It’s not about motivation its lack of energy….
I am so envious of high energy people. I see them accomplishing above and beyond what the average person can or at least not getting winded by simply living.
Since I was a baby, that’s right since I was an infant, I chose to sleep as much as I could. I even slept through all of my nightly feedings. My mom thought I was dead!
Being a low energy person sucks. It impacts every single thing you do in life. Often things are either left undone or done poorly because I need to rest so frequently. Of course, there could always be an underlying cause such as low iron but I have been tested for pretty much everything that can be tested since I was 18.
I have experimented with supplements to increase energy but haven’t had much luck. The only one that has a mild effect once in awhile is creatine. Some medication works but I find they lose their efficiency quite fast so it may work one day and the next you might need double the dose (which is not recommended without doctor’s advice).
Sometimes I get so tired I can even fall asleep after a pot of coffee and I end up spending the entire day in bed. I feel bad for anyone with Chronic Fatigue and I often wonder if I have it as well. There isn’t much research on the condition or treatment but it’s a terrible disease. I think one of the reasons for lack of research is the fact some people still don’t believe it’s real and that it’s simply a matter of willpower. This is also an issue with depression.
Anxiety also has an impact on my ability to get things done. It can be paralyzing rather than motivating and I can’t even move. Usually this happens when I feel like I have a bunch of energy built up.
I hope I can have normal energy level but for a now life will continue to take enormous amounts effort. If I had the energy, I would do more, and do it better!
You’re getting things done, going to the gym eating somewhat healthy, making important phone calls, waking up on time and feeling good about it. Then your brain kicks in, the guilt/shame kicks in, and like some terrible form of homeostasis you start to feel bad. You start to put off dishes, tell yourself you’ll go to the gym later, just eat this one thing now and slowly life goes back to constant procrastination.
I struggle with this self-sabotaging phenomena regularly, especially if I am starting to feel good. One reason for this is self-hate. I don’t feel like I deserve to feel good, deep down. Another could be the resistance to change. This inclination to self-sabotage diminishes my productivity almost completely. All of this combined usually lead to an increase of depressive symptoms from lack of accomplishment and self-care.
In order to fight back, I have to think and act deliberately and often against my gut feelings. I am also working on cultivating self-love. There is this invisible force inside of me that is so anti-self love it makes for a huge challenge. Self-love feels wrong. Yet, I know consciously I just have to make this change or my life will remain a constant struggle and my depression will remain.
2018 was a bad year for me in all aspects of my life including relationships, health, career-wise, and accomplishing what I want.
Despite hating myself and feeling like shit, I started to work on myself mentally and emotionally. I keep track of my progress in my agenda and using an app called Daylio.
I have seen hundreds of self-help videos and one of my favorite speakers I came across was Mel Robbins. Her most popular TED talk is self-sabotage something that I struggle with daily. It’s what is holding me back from achieving my goals and living the life I truly desire.
Here is her video:
How to stop screwing yourself over
Part of what is preventing me from accomplishing goals, is making the decision on what to focus on. There’s so much I want to change about my life that I can’t even start or focus on a task long enough to complete it. But I also know that I have an underlying belief that I don’t deserve anything I desire…
Robbins states, “Motivation is never there when we need it.” People, including myself, wait for motivation and “feeling like doing something” before we start.
I have convinced myself that I need to feel good all the time. I base my actions on how I feel in the moment and most of the time I feel pretty shitty. And when I feel bad, I don’t feel good. I have this belief that I should only do things when I feel good because otherwise, what is the point? Why suffer?
I realize now that to get going accomplishing a goal I have to “suffer” a bit even though I absolutely hate unnecessary suffering. I also understand that I might not actually be suffering and my interpretation might be wrong. But that’s a whole ‘nother story.
She reiterates you have to force yourself to change. Forcing myself to do anything feels uncomfortable and when I am uncomfortable I tend to get annoyed and I get mad. I have a belief that being mad is “bad”. Once I am in a bad mood it’s even more challenging to focus and be productive so I have to break this cycle. It feels like there is this giant force trying to stop me but at the same time I don’t even know what it is.
To break away from a routine is going to require force. I hate this. When I already feel like shit trying to accomplish something seems as easy as “pulling myself up by my boot straps”. I struggle and pull as hard as I can but nothing happens. Yet I can’t help myself and keep wasting energy pulling because I have to feel like I am trying or else anxiety sets in.
