Removing The Fog Around Decisions

Before I start, this isn’t a post looking for sympathy and nor is it really looking for help.  It’s just that it’s probably a bit more interesting to people than talking about fog computing and this subject has been on my mind in recent days anyway, so the One Word Prompt seemed kind of apt to put it out there.  I would also like to say that I’m largely fine, I just have some low points.  Regular readers will know some of this already and will also probably realise that I’m OK.

This year hasn’t been much fun.  At the beginning of January there were a lot of things going on that I was finding it hard to cope with because there wasn’t anywhere to run.  I eventually went to my GP who prescribed me anti-depressants.  I’ve also been talking to a counselor to help work through things and understand my reaction to them and provide advice.

(I’m aware I said in a recent post that people in the know have said I’m fine.  That’s a different issue, and was one of the triggers for me feeling a bit down in the dumps.)

This was strange for me.  I’ve never been shy in telling someone that I have a problem or find something difficult.  I’ve also known people who have been depressed, and I’ve said to the counselor recently that I feel like a fraud because those other people have real problems.  When I look at my problems and say “a friend stopped talking to me, two of my family have been in hospital but are fine now, my back hurts and I’ve had some problems at work”, they don’t sound as major as “my marriage is breaking down, family members have died, I’ve had limbs amputated and I don’t have a job”.  There are bigger issues.

Using the weather metaphors, I wanted to lift the clouds of how I was feeling which is what the anti-depressants would do.  However, I was aware that I was going to be speaking to people about the problems and the thing that was bothering me was that I didn’t want one fog to be replaced by another caused by the tablets I was taking.

The talking was the better option for me because it would help me deal with root cause issues.  I didn’t want to be anesthetised to what I was feeling.  I don’t want this to sound masochistic, but I kind of wanted to be hurting when I was speaking to people so that I got a proper solution from them being able to see the real problem and the real impact of it.

The good news is that things are helping.  I’m enjoying my weekly chats and they’re getting me somewhere.  I’m taking the tablets properly this time to deal with the bits in between.

However, the point of writing all this is that it got me thinking about how much emotion should play a part in what we do.  Last night my decision making was likened to Newton Faulkner‘s first two albums – Hand Built by Robots followed by  Rebuilt by Humans.  I would make robotic decisions based on what I thought was right and pros and cons and facts, whereas now I’m learning that maybe the best thing is to do what I actually want to do.

There is a thought that emotion can remove the fog because it’s unconscious and happens quickly, and so can actually be the biggest factor in making important decisions.  Right now I have two sets of facts for one thing, each equally applicable and real, but also opposite.  The only way to separate them is gut feel.

What are your thoughts on how much you should listen to your own emotions?

Baby come down to the bottom of the stairs
There’s a reflection I want you to see
Our history and loneliness has defeated our devices

Lady come down, it’s time to stop and stare
There’s a successor I want you to meet
His misery and loneliness have exceeded expectations
But still we fall down

Look at the stars, they’re getting younger
Look at your pain, you’re getting older
Not feeling right but always hoping for more

I’m gonna tumble to the centre of the square
There’s a triangle I wanted to see
The fog has cast a shadow homeward
We’re losing our direction
So forget the whole thing

Look at the stars, they’re getting younger
Look at your pain, you’re getting older
Not feeling right but always hoping for more

The Fog by Biffy Clyro

Comments 6

  1. Jessica Grooms

    THANK YOU SO MUCH for sharing this. I have been there myself… the struggle is difficult, long, and sometimes lonely. For me it takes more courage, strength, and resilience to talk about it. I loved the personal aspect of this. I love your writing anyway, but this just made you seem more real. I, for one, needed to read and hear this today.

    • Hey Jess, thank you, and I’m pleased you took something from it. It’s not always worth sharing these things, but it felt pertinent. And I agree, it seems like a long road even now still, but I’m getting there.

  2. Marianne

    I always listen to my emotions. If I’m sad, I’m sad. Happy, then happy. And so on. But thank God I don’t always act on them, at least not right away. Anger and fear are the two I have to put some effort into keeping in check. I’ll acknowledge I feel that way, but give myself some time to “process” the emotion before responding to it. Unless of course I’m scared because a 6 foot snake appears in front of me. Then I run like hell!
    I ALWAYS listen to my gut. It’s never done me wrong. Even when my brain tried to convince me otherwise. To me gut stands for God’s Undeniable Truth. Works for me.
    Great post today, got me thinking. Marianne

    • Hi Marianne, how you say you deal with anger and fear very much reminded me of “exercising the chimp” in the book The Chimp Paradox – going away and letting things out in a non-damaging place, and then dealing with it. Thanks for your comment and advice!

  3. I think you have to “feel” your emotions but if you can’t get past them or get lost in them and your quality of life starts to suffer because of it, then a person should absolutely seek help. Whether it be medication and/or talking with a therapist. It’s worth it in the end. Now, acting on emotions is another story…that can cause you even more trouble and I feel like it’s always a good idea to think before you act on them. I’ve been guilty of it a few times though! Feel your emotions, but don’t let them control you or your actions. Easy to say. Hard to do. Thanks for the post!

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