Black and White

While filling out the evaluation paperwork last week, Jenny and I had some interesting conclusions. One of the more interesting ones from Jenny was that I am very black and white, and have little room in my life for grey areas. This is kind of a big deal, actually, because it gave me some insight into why I react to some things the way I do.

Image in the public domain.

Image in the public domain.

An example. Yesterday, I talked about a man who asked about my scar. I panicked because I didn’t know how to answer. So, I said, very awkwardly, “Let’s just call it an accident.” If there was ever a prize for wording that would confuse someone, I just hit the jackpot. This made me feel angry, confused, and generally upset.  The reason for the panic was simple, once I thought about it. I hadn’t set up a blanket answer.

Jenny and I talked a bit about it yesterday, and she encouraged me to just tell people the truth. She had a good point, too. If I tell people where the scar came from, then they may have the opportunity to talk to me about it, and I could potentially help someone with their issues, or I could help someone understand mental illness or myself better. So, I now have a blanket answer.

No choices, no figuring out what to say on the spot. Just an answer. This is one of those little things that makes my life easier, and all around less stressful. It’s a tool, and now that I’ve recognized it, I will hopefully be able to use it reliably.

I wish I didn’t think of things as black and white. I wish I could reliably come up with a uniquely appropriate answer for every person. I just can’t. It’s part of who I am, and that’s okay. At worst, it makes me very consistent. At best, it moderates my behavior across multiple different moods, which is always something I am looking for.

What tools to you use to make your life simpler? Feel free to leave a comment. Who knows? You might help somebody yourself. Carry on, dear reader.

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    • Indeed! Having hard fast rules make it easier for me to stay sober, for example. There are too many things to list that are benefits of having things be black and white, but there definitely ARE benefits.

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