I figured out why I get overwhelmed by tasks. No joke. I figured the whole thing out. I have the answer. At least, for myself, I do. For at least 15 years, I never experienced motivation.
Depression drains any hopes of motivation. Motivation is a fickle, fickle thing. If you tuned in for my last blog, you'll remember how I talked about having to live life by behaviors instead of feelings. Motivation is the definition of a feeling, my friends. I’ve waited YEARS to feel motivated. I think I felt motivated briefly in 2000, but it may have been a fluke.
You see, the problem I had with the word "motivation" is that I made it synonymous with being productive. I had convinced myself that all those women my age were just feeling some sort of motivation that I didn't have and they were getting. shit. done. Meanwhile, I was jealous of them wondering when the hell my motivation was going to show up. I lived like this up until like... I don't know... last week? No really. It just occurred to me that as long as I have some sort of energy (which is new to me in and of itself), I can be productive.
Mental Illness grabbed me early on. [I’m sorry if I’m annoying with how much I bring this up, but anxiety + depression were practically my significant others for the majority of my life. I was in a polygamous relationship with these two and I always got the short end of the stick. And even though I broke up with them both earlier this year, It’s hard to just forget about your exes. Sometimes they sneak back with a message or look. They can grab you. They act in sync.]
Depression had always stolen my motivation and made me believe that if I didn't feel motivated, I needed to just sit and wait. This feeds the depression. The only real time I felt motivation, it was masked as desperation. Desperate to feel better, desperate to meet a deadline, desperate to not look like a fool in front of others, desperate to pretend I didn't live the life I did. Whereas, anxiety had always made me fear failure, which means I never even really tried. In January of this year, I finally committed to leaving my terrible relationship with depression and anxiety and discovering who I really was without them. So, while I apologize for continuing to bring them up, I will say I hope you can feel hope or even empathize that I’m still figuring it out and it’s blowing my mind.
Back to why I began here...
I got my new Plum Paper planner in the mail today (best planner ever). I immediately sat down and started writing everything. Every to do, every task, every event, every possible thing I wanted/needed to do. After I put it away, instead of feeling relief, I felt even more pressure and stress. So I did what any normal person would do and grabbed some magnesium and B12 to calm my nerves while I took a bath. (That is what kids do these days, right?)
Now, as I lay here in my bath (yes I’m typing in my notes app), it hit me: I stress about the to-do’s, the tasks, the events, the life because I’m scared that I won’t ever feel motivated. And what have we learned about Katie Joy's brain? Motivation = Productivity. I’ve felt motivated multiple times a week for months now (or is it that I've just been productive?). However, each time it hits, and I start to fade, I’m terrified it’ll leave me. That’s why the lists are scary. To me, I’m writing a list of things I’ll only use as fuel for the anxiety dumpster fire that is my brain. WAS. It was my brain.
I know now that I don’t need the motivation. I need the will to do so. That’s it. (Well. And supplements, an organic diet, essential oils, and Therapy). That doesn’t mean that 20+ years of this mindset is going to go away overnight; or even in a year. I no longer need to go to bed wondering if I’ll function tomorrow, because I know that I can. I’ve taken the steps necessary to do so and I know my body has been responsive.
However, after everything, that doesn’t mean my exes don’t stay in the darkest recesses of my mind. Mental illness is something I’ll battle my entire life. I have hope that I know how to not only cope, but thrive. And even though I’m trusting that I’ll never have to see those assholes exes (anxiety + depression... not actual human exes) again, I still keep my guard up and still wonder if the motivation will stay.
I always try to end on something hopeful or encouraging. This one seems kind of down. I’m sorry about that.
It may snow tonight. It's Louisiana. So that's a hopeful thing. I love you all!