Friday, September 27, 2019

You Have No Choice or Don't You?


Particularly during difficult times of my life,  I've been told "you have no choice".  Perhaps because the messengers were ones who I perceived to be authority figures, I believed, without question that it was true, "I had no choice."

Recently in fact, when someone said that to me,  I realized the ways in which my body instinctively reacted to those words.
Perhaps in an attempt to shut out the noise, my shoulders immediately contracted and rose up above my ears.  My eyes squinted tightly shut, while my fingers began to massage my temples anticipating the headache that would surely come.   My stomach began to flutter, shooing away my appetite.
My arms, legs and feet urged me to run, away.

Usually the "you have no choice" command is in response to an expression of frustration on my part.
"I don't think I can do this any longer" is what I might say.  Maybe that becomes conveyed to the messenger  as, "now you have to take over."

Maybe we both could have chosen our words more carefully.
If the "you have no choice" person  listened more carefully, they might  have heard that the fear in my voice was an expression of my lack of confidence in my ability to cope.
What if  I would have recognized that I was questioning my ability to cope and instead of saying that "I can't do this anymore" I would have said, "I can't do this anymore, without help."

A short time later that day, after hearing that "I had no choice",  I sat with chin in hand, staring out the window at the cloudless, brilliantly blue sky, the moon still visible in the middle of the day.

Perhaps the absolutely clear sky brought the clarity I needed to realize that, of course, I had choices.

I began to make a mental list of my choices.

I realized that "running, away" was a strong desire.  The more I thought about that choice I began to understand that I didn't want to run far.  But, a walk around the block, under the clear blue sky was a choice that might help me add other choices to my growing mental list of choices.


  1. I never thought before how strong those words are "you have no choice" but we truly do have choices. Maybe the ones we don't want to do or hard tough ones but there should usually be more than 1 choice out there, shouldn't there?


    1. Those words always make me bristle. They convey hopelessness to me.

  2. Hari OM
    Language can be a b***** at times. That walk around the block/in the park/under trees/by the river... is Nature Therapy at its best. You DO have choice, even within limitations! YAM xx

    1. I figured out today that of course I have choices.

  3. Wish I could walk around the park etc. Not possible any more. That choice has been taken away from me.

    But yes, you do need help and you do need to contact the Alzheimer Society to get leads for what is available to you. That is a choice I hope you will take.

  4. You always have a choice. You might not like the options of that other choice. They might be so bad that it's like not having another choice. But there's always a choice to be made. I hope you got the clarity you needed.

    And do ask for help. There are helpers where you might not realize they are.