Friday, April 6, 2012

What's My Motivation?

Lately I've been feeling horribly unmotivated.

I was motivated when my cat was still alive; motivated to find foods she would eat, motivated to feed her with the feeding tube when we thought it would save her life and return her to health (as it does in nearly 90% of cases like hers).  But that's all.  I was motivated to care for my cat, whom I loved and who loved me.

Now that she's gone, so's my motivation.  Primarily, I'm not motivated to take care of myself.  Two years ago I was doing everything right -- I was eating well, exercising, avoiding caffeine and sugar, drinking moderately.  Two years ago I was not depressed.  I was in a good, healthy place mentally.  I knew how to talk myself up when I had a mood swing, I'd left my traumatic childhood behind me, I'd even gotten past a lot of internalized ableism that whispered poison in my ear: You'll never be good enough, you'll always screw up, any company that would hire you has something deeply wrong with it ... your fourth grade teacher was right, you'll never amount to anything.  But when I had these thoughts, I could laugh them off.  I only needed 12.5 mg of Zoloft to keep me stable.  I thought I'd licked depression for good.

Then I landed a job, and lost it within two weeks because the company was really screwed up.  They left me with a work-related injury and no workers comp insurance.  My job-hunting efforts for the rest of the year came to nothing.  My husband criticized me for not finding work.  The past year had been dark and gloomy, and was beginning to bring my mood down.  I started to get paranoid.  By December I was putting foil on things.

In other words, even though I was doing everything right, I went from not depressed at all to bat-shit crazy within a year.

So when it comes to self care, what's my motivation?  Self care is hard.  I have to give up things I enjoy, like coffee and wine and beer.  I have to exercise regularly (and, to add to my happy happy joyous situation, I'm prevented from working out by a bad shoulder injury).  I have to eat healthy.  I have to get enough sleep -- though this last part isn't a problem, as I've been averaging 10 hours a night lately.

I guess I've gotten depressed again, in spite of the lengthening days.  Dysthymically depressed.  The kind of depressed where nothing is fun anymore and everything seems too hard.  The kind where you're bored and nothing seems interesting.

Of course, this could be an effect of bereavement, but when you've got a mood disorder, even "normal" depressions can lead to very bad places.  I hope I can pull myself out of this before it gets really bad.

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