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How Do I Defy Inertia?


LoneSquirrel

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I feel stuck in the rut that my life has become.  I lack direction and forward movement.  I don't even know what I want anymore.  I see characters in movies living "normal" lives, and I don't even know if I want that.  The career goals I had don't even seem appealing anymore.  A relationship seems like too much work.  School doesn't seem doable; even if I still felt passionate about something, my inability to concentrate would surely sabotage me.  Very little seems enjoyable to me anymore (I still enjoy comedy most of the time, but not much else).

How do I defy this inertia and get myself moving again?  How do I figure out which direction I want to go?

What do you do when you can't find the passion to pursue dreams, or the motivation to live your daily life?  Is there anything that snaps you out of it?

I'm so sick of this.

 

 

 

Edited by LoneSquirrel
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Hi LoneSquirrel,

I find myself feeling very similar lately, as well as in the past.

I think I know the "answer" to what you are saying, and it might sound counter intuitive, but it is the only thing which ever works for me:

It is along the lines of stop *trying* to be something, or do something, and just assume a form you can find comfort in.

I think part of the problem, at least for me, is I always imagine where I might want to be, or what a "functional" version of me would be doing, and so I do my utmost to try and chase, and become this archetype which, in the end, I find is impossible to achieve.

The reason being is that it isn't me. I am a person who is struggling with finding my way, and I guess if I ever find something I am undoubtedly drawn to (you mentioned comedy for example) then there is no question that you will find me doing that naturally, and sometimes it's stuff you take for granted. I mean even if someone is simply watching TV, you could extrapolate what shows he/she is watching, and then there might be discussion forums for that show, or if it is a genre like sci-fi/mystery etc. there are books and maybe even music in that genre.

I guess if there is something you would like to see yourself doing or trying, just taking baby steps towards that goal is helpful. I mean, I always have been drawn to animation for example, and I  even tried taking a class on it. I found in the end that I didn't necessarily hold the aptitude to do it professionally or anything, but trying it out was still an interesting experience.

I guess like, I like to think that if you don't put pressure on yourself, then you might find it easier deciding what it is you might want to do next, and decisions might come naturally.

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I feel the exact way as you. I have no goals, no motivation, everything seems meh. Sometimes I try to just watch comedy as you said (we can chat about it if you'd like). Other times I just go to sleep. I'm not sure if I have a soultion since I'm struggling with the same. But I just wanted to tell you I know how you feel. 

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*trying to write something inspirational and uplifting* AHHHHH I dont know dude!  Hard feelings... I suppose if this question was answered truthfully then you will have the answer to human existance.  All I can say is that I feel the way you do 100%.  you are not alone.  

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On 2/7/2017 at 10:11 PM, Teddy545 said:

I've had problems with motivation for a long time.  I've read before that motivation comes after you start doing something, not before.  Seems like the other way around for me.   I can see how that might work for relationships or for something that's enjoyable.  I get sick of being on a diet pretty fast. 

I've heard that too.  I think it's kind of true, but I'm finding it hard to motivate myself to get started on anything that requires thought and/or concentration.  I can sometimes get myself to clean or something like that, but when I try to do anything that requires my mind to work, I wind up zoning out or getting distracted.

I feel like I should start going for walks again, but the weather here has been so s****y most of the time.

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Some thoughts.

Finding things to distract you all day to try and hide from the depression doesn't work for me. I've done it for a while now and I'm sick of it. It's just hiding from dealing with the problem. So I've started to do things, a little bit at a time. I make the goals and tasks.

Motivation does come from doing things. Sitting around surfing the web, watching the tv, etc isn't motivating. It just helps keep you in the same hovering pattern of getting nothing accomplished. Motivation comes from the fact that you did something. It doesn't have to be earth shattering and you don't have to complete the task/project today. You do have to get moving. It's a process. The more I focus on the process and worry less about the outcome the better. I'm learning more and more about process and what I can control and less about what I can't. I think it helps tone down the depression.

Exercise. I do it 5 days a week. It's not a distraction. It's a goal. If I don't get 5 this week, oh well. Getting 1 this week is not acceptable. So I get up and do a workout. I feel more stimulated after. Motivation. Not before. It can be painful and difficult at times but you have to push through. The process. Then comes the goal later. I'm in better physical shape now than I was 20 years ago. My bones ache and my muscles get sore. It takes a bit longer to recover. But it is very doable. You control it, no one else.

Eat healthier. It goes with the exercise. Stuffing junk in your body all day affects you physically and mentally. I truly believe that. I log all my food in Myfitnesspal and try and balance my diet. Not perfect, but that isn't the goal. The goal is do better. I decide how and what. I control it.

