The Daily Challenge, Day Eighteen: Choice

It is my belief that choice is what the phrase, 'you don't know what you've got 'till it's gone' was based on. Choice is something we take for granted to the extent that we have a scientific phrase for there being too much of it. I didn't notice just how much choice there was surrounding me until I became unemployed and reacquainted with my sorely missed overdraft.

My first Daily Challenge post was based on the word 'freedom' - a word quite synonymous with choice. The first thing that comes into my head when I think of choice is shops - shiny, pretty things that relentlessly taunt me. The second thing is mental health. And it's taken me a while to figure out why.

Any regular readers may know that I have first-hand experience when it comes to mental health issues. I don't suffer a great deal of discrimination - but that's because I don't disclose it unless absolutely necessary (my blog doesn't count as the aforementioned 'regular readers' consists of erm... my boyfriend. And me when I get really bored.)

There is something that goes unmentioned, though, that lingers in the air - that my suffering is my own choice. It might just be me being paranoid, but I sometimes sense implicit undertones of my mental health being a choice. I won't waste any time explaining why that is completely untrue. But when it comes to our state of mind, our happiness, how much of that is choice?

For anyone who has watched the last few episodes of Derren Brown's programmes on Channel 4, including Fear and Faith and The Apocalypse, you might have seen a running theme. In a nutshell, people changed their lives for the better by a shift in state of mind.

The shift, however, was cleverly manipulated by Derren. His recent programmes have strengthened my belief that our minds have the capacity to choose how we feel. But our minds have the potential to do a lot of things - it's figuring out how that's the hard part.

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