Our brain loves autopilot because our brain wants to take the path of least resistance. Why? My guess is to conserve energy.
Getting back to mindset. I have a poor mindset and since I have tried to improve my life and failed over and over I am going to try a different approach. I’m going to follow a program instead of just “wishing” things would change on their own. I chose to do Mel Robbins’ guide to goal setting because I like her, I like her ideas and it’s free.
I research concepts that are hard to understand like visualization of goals so that I can fully comprehend and put them to use.
This year I will change my life around or at least figure out what I even mean by that.
It’s impossible not to have some sort of expectation when going through life. At times I can predict outcomes and at times I’m plain wrong.
Well it’s nice to be pleasantly surprised I usually never dwell on the positive outcomes. I obsess repeatedly over negative outcomes.
What about drinking? I almost always expect it to be miraculous and full of joy. This isn’t the case and no matter how many times I experienced the negative side effects my brain likes to paint the memories positive light. This makes it extremely difficult to quit drinking and remember the negative side.
Social stress is a huge trigger for me. People’s reactions are one of those things I can never ever predict. The main reactions that bother me the most are anger and lack of enthusiasm. For example, people tend to down play or disregard sober time where as any length of sobriety for me is fricken’ amazing! I have to stop myself before entering a negative spiral if my predictions don’t go as planned. In fact, I should be more open to different experiences and realize that everyone has their own shit going on as well. Some people are just not expressive too.
Expectations make life harder although why even bother with anything if you don’t expect something out of it? That’s like living life in the moment and who wants that sort of unpredictability…
Except, my predictions are often wrong. They don’t really provide much value as I am often unprepared. If I prepared for the worst (as I often never do) I would be more prepared for obstacles in life but that takes time/bravery and admitting that life isn’t always great. However, lack of preparation is holding me back. Coming to the realization that life is hard just gives another to keep up with addictions that “make you happy.” (I put it in quotes as it actually increases feelings of unhappiness when the buzz wears off).
The truth is I can’t predict the future. But I know a few things for sure, such as I know I will regret drinking. And that should be motivation enough to quit (except my brain tricks me into thinking it will be different this time). If I repeat the same behavior I will have similar results.
How do I deal with this uncertainty? Poorly, at the moment. I am still stuck on feelings and instant gratification. If I feel bad something must be wrong and I want to quickly feel better. This leads to more misery and a general uncomfortable feeling. I have to become comfortable with being uncomfortable after all, I can’t avoid all bad situations.
hungry angry lonely tired.
None of those feelings are fun. And I get at least one of them per day.
So how do I not let these emotions get to me? Awareness is key. I need to indentify the issue so I can solve it before a craving even starts although it mostly starts before these feelings.
How can I be more aware? Staying sober helps. Practicing concentration and feeling feelings.
I am trying to use mindfulness in regards to my drinking, specifically for cravings since being hungry/angry/lonely/tired usually leads to cravings. Focusing on sensations in the moment can potentially lessen them. This doesn’t make sense until you experience it.
I don’t just want to be mindful though I want to be deliberate and present. (It’s great to be aware but I’ve spent a lot of time being aware of self destructive behaviour and doing nothing to stop it. Action is key.) I need a behaviour change so I can see results. Drinking kept me stuck in passive detrimental loop. The only way i could break free was to make new choices and act on them.
So how do I deal with say hunger? Eat proper meals and actually eat something! Since I struggle with my weight and appetite, there is a part of me that wants me to restrain myself. The problem is this leads to mood issues and especially anger. I have to eat more protein/fat and avoid the sugar crashes or at least have a balance.
I was told by a therapist that we shouldn’t eat sugar in recovery. Now I know how terrible sugar is, I’m not trying to defend it but her reasoning was because sugar is a “fake high”. I am fine with this “fake high” as it is much safer than a buzz off of substances. I don’t even consider it a high I just find after consuming so many sugar calories from drinking I just naturally crave it. This decreases over time as long as I don’t drink and don’t let myself starve.
What about anger? What if something terrible did happen and you have legit reasons to be mad? It can be a great motivator and can lift a person out of depression/anxiety. The issue is whether or not it benefits or hurts. I found many counselors have always tried to change my anger and calm me down. I didn’t like this. I am assuming they were afraid of what could happen. None of them taught me how to process and use my anger to my benefit. And of course resisting it only made it more persistent. I now embrace the fire and let it move me towards a better life.
