It’s been a long and exasperating 48 hours and I can’t count the small achievements on my hands! From brushing my hair after four days of it being in a reckless bun to socialising with loads of different people – I’ve managed to stick to the plan I’ve set for myself, to a degree. It takes me an hour to get out of bed after I wake up and I’m still leaving university earlier so I can go home and just absorb that experience, as it feels overwhelming. I wish that I could celebrate all the success and that I could write that I’m cured too, but I can’t cap that feeling of dissatisfactory. It’s not easy in any way to try and control my moods when they just fly out like spaghetti noodles out my brain. I’ve been seeking a lot of inspiration lately, looking for some kind of guidance for getting motivation for my life and finding that zest again but it’s so complex. I absolutely despise the word, but quite frankly I spend a lot of my day wishing I were normal.
To motivate myself I’ve come up with an odd list of three somewhat negative things that I can turn around to be positive - making me feel like I should get out of bed and accomplish my to-do list.
1. Satisfying Others
I stated yesterday that I had my boyfriend send me alerts to remind me to attend meetings etc. at specific times and having that little bit of guided pressure really pushed me on to accomplish the goals I set for myself the night before. It’s really important that I make the goals myself because I am aware of my capabilities but I know when the time comes around I will flake out, so having someone to spur me on really does make me feel like I can get through the day.
2. Serious Obligations
If I have an assessment at university, even when I’m ill, the stress pushes me so much that I do get it done. I think it is horrible having stress as a motivator – but if I feel something completely has to be done and there’s an immediacy I’m less inclined to just not do it. I think adjusting my attitude and priorities benefits me in getting things done, so setting up guidelines for when to finish coursework with my university tutor is helpful as I feel like I really have to keep going – opposed to being lost in timing and organisation when I have more options.
3. Looking ‘Normal’
I hate looking like the unwell one with all the excuses or the one who needs loads of support, basically I dislike being an outsider as a result of my episode. Sometimes I feel so disheartened that I don’t bother and I just let people think what they do, but other times it motivates me more to keep up the appearance that I can handle what is thrown to me. It’s difficult but now I feel I understand I can ask for support and that’s okay, but having a great bash on my own will never discredit me. The idea of looking just like the others and being treated the same, accomplishing tasks and keeping my affairs in order spurs me on to try my best in what I attempt. This mostly applies at university, I loathe looking like I just drift in and do little work, even though there is a reason for such and it isn’t my fault I’m unwell – it inspires me in a bizarre way to keep going and just try my best to keep up.
Though peculiar, I used to feel these things where reasons for me not to bother with doing anything in my day, because I always thought I would fail – I felt like I disappointed people, that my inadequacies were apparent and that I shouldn’t try things because the stress overwhelmed me and I was set up to fail. Turning these three little things around have shown me ways that I can motivate myself with what I previously listed as an anxiety. Nothing that it is okay to have a day where I can’t keep up, and it is okay to ask for support in things like work and uni – but these reasons spur me on to try my best.
Mental Illness is shattering, but I’m focusing on celebrating my little accomplishments. Trying your best, when you have no motivation and feel hopeless, is possibly the most illuminating concept of them all.