Depression, if you have never really experienced it, deprives you of happiness, your sense of pride, your willingness to say, do, or act. But, like I have said and keep saying, it gives me a reason, not an excuse, to not do what I am supposed to do. COVID-19 is another reason, not an excuse, to lay in bed all day, motionless and unmotivated.
It is suggested by government to stay home, social distance yourself from others, and frequently wash your hands. It, however, is not suggested to stop having willpower and motivation to live out your daily routines. Trips to the grocery store, walks around the neighborhood, or even hanging out in your front lawn on a wonderful day are still allowed, even encouraged. Talking to friends via your phone or computer is allowed and highly encouraged. Being optimistic during uncertain times is highly encouraged.
The act of doing something productive is what motivates people to continue doing that act. Whether it be to go work out, cook dinner every night from scratch, or to even start a blog. You just have to do it. The feeling of accomplishment is what makes you continue said act and gives you the pride and the drive to continue doing it. There are usually incentives involved when you are trying to accomplish anything. For example, when you go to work, and no matter how much you detest your job, you do it anyways because you will get an incentive; a paycheck. When you cook for your family every night, your incentive is going to look and feel different. You have the pride and knowledge of what you’re putting into your body because you, well, made the meal. You get the praise from the people you cook for when they are finally fed or if they enjoyed what you made. You get the joy and love that is sitting down at a table or in a shared space with your family or loved ones and sharing with each other on how each of you spent your day, good or bad; a prized possession, a moment of human connection.
But how do you motivate others, or even yourself, when you are depressed? I sit here, writing this in my unmade bed, with clutter surrounding me, clothes piled high on the floor with no path in site. I have motivation to write because I feel as though the incentive of me potentially feeling better or potentially receiving insight is greater than the pain it caused me to sit here and do absolutely nothing. There are many incentives to cleaning my room; I know I would feel better, my depression would lessen, and I would be able to get other projects done such as my painting and beginning to vlog. Even if I accomplished one corner or spot in my room, like making my bed, it would motivate me to continue cleaning and maybe the next day I would do a little more and so on.
So why is the motivation there to write and blog, but not to clean? The incentives are greater if I cleaned than if I got a couple of likes from this blog post. I don’t/can’t blame anyone but myself for my lack of motivation. My go-to is to blame my bipolar disorder on why I don’t clean, why I can’t hold a job for very long, etc, etc. But it’s me. My bipolar is me, I am bipolar, however you want to phrase it. I mean to say, bipolar is apart of me, it’s in my DNA, it’s not everything, but it is an intrinsic part of what makes me… me. But I have come to realize that it’s not healthy for me to blame everything on myself for being bipolar. They are character traits/character flaws I have, they are things I can work on. Depression is not something I can cure, but it’s something I can work on to get better results.
How do I work on depression? I help it, I can nurse it, and bring my old self back to life. I can make myself have a normal schedule, despite me not having to go into work every single day. I can get up by 9 a.m., keep myself awake until about 10 or 11 p.m. I can make myself to get out of my bed and sit on the couch or at the kitchen table, have coffee, make breakfast. Make a list of things I need to do that day, flat out organize my entire day. Get my list done, and then I can either nap, or do other things that I enjoy.
Maybe this works, maybe it doesn’t. Only time, trial and error can tell. I will report my findings soon enough.
Til Next Time,