Woe is me: is mindset truly everything?

I was watching a budgeting video and it was talking about saving $5k cash in one whole year. The budgeter has been doing this challenge for years and stuffs envelopes labeled 1 through 100 and stuffing the labeled amounts in said envelopes. For example, $1 goes into the $1 envelope, $23 goes in the $23 dollar envelope and so on. With this challenge you save $5,050.00 cash.

She doesn’t mind the “mean comments she receives, but minds the ‘woe is me’ comments” in the sense that some people write her and say I couldn’t ever do that or save 5k or even 1k and then the YouTuber states: MINDSET IS EVERYTHING.

Now to turn this thought and make it a conversation, I must ask you if mindset changes things or if situations are circumstantial when it comes to success, money, or even mental illness.

Of course knowing me, I will discuss this idea from the mental illness side of things as you all know or maybe not if you’re new, but I have bipolar 2 disorder and been struggling since I was 17 and now at 25 I am doing alright for myself.

To describe me in a few sentences and to get a small snapshot of my life I am a 25 year old female who is engaged and about to get married June 1, 2023. I will graduate with my associates in August of this year and I am applying for the Bachelor’s of Social Work program now and will hopefully be admitted to the program in September at Portland State.

Now it sounds kinda like I have my shit together. And on paper I do, or mostly do. I drive a 2016 Honda Pilot, I will be renting a nice apartment come May, I am marrying a lovely man. But on the flip side of all that, yes I work 60+ hours a week but all I can do before and after work is lay in bed and be sad. Even at work I am quiet and neglect some responsibilities because I feel numb inside.

Is my depression circumstantial? I claim not because my circumstances are decent and wouldn’t make sense for me to be very depressed.

Is my depression a mindset thing? I am unsure about this because I don’t constantly think negative thoughts or wish upon myself suicidal thoughts or ideation over bad things. But at the same time, my thoughts aren’t all flowers and butterflies and I am getting more than enough sleep but it is all the motivation I have in the world is to sleep. I am barely functioning at this point.

Now mind you, I have been taking my medicine. I have been taking my 40mg of antidepressant, Prozac, 30mg of Abilify which I just started and am thinking I am having a hard time with it; I am eating a lot less, very thirsty, can’t stay asleep, but very fatigued despite taking uppers. Trouble thinking and concentrating and focusing. Before I was on 15mg and doing ok but still depressed. I think my depression and feelings are worse now than they were before which isn’t good. I have an appointment early next month to follow up with the medication but I might go in sooner because I don’t feel right at all. I also take modafinil which Is meant for noc shift shift workers, 900mg lithium, and some vitamins.

I don’t think I can “think my way out” of brain chemistry issues. I think that is between God, the doctors, and my brain neurons or lack thereof. I just want to sleep despite having slept all day and the night previous and now I am at work overnight and it’s 1:47am and I just want to lay down.

If my mind was working properly and I could just do my work and do my extracurriculars, I would say this is an issue of mindset or lack of. However, it’s not it has to do with mindset and circumstance 110%.

As far as money goes, if you are just starting out and make 10k in a year, saving quite literally half your income would be almost impossible. Can it feasibly be done? Yes depending on debt and other obligations. But even with whatever you make right now, do you save half your income? I know I don’t/can’t!!! But if you piece this challenge as if you only save about $15 a day, every day for 365 days (one year) will it get done? Yes. I think mindset is breaking down large tasks into smaller ones and we are able to identify strengths and weaknesses and some hard stuff can become a little more manageable.

Sometimes you can trick your brain and that’s what social workers, psychologists, and counselors aim to do to make the impossible now possible. Can these tricks be aided with medication? Yes. Can you ask people and your resources for help when need be? Absolutely.

To trick my brain to get out of bed may be to jump in the shower first thing. Well, if I have no motivation to shower let alone get out of bed what do I do then?

Maybe promise yourself breakfast from your favorite joint if you get up and shower successfully. Reward yourself for even what seems like to some to be the “small” stuff. Play your favorite game or get something you’ve been eyeing. There are many ways to trick the brain. Like for me, I have been setting my alarm for work earlier than need be so I get ready for work and almost run out the door with a couple hours to spare so I can then do some chores up until I have to leave for work. So do I have to be up by 9am on a day that I work at 3pm? No, but if I trick myself into thinking I work early, I will force myself to get up and get ready. Then I can recheck my calendar and then find that I have time to do housework or chores.

All in all, motivation needs are different for everyone, especially those who are not neurotypical such as folks who struggle with mental illness. Mindset is important for neurotypical folks but when you physically do not have the ability to change how you do things due to depression, suicidal ideation, manic episode, nightmares, tremors, etc. you have to rely on things like counseling and medication to teach techniques and allow your brain to function how neurotypical folks do. Circumstances lead to changes or lack of in mindset as well so it’s interesting to me to analyze what we are doing right and what we could do better.

Much love,



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