"I dwell in possibility" ~Emily Dickinson

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Indecision disorder

Posted on: 11.21.2008

I have recently become increasingly irritated about my incapability to make on-the-spot decisions. I have diagnosed myself with an indecision disorder. For example, I walk into a Mexican food restaurant and I am presented with a list of options, I can narrow it down to about 4 choices: quesadilla, burrito, taco, or taco salad. It is at this point that my mind goes blank, or rather scrambles itself to the point of numbness. I create a list of pros and cons for each option: nutrition: go for the Salad, taste: burrito, amount of food: taco, etc. My mind just runs races before each decision!
The other day I was standing in line at the PBC (Point Break CafĂ©) letting customer after customer go ahead of me while I decided what to purchase. I became so irritated by this that I turned to Felisha (who had the grace to stand there with me while I embarrassed myself) and said “What is wrong with me!?” (Or something to that effect.) She then made a quick psycho-analytical judgment, because she is just that awesome, and said “Natalie, you treat every meal like it’s your last.” I was stupefied by the truth, so I walked up to the counter and without looking at the menu, ordered the first thing that came to my mind. I can’t even remember what it was now. Ever since then I have been baffled by this mental stupidity of mine.
So here is my conclusion of sorts: I have a controlling/ perfectionist problem. I am afraid of making a decision that may produce harmful effects, like extra poundage, because it would prove to me that I have weakness. So I have been doing a decision exercise. If I know I have a big decision ahead of me, I do the laborious task of listing pros and cons and evaluating the potential outcome of my decision before the crunch time. If I begin to waiver, I force myself to stick to the plan whether or not I want to do so. It has begun to pay off in simple ways, such as the ability to sleep for an extra 15 minutes because I have already decided what to wear in the morning.
Next time I walk into a Mexican food restaurant my order will be one burrito, or maybe a taco salad, I haven’t decided yet.


  1. I know this is an old post, but I felt I had to to comment. I'm starting to realize that I may suffer from some sort of indecision problem. Anxiety and slight obsessive-compulsive run in my family. I enjoyed your anecdote. Funny thing is, my indecision, instead of preventing me from deciding, seems to be making me select too many decisions. I have so many skills, but it's because I can't decide on one. Then I fail to really master a skill, and I learn another. It's ok, but it would be nice to settle my mind and focus some more. Anyway, thnx for sharing your story.

  2. Thanks so much for your comment! I was just reviewing my old blog posts and found your comment, and although you posted this WELL over a year and a half ago, I thought it would still be nice of me to reply. :-) I hope you are finding that indecision and anxiety are less of a problem in your life now. I'm glad you appreciated my post! I remember having fun writing it.

  3. I have this type of problem, but with me, I will sit at home all day deciding what I might go out and do. Sometimes I will just not do anything, because I will be sitting there all day watching TV, deciding why I might go out of the house for. Sometimes I think "why am I going out of the house" and will have no answer for that, so I wont go anywhere.


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