Tuesday, January 29, 2008

What Was I Thinking?

“I am who I choose to be. I always have been what I chose…though not always what I pleased.”
- Lois McMaster Bujold

The above quote troubles me a little. I understand and agree with the principle that we can choose our actions but not our consequences, but I’m uncomfortable with the notion that I’ve always had a choice. I was plopped down on this fair planet with a couple of screws loose before I even got to make any real decisions about who I wanted to be. I don’t remember signing off on that idea, but supposedly I did.

According to my religious beliefs, before I came here to live with my earthly family I could be found hanging out in heaven with my spiritual kin. We were all so excited about our pending earthly adventures, and the mere fact that I’m here now is proof that when I was offered the chance to go, I said, “Hmmm…that sounds like fun!” Furthermore, when I was informed things could get rocky because my brain chemistry would be kind of squirrely, I wasn’t even fazed, and with all the heavenly bravado I could muster I replied, “Piece of cake.”

Fast forward thirty-five years. Every single day I struggle to overcome the depression that is hard-wired into my brain and stay on the glass-half-full side of the spectrum, and every day the exhausting effort leaves me feeling less than sane. It’s like having to run a three-mile obstacle course every morning before breakfast. I try to console myself by keeping in mind that I was supposedly okay with this, that I chose to come here anyway, knowing the challenges I would face.

Here’s the conundrum: How is remembering this supposed to really comfort me about my own sanity? If I agreed to come here knowing that I’d be crazy, doesn’t that make me, well, crazy? Eternally crazy? Yeah. I feel so much better now.


Sarah said...

I think it means that you knew you could get through it, and that's why you said, "Okay, I'll do it."

momof3gr8kids said...

Sarah - You know, today I can agree with you. I've gotten a nice nap, and I'm feeling a little bit better about things. Days like yesterday, though, I'd just have to say you're talking nonsense. I guess as long as I have more good days than bad days, I'm still winning! :)

Melissa said...

I have thought SO much like this SO many times. I figured I weighed the pros and cons and thought "It'll be worth it." Or "yeah 'a' will be difficult but since I'll have 'b' in my life, it'll be manageable."

To my mind, there's either some grand design that's worth all the BS, or, the next time I'm given that choice, I'll be more informed and will hopefully choose better. And in my case, I really do hope that the next time that choice will be "nah.... pass!"

TIV: the individual voice said...

I don't think it helps at all to think you chose this. You are afflicted by it not by choice. How you cope with it is a choice. I think calling it a choice is like blaming the victim, liked saying someone chose to have cancer. I know I didn't choose my mood disorder. Not in a zillion years. I would have chosen Hell first.