Reaction to an "I Heart Intelligence" Facebook Post about Choices

I rarely scroll through Facebook posts. I have too many things I can get caught up in... I don't need one that also makes me feel bad because it can portray everyone else as having it all together when my life is most definitely not.

However, today I needed to update some selling I'm doing on Marketplace and I ended up scrolling and reading the top few posts.

I came across this post from "I Heart Intelligence."


I have loved "I Heart Intelligence" and their posts for years now. I'd never seen one I disagreed with...

... Until today.

This was my comment on the post:

As someone with several mental and physical chronic illnesses, everything is NOT a choice... 

1 - My husband left me. I tried for a year to get him to counseling and tried everything I could to keep our marriage together. He left anyway. 

2 - I'm obese. However, due to many circumstances out of my control, "getting fit" isn't a choice. I can work out, eat less, and do everything "right" but the weight won't come off. And, no, gastric bypass isn't an option for me. 

3 - I lost my job due to politics and found myself quickly in tremendous debt as I waited to see if I would get it back. I had been "financially disciplined" for years as a single mom with little to no child support with only a teacher's salary and had no debt except for my house and car until that time. Losing my job was not a choice. 

Several years later, a financial advisor told me that it would be best to declare bankruptcy. Though I had always worked hard to pay my debts, after thinking and praying about it, I took his advice. It turned out that what most would call being financially irresponsible was one of the best decisions I've made.

4 - Even what most would take for granted isn't always a choice for me: communication. I have bipolar, type 2. When I'm manic, I can't stop talking. I've tried. I've fought it by literally clenching my jaw. But I still ramble. When I'm severely depressed or in the middle of a panic attack from anxiety, there are times I can't talk at all. I've had to text my boyfriend (now husband) when he was sitting next to me because I couldn't get words out. 

So, no, I can't pick my hard. I can choose to go to therapy, take meds, work out when possible, get my finances back in order as I have the means, work really hard to communicate when I'm not in the middle of the worst of my mental health issues, and continue to try to figure out ways to have the best attitude possible when I don't have choices. 

Personally, I feel like most people can't pick their hard. Sometimes life deals a bad hand - or many bad hands - and the only real choice it comes down to is continuing to fight or giving up completely.

This kind of post simply perpetuates the stigma of these and many other similar places we can find ourselves in. What happens to us isn't always a choice.

So, once again, I personally advise going to the Serenity Prayer...

"God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference."

And please, please, please do make the choice to keep fighting.


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