The therapist leading group looked at me like I was insane.
I was, after all, on the psych ward. After a suicidal gesture. And he’d just finished saying “Suicide isn’t a choice.”
Maybe that wasn’t the best time to point it out.
I quickly added: “It’s a bad choice,” which is also true, but he wouldn’t have it at all, continuing to insist that it wasn’t a choice.
We were all there because of suicidal gestures or attempts. We all knew that he was wrong, even if we wouldn’t make that choice again. None of us wanted to choose suicide again. (And to make this clear, the suicide prevention hotline is at 1 (800) 273-8255.)
But that it was a choice was the point I was trying to make.
His language was robbing us of our choice to live.
The words we use to examine our options have power.
I’m not encouraging you to choose bad options, but I am encouraging you to actually look at all your options.
All too often I’ve heard friends and acquaintances hemmed in by their own assumptions. Their power, their self-determination, their choices are stolen from them by the way they talk about the situation.
Examine your choices. ALL of them. Determine what makes them “bad” or “good” options. Look at the possible consequences dispassionately.
Here’s a less-charged example:
“I can’t date Bobby.”
“Because I can’t.”
“He’s black and my parents would freak out.”
So you can date Bobby; a possible consequence is that your parents would freak out. What would happen if they freak out?
You see where I’m going with this?
You can apply the same to your choice of career. Of your choice of how to live. Of your choice of damn near anything. Do not allow your mammoth brain to limit your choices before you make them!
If we do not examine our options, if we allow our choices to be hemmed in by others, we are giving away our power. We are giving away our choices.
We are giving away our lives.
Examine all your options. And then choose them based on what makes you happiest and healthiest, not what someone else decides for you.