Have you ever noticed how certain events in our lives can lead to seemingly unconcious choices? And then those choices lead to new habits.
For example -- something I'd only realized the other day -- when I first came home after leaving my now-ex, I was 15 minutes early for everything. I was used to that. I was in the habit of doing that. And then something happened to change all that. It was the 23rd of December, my friend L and I were taking my DD and two of her cousin's kids to a local Trees from Around the World Display, and DD and I had to leave early to be at this friend of the family's house for dinner. So, we did and we got there on time, only to find out that I was actually an hour early. They told a couple of us an earlier time so that we would get there on time. They thought it was cute, I was insulted and if it hadn't been for my dad being there, I'd walked out, since I have no use for that sort of thing. And now, I'm mostly chronically late for family get togethers. Why be on time? No one else is. And they're just going to find fault with something anyway. THese were unconcious choices -- unconcious, because I didn't actually make the decisions -- I didn't think about it and then go "oh, yeah, let's do that", it "just happened". It just happened because I didn't do anything to stop it or change it or even look at the root of it until now. And that happened about 4 years ago.
That was my choice in reaction to an event in my life. A defense mechanism? Maybe, possibly. I'm not pysh major, minor, student, or doctor, and I don't play one anywhere...but I do know that our brains are extremely complex and we, as people, develop a thousand different ways to deal with things. Ways that protect us so that we can function in a way that is normal for us. I have a friend who knowingly chooses to avoid situations that compound her grief, makes sense to me, but she probably made some unconcious choices that developed into habits, and are in the process of developing into habits to also deal with things so that she can operate at a level that is normal for her. We're people, it's what we do. Coping techniques, defense mechanisms -- we have them, we develop them, we use them.
Even something as mundane as how clean or unclean, organized or unorganized your house is can sometimes be traced back to an event and a choice. My SIL and Mom have houses that look like they could be on the cover of a magazine -- beautiful -- not a dustbunny out of place -- the type where you are afraid to sit down because you might wrinkle something, bland and neutral in my opinion, and me, I'm the opposite --- mostly. It's not like I have science experiements growing on my counters and in my sink. But you can tell I live here, and I'm comfortable. My house is normally full of life and color and a family that stays busy and active. But I also at one point had a house that belonged on the cover of a pretty house magazine. And looking back, I know where the change came from. It is my reaction to my choices being taken away. If our choices are taken away, we will still react to them.
At least, that's what I've learned, because alas, again, it is a period of introspection. I recommend it to everyone, you learn the most fascinating things about yourself and others.