with my new psychologist on a day when I wasn’t feeling great. I was extremely overwhelmed, sleep deprived, and in a lot of pain from my seemingly never ending migraines. Getting dressed, driving to the office, and talking about all of the things that were making me feel like my head was going to combust, was not anything I really wanted to be a part of. But, I knew that if I couldn’t open up on a day when I was feeling particularly vulnerable, that it would be that much harder and take that much longer for me to heal.
I know I needed to be able to talk through the emotions I was feeling and I was so glad that I kept my appointment. My new therapist helped me an enormous amount that day. She was extremely insightful and brought things to my attention that I had never heard of or thought before. It was refreshing and made me feel like trusting my gut a month ago and switching therapists was absolutely the right thing to do for me. We discussed some of the things that were bothering me and those that were making me feel combustible. She helped me to see that the lost/confused state that I am in right now is actually a good thing. I was never able to have choices before or make any decisions for myself. Most of the decisions in my life were medical and thrust upon me by circumstances that I was never able to be in the experimental phase of life.
I have these artificial deadlines in my mind about where I need to be at a certain point and it was comforting to know that she understood why I was doing that. I was never able to develop like a “normal” teenager. Since the age of 13, I was fighting to exist when most other people my age were figuring out who they were, what they wanted to do, and where they belonged. I have been feeling so far behind where I should be, that it has forced me to try and cram all of the developmental years I had missed out on into three short weeks. I then realized just how absurd and unrealistic that was. All it does and will do is set me up for failure. I had talked about setting realistic, attainable goals for yourself in a previous post and I was reminded of that during my appointment. When I left, I had made some decisions that I had been going back and forth about for a month. I am trying to be confident in the decisions I make and learn to trust myself again. I know that I do know what is best for me, but I constantly find myself second guessing myself.
I received a message from my friend Kate, who I met many years ago, and one of the things she said was how her new mantra was “I did the best thing for myself with the information I had at that time.” That was exactly how I needed to start looking at things. I have tried to feel comfortable with decisions that I make but I am not going to lie, it is hard. Learning to trust yourself again and listen to your intuition takes time, but the more you can make decisions and stand by them, the more confidence you will instill in yourself in all areas of your life.