The Mighty Logo

When Your Choices Never Make You Happy

The most helpful emails in health
Browse our free newsletters

In life, we are told that all our decisions will have either a positive or negative outcome.

We have to use our instincts and inner knowledge to decide what is the best path for us, what will make us happier. It is always stressful to know which string to follow and which to cut, but deep down, most of us already know the answer.

At the end of the day, our life is just an accumulation of decisions that we have made — it’s what has allowed us to be where we are at this very moment. Our past is a part of who we are and whatever we decide now will change our future, it’s the ripple effect.

Our decisions shape us, mold us and build us into who we are, it’s one of the building blocks that allow us to understand our likes and dislikes. As much as decisions really suck, they are an important part of us.

But what if each decision you make, always, without doubt, leaves you in the middle? What if every choice you make will make you feel both happy and disappointed. This is what it’s like for me, what it’s always been like.

It’s not like I am indecisive. At the moment I seem to know what I want and it does make me happy and yet, moments later, I find myself in remorse. There is never any satisfaction or feeling of success because of my mind, in a way, wishes for both outcomes.

I find it hard to explain just how I feel in this because it leaves me with a heavy sense of shame. Surely people must think I am ungrateful or irresponsible? It’s frustrating because all I want is to be content, to know my life is being spent in the right way for me.

It can be hard to think of your future, to believe that you know what you want and therefore you work so hard to earn this and yet, when it comes to achieving your goals, you are met with emptiness. I worry because I feel like I will never feel like I made the right choice.

I can’t deny that it leaves me with so much internal shame. I want to enjoy things, to know when to break free of vicious cycles or stay true to myself, but I just can’t. In reality, I’m just following my heart in the moment, but my heart has less commitment than a stud in the zone.

The worst part is that I hurt people because I just cannot understand what I want or need. How can I fully commit to anything when I am not sure I want it, yet the thought of living without the commitment sends me into a frenzy of anxiety.

Mental illness is so tricky. I suppose because of my mental illness I can come across like I am this rude or heartless person. Though all I want is to find happiness and to not hurt a single soul. How do you find contentment when your instincts and desires are fighting each other like two opposing magnets?
So maybe, if someone comes across a little reckless, maybe there is more to it? Maybe it’s time to have a chat and help them figure out those nagging thoughts. I know I have made bad choices due to my inability to know what I truly want, but it certainly helps when I can talk through things with someone I trust, to help me make sense of the jumble in my head.

Unsplash photo via Pablo Varela

Originally published: January 4, 2019
Want more of The Mighty?
You can find even more stories on our Home page. There, you’ll also find thoughts and questions by our community.
Take Me Home