Write it down, make lists. I'm now trying the Bullet Journal. It's a simple system. I've done something similar in the past. It will work. Give it a try. Just Google it and you can read up on it. It doesn't take long and it's not hard. You control what goes in it. It is not a diary or a task list. It's a mix. You can see progress as you do things. Motivation.

One of my worst fears I don't control. I've obsessed over it for a few years and it controls me. It also defines a good part of my depression. I have 2 things I need to do to address it, not fix it, address it for me. That part that I control. I'm actually working on it this week. Finally!

Notice a theme above. I control it, not you or anyone else, ME.  Yes me, I CONTROL those things, you can try and interfere with them but you can't stop ME. They are MINE and I DECIDE.

Notice the common thread here. Something I'm horrible at but focused on now. My therapist has subtly hinted and given me examples and ideas. Last week he changed our focus to be just that. Last week my gal unloaded on me about it. Not in a harsh way. More of a stop it, you're chickening yourself with it. Do what you can and what happens, happens. We'll deal with it. Do anything as long as it is not nothing.

To all of you. You deserve better. Everything that has happened is not your fault. You own some of it. Not all of it. But you are here. Dig your way out. Starting with, stop blaming yourself, forgive yourself, focus on the process and what you can control. The rest is the rest. Success is not about the final outcome in our case. It's about the process of moving forward. But you have to move. Motivation does come along the way.

I'm not preaching and this is not some quip from some pysch rag or book.  It's just me and where I am trying to go.

 

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Squirrely G -

When I was not physical in pain, I, too, spent time in the gym or on long walks which produced the awareness of how grateful I was to have been doing it, which in turn gave me a sense of purpose and peace.

Now I practice meditation.  I can't say I'm 100% consistent with it, but during and afterwards, I feel connected to God (as I understand God) and much more open to risking failure in my own eyes by working on my second book, or by pursuing a big, crazy goal that someone here on DF has encouraged me to pursue. 

I guess what I'm saying is that inertia is of my own creation, which makes it that much more painful.  I find myself devaluing all past success, cutting off the flow of energy of the present, and blocking the desires of my heart for the future because I'm . . . afraid they won't come to fruition.  And so I find myself in a suffocating web of anxiety.  And that web becomes so intolerable that my higher self finally slaps me and says "SNAP OUT OF IT." 

I think our greatest liability and our greatest asset as human beings is that we can adapt to anything, and adapting to inertia is soul-crushing.  But observe in yourself how long it takes to say "I can't stand this any more," and hopefully the next time you feel stuck, it won't take so long to get back on your path.

I want you to be happy, dear.  Keep depending upon us who care for you, and mostly, upon yourself to recognize the pain you may be inflicting upon yourself.  There are many good responses here that I hope are of use to you.

With love and peace,

WOTL

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On 2/9/2017 at 6:27 AM, CoolCat7 said:

Just wanted to recommend Ekhart Tolle's book _A New Earth: Finding Your Life's Purpose_.  He has a really different take on things, that always soothes me when I feel like my life is going nowhere.

Thanks, Lauryn. :flowers:

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On 2/9/2017 at 9:46 AM, In2deep4me said:

Some thoughts.

Finding things to distract you all day to try and hide from the depression doesn't work for me. I've done it for a while now and I'm sick of it. It's just hiding from dealing with the problem. So I've started to do things, a little bit at a time. I make the goals and tasks.

Motivation does come from doing things. Sitting around surfing the web, watching the tv, etc isn't motivating. It just helps keep you in the same hovering pattern of getting nothing accomplished. Motivation comes from the fact that you did something. It doesn't have to be earth shattering and you don't have to complete the task/project today. You do have to get moving. It's a process. The more I focus on the process and worry less about the outcome the better. I'm learning more and more about process and what I can control and less about what I can't. I think it helps tone down the depression.

Exercise. I do it 5 days a week. It's not a distraction. It's a goal. If I don't get 5 this week, oh well. Getting 1 this week is not acceptable. So I get up and do a workout. I feel more stimulated after. Motivation. Not before. It can be painful and difficult at times but you have to push through. The process. Then comes the goal later. I'm in better physical shape now than I was 20 years ago. My bones ache and my muscles get sore. It takes a bit longer to recover. But it is very doable. You control it, no one else.

Eat healthier. It goes with the exercise. Stuffing junk in your body all day affects you physically and mentally. I truly believe that. I log all my food in Myfitnesspal and try and balance my diet. Not perfect, but that isn't the goal. The goal is do better. I decide how and what. I control it.

