I asked a question on Twitter a little while ago. It (both) was and wasn’t meant to be rhetorical as many of the thoughts I put into the ether are. Sometimes you get responses. Helpful suggestions that may or may not work for you. Or comments from those who feel the same and have no answers. Or there’s the proverbial deafening silence.
I crawled out of bed (for the second time today, with diet coke in hand this time) and decided to write about this but it encompasses soooo many things I’ve talked about ad-nauseam I don’t know where to start. Not to mention the fear of being judged or pitied.
I’m struggling with motivation. To do anything. A short story competition I was going to enter closes in a week and my draft is open in a tab on my computer. I’ve decided to enter this competition for at least 4-5 years but am yet to do so. Or enter ANY competition. Let alone pitch any writing to websites or articles. Despite saying that’s my dream work/job.
It’s easy to say I’m afraid of rejection, of trying and failing. Perhaps even of succeeding and having to then repeat those efforts. But I really keep coming back to the fact that I can’t be arsed.
I had some surgery a month ago. When I got out of hospital it was glorious. I was recovering so could wallow in bed morning and afternoon. I needed the rest time and spent much of the day sleeping.
In reality I want to do that all of the time. And yet, while lying there – unable to sleep, with many thoughts buzzing through my mind – I feel deeply depressed. Annoyed with myself that I’m not doing the many things on my to-do list. Or even my ‘want-to-do’ list.
When it comes to self-motivation my therapist tells me I should be pursuing things I’m passionate about. Things that bring me joy. In sessions with her I agree I’ll do more writing. I really do have some great ideas with potential. But the reality is, I can’t bring myself to do any of those things. And joy? I vaguely remember her.
I read the online articles and advice:
Set small and manageable goals. Get outside and go for a walk. Be one with nature. Get dressed. Be grateful and count your blessings.
And yet… I get up. Spend a bit of time at my desk doing stuff. And then go and lie on my bed. I stay there for a few hours and then…. rinse, repeat.
I tell myself it’s depression or just a phase I’m going through. I keep thinking things will change and I’ll suddenly become more hopeful and motivated to do the things I want to do. (Which includes everything from writing, exercising to being more sociable.) And yet the days, weeks and months pass.
The obvious answer is that the things I often write about here – namely issues around identity and sense of self-worth relating to my work and employability having slowly degraded over the nine years since I made my seachange – being the thing that’s dragging me down. And certainly my therapist and I talk a lot self-worth and how I’m perceived by others. You know… the usual stuff for someone who first developed an eating disorder in the mid 1980s.
I know I just need to do SOMETHING. To get started. But the overwhelm feels…. well, overwhelming.
My Twitter question came after a few weeks of a temp job and what intrigues me the most is that when I’m employed or if I’ve got contracted work to do I’m extremely diligent. I mean, I’ll probably whinge about it because that’s who I am, but I meet deadlines. I don’t like to let anyone down. Except myself of course.