I used to get so incredibly lonely…but realized it happened only when I drank or had been drinking. I tried reaching out only to be ignored or not able to form a connection. I blamed others in my head but in reality I wasn’t a great myself.
Tired. I hate with an obsessive passion being tired. I used to think everyone had more energy than me until I plain asked people how they kept going through the day and it turns out most friends of mine are exhausted all the time. I used drinking as an energy booster (as it is a stimulant but also a depressant). It didn’t last and made me more tired the next day.
I often feel too tired to do get tasks done such as the dishes. Which leads to procrastination and guilt (not to mention a bigger mess over time). I notice I feel tired I’m not actually tired about 80% of the time. Most of the time my exhaustion is due to lack of some form of self care such as sleep, proper nutrition, lack of relaxation time which are all elements I have control over.
Accomplishments don’t just come to me. I have to work for them. Success doesn’t just come to me when I feel like doing the work, I am successful when I do the work even though I don’t feel like it. I almost never want to go to the gym and the first 10 minutes of every work out I dream about walking out the door and never coming back. However, the feeling I get afterwards is so rewarding I never regret working out.
And for me, regular exercise increases my energy. It takes a couple of days of regular exercise but it does make more energetic if I make sure to eat properly.
The key is to immediately deal with the emotion before it gets to me as they often get worse if I ignore them. If it puts me in a bad mood I am more likely to want to drink. Now to stay vigilant!
Here’s an article from one of my favorite places on the net, Vice news. They have tons of articles on addiction and getting sober that are super relevant.
Here’s a great article written by a woman in her twenties who’s years beyond me in maturity!
You know it’s a Sunday when you do nothing all day and start to feel depressed around 8 pm…
I read this which I think was a tweet but I can’t remember but it hit me hard.
Society is obsessed with productivity. And as someone who struggles with concentration, energy and motivation I never feel productive enough. This means feeling like garbage once the sun starts going down and I’ve spent the day browsing social media and wasting time.
In fact even if I’ve had a mildly productive day, say I went to the gym and did dishes this is never enough. Although it’s about all I’m capable of when I’m down.
Over the past few years, especially since I’ve been striving to become completely sober, I’ve been fascinated by my moods. I’ve noticed that I generally suffer most from bad depression in the evenings.
In the evenings, I start to think of all the things I’ve could have done and also all the things I could have avoided.
I have to figure out a way to relive my evening depression so I can actually sleep!
If I dwell on the past long enough it can trigger insomnia. It’s great. I spend all my time trying to stay awake all day only to be stuck awake in my bed at night. And it’s worse at night in bed because then I have nothing to distract me from my thoughts (which are never good).
I’m still struggling on my sober journey but am making progress in the length of time I go before the next drink…
I need to practice self love in the evening and will look into some ideas I’ll share soon!
I find most posts miss the mark. They rant and rave about how good it feels to be sober but leave out the moments of hell (maybe to scare people less).
This only makes me question the point of getting sober in those dark moments. This is supposed to be awesome right? Maybe I am not doing it right.
So here is a sort of list I have compiled:
1. It’s gonna be hard and depressing. It’s going to suck for at least year. Dopamine levels will drop to almost nothing so that it will encourage me to seek out stuff to increase it. The good news is after each drop, the brain increases the dopamine levels naturally. Having a time line helps me keep holding on. Why quit until I see the full results? A whole year can feel like a long time when feeling down though…
2. No one is going to save you, you have to help yourself. You have to advocate for yourself and reach out yourself. This is hard because I struggle with self hate so it’s very hard to treat myself right and do the right thing. But how else will I get better if I don’t let myself do better.
3. No one really cares if you get sober, they already expected you to be a good self disciplined person anyways. Apologizing for your actions doesn’t always make people forgive you. This is a hard one because I already feel like a terrible person and some people might even emphasize that. It’s ok though. It is possible to move on. Better late than never.
4. You lose a part of you. Not the greatest and authentic part of you but a version of you. A part you are used to, who supported you through hard times, who had your back when no one else did (but they didn’t really). I just try to mourn it and move on since that part keeps me in a rut.
