Motivation

It’s something that depresses me deeply. When I’m motivated – whether it be to work on my writing, to deal with issues in everyday life, or just to try something different – I am almost never in a position to do those things. I’m stuck at work, I’m sick, I’m at a point where I need money or the assistance of someone else to get through the next step. I know exactly what I want to do, and I am pumped to do it… But I can’t, for whatever reason.

On the flip side, when I have nothing else on the schedule, I have no obligations or demands to fulfill, the required resources or assistance are ready and available… Often I can’t be bothered. I’ll glare sullenly at my tablet or computer, I’ll jiggle the keys in my pocket without ever feeling the urge to get in the car and go, I’ll stare at the phone and press every button except the one that calls whoever I need to get ahold of to do what needs doing.

Of course, either circumstance just leads down the rabbit hole to another depressive episode. More self-loathing and irritation, more certainty that if things were just ever so slightly different that they’d be better, more anger at the past and the people and things one finds there. None of which get anything done, of course, but that may actually be the point of it.

Sometimes I think that, conscuously or not, I do this on purpose. I am comfortable – ish, anyway – in my misery, wrapping it around me like a warm blanket that despite reeking of piss and shame is still familiar to me. The idea of looking for a new blanket or washing the one I have – and wow, this metaphor got lame real quick, didn’t it? – is terrifying.

I probably should seek professional help, but I don’t even know where to start on that. The crisis hotlines are a joke around here. My insurance company and the shrinks they’re willing to pay for are likewise a dead end. That’s before you factor in the costs involved and the financial situation, which is another one of those things that I have difficulty doing anything about.

Today – well, yesterday, now – was a good example. I had the day essentially to myself. Could have done anything. Had plans; was going to go to the bank with a printout of my credit report and throw it at one of those neat credit counselors they provide for free and say “HAAAAALP!” Was going to power through the “boring” chapter in the current manuscript, let the words fall where they may to be repaired later if necessary, and get into the endgame, because I know exactly how that part goes and think it’ll be fun to write. Was going to sit down and finish Song of the Deep. All great ideas, and honestly, there would have been enough time in the day to take care of all of it. Could have written til 10, hit the bank, back home by noon, write til 2 or so, play Song and have the trophy list filled in by dinner time, no sweat.

Instead I sat down on the couch after I put the coffee on and loaded the vape pen with juice, and ended up passing in and out of consciousness almost all day. Wasn’t doing anything. Wasn’t watching or listening to anything. Would just surface for a few moments, glance at the time on my phone, respond to a couple of texts, beat myself up and say “Goddamnit, get up, you lazy shit, you have stuff to do.” Then I’d blink and another two hours had passed until it was too late to go to the bank. Then I was irritated and depressed and didn’t want to work on the manuscript or play Song. Then another blink and another couple of hours pass, and I’m all muddled and cranky and couldn’t play or write even if I wanted to. Now it’s 2:30 AM on Sunday, the weekend is half gone, and I’ve accomplished essentially nothing.

I don’t know how to get motivated and then do something about it. I don’t know how to stop thinking the “Well, I biffed item 1 on the agenda, so why bother with items 2 through 5?” thoughts. I don’t know what to do. I can come up with plans all day, but actually following through is tough, whehter it be due to depression, laziness, or needing the help of outside forces who don’t feel like cooperating, and it’s driving me mad.

Blah. I’ll be quiet, now. Maybe venting will help. We’ll see.

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