5. Fatigue. I lost many nights of sleep and my body needs to catch up. Unfortunately, I also need to catch up on life requiring more time and energy that I am lacking. It will come back though if I treat my body right.
And the list goes on…
I’ll keep updating it as I figure things out. Awareness is the first step to change and acceptance.
I am reading a book that combines the ancient teachings of yoga with the 12 steps. I am not currently working on the 12 steps in a program because I’m on the fence (Or some say I might be in denial or a dry drunk). However, the reason why I don’t feel I need the 12 steps is that I lose my negative behavior and character defects soon as I take away substances and get through the withdrawals. Anyways I know excuses, excuses.
Maybe it’s just another aversion?
The author talks about not just having an aversion to negative aspects of life but also positive ones like being successful and love. But I never realized how much this is sabotaging my overall success in life.
I desperately want to succeed but at the same time want everything to stay the same. I want to achieve and accomplish great things but that would mean change, which I always resisting.
I even have an aversion to having an aversion! What a dilemma.
I used to wonder what my life could get so bad at times and if I had any control over my view of life and its predicaments.
Now I am starting to see how attachment and clinging to impermanent, unsatisfying, and negative parts of life plays a good factor in my misery. This could explain why it feels like my antidepressants feel like they don’t work completely. I have a lot of bad habits and an increase in serotonin doesn’t necessarily mean they will stop…
I already practice yoga at least once a week and I’m excited to be able to maximize the benefits in terms of recovery. It will be the lifestyle and keeping calm off the mat that will be the challenge? (I can already feel the aversion to this building up now…)
It’s always time to stop caring what my parents think. But I do. I am successful because I care what my parents think.
Otherwise, I truly think you are as successful as you want to be.
Success is not permanent for me. Life is tiring because of this for me.
I still want to be a great success with a great paying career….great life.
Why is it so hard? I am envious of people that just don’t care say and do what they want.
Should I care what my parents think as an adult? No we should live for ourselves. But what if we hate ourselves so deeply we can’t care. To want good for ourselves because of someone else must be good. It’s better than nothing. Or is it?
It’s hard to say. We only have one life. We should make the most of it. I am different from my parents. It’s a different time. That’s all.
I am feeling uninspired and resistant to new information and change. It’s like writer’s block but therapy-wise.
Yet I am happy because my mind has put some of its stressful circular arguments away.
I don’t know what to do in this situation. I don’t want to go back to being super depressed constantly yet I need to face some issues before the emotions hit me by surprise.
One of the reasons I am stalling is because I am afraid my emotions will kill me. I don’t know why but I have this aversion to emotions, and I think I can’t handle/stand them.
So far, I’ve lived through every single emotional reaction I’ve ever had. I didn’t even get that hurt.
But how do I process something that bothers me? How do I cope with feelings instead of pushing them away?
I am not sure yet but I will continue to search for answers.
It took me a long time to decide on this topic but I have always had problems making decisions which makes a bigger problem out of a problem.
Decisions what to do with my life, what major, what I am gonna wear, what I’m going to eat oh, what am I going to say…
Each second in life comes with a new decision.
And with every decision comes potential regret…
And boy isn’t it easy for a depressive mind to regret? As if the past was different I wouldn’t be depressed….
I want choices.
Yet for me it feels absolutely terrible to be in the middle of deciding.
Mostly because I can never make up my mind for fear of making the wrong choice. So what can I do to make the best possible decisions that lead to the least amount of regrets?
On a multiple choice test, I have been told to go with the first answer I’m drawn to and not to question it. But does this rule apply to big decisions in life question mark do I already know the answer but am just too afraid to make the choice? Hard to say.
Emotionally charged choices tend to be the ones I regret the most. Especially if I’m in a bad mood I’m definitely less open to new ideas. So that could be a sign want to jump to the first conclusion.
I’ve heard indecisiveness is a symptom of depression. It’s hard to be confident and make decisions when depressed. Often whatever options that you have to choose from all they seem to suck in the moment if I have a negative mindset (and sometimes the choices do actually suck).
I want to make faster decisions in my life. Just because I can get stuck contemplating to the point where the decision becomes even harder to make.
To do this I will give myself deadlines and stick to them and won’t waste time on small decisions like what to have for lunch anymore.
Decisions are hard but they mean that life has choices. And choices can set you free.