Write it down, make lists. I'm now trying the Bullet Journal. It's a simple system. I've done something similar in the past. It will work. Give it a try. Just Google it and you can read up on it. It doesn't take long and it's not hard. You control what goes in it. It is not a diary or a task list. It's a mix. You can see progress as you do things. Motivation.

One of my worst fears I don't control. I've obsessed over it for a few years and it controls me. It also defines a good part of my depression. I have 2 things I need to do to address it, not fix it, address it for me. That part that I control. I'm actually working on it this week. Finally!

Notice a theme above. I control it, not you or anyone else, ME.  Yes me, I CONTROL those things, you can try and interfere with them but you can't stop ME. They are MINE and I DECIDE.

Notice the common thread here. Something I'm horrible at but focused on now. My therapist has subtly hinted and given me examples and ideas. Last week he changed our focus to be just that. Last week my gal unloaded on me about it. Not in a harsh way. More of a stop it, you're chickening yourself with it. Do what you can and what happens, happens. We'll deal with it. Do anything as long as it is not nothing.

To all of you. You deserve better. Everything that has happened is not your fault. You own some of it. Not all of it. But you are here. Dig your way out. Starting with, stop blaming yourself, forgive yourself, focus on the process and what you can control. The rest is the rest. Success is not about the final outcome in our case. It's about the process of moving forward. But you have to move. Motivation does come along the way.

I'm not preaching and this is not some quip from some pysch rag or book.  It's just me and where I am trying to go.

 

You know, I started eating better and exercising a little, and then I found that I was agitated the rest of the day...like I should be doing something, but I couldn't figure out what.  I was doing a little better, and then I couldn't figure out where to go from there.  I'd like to work again, but my anxiety is preventing me from doing that.  I'd also like to go back to school, but I can't concentrate to save my life.  Even if I could, I don't know what I'd go back for.  Everything I used to be interested in seems anxiety-provoking or uninteresting now.  In other words, I start to do a little better, and then I feel like I hit a ceiling because I can't go back to work or school.  Then I wind up feeling discouraged and wondering why I even try.

I should be in therapy, but I'm not sure how to come up with the money for the co-pays.  I could probably go once a month, but that wouldn't make sense, since each appointment would mostly be consumed by me trying to catch the therapist up on what's been happening over the past month.  My psychiatrist wants to put me on one of two add-on medications, but I'm not sure which one to try, and I've read so many people here talk about the side effects that I'm kind of freaked out about trying them.  I don't know whether I should just pick one or if there's some other option that I'm not seeing.

In addition to that, I'm living back at my mother's house.  I have to avoid her, because we fight if we spend much time together.  Then there's the added problem: when she sees me doing better, she starts asking why I'm not back in school or working.  She doesn't understand that I can't just be better overnight.  No amount of explaining it brings clarity, because she herself is depressed, but she pretends she's just stuck in bad circumstances.  So her denial extends to me, because that's the only way she can keep it going.  In her mind, once she gets out of her "bad circumstances," she won't be depressed anymore.  I know that's not true, because she's always had trouble functioning.  But she has to pretend that everything is under her control, because she can't handle the thought that she's mentally ill.  She pushes that mentality on me, and so any gains I make are "proof" to her that I'm just lazy and need to try harder.  She refuses to see any grey area.  

So, anyway, I'm kind of in a tough spot and I'm trying to find my way out...but I'm having difficulty.

 

 

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On 2/9/2017 at 5:36 PM, standup said:

Squirrel, I wish I had an answer for you because I feel the exact same way. I'm so stuck - paralyzed. At least we know that it's the depression and not some personal flaw. Still, I wish I held myself more accountable. I think I could be doing more to fight inertia, but I just give into it. It's like I've been swimming against the current for so long that I'm too tired to keep fighting it.

It does seem like one of the hardest things to do is keep up momentum.  It's like the energy required to do it is mostly spent on just existing, and there isn't much--if any--left for gains. 

I have periods of time where I do better, but I invariably wind up falling back into a pit again.  I think that's why it's becoming harder and harder to see a future for myself; because I know that--even if I'm able to build a life for myself--I'll inevitably wind up back in that pit again and will have to start over.

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On 2/9/2017 at 6:03 PM, womanofthelight said:

Squirrely G -

When I was not physical in pain, I, too, spent time in the gym or on long walks which produced the awareness of how grateful I was to have been doing it, which in turn gave me a sense of purpose and peace.

Now I practice meditation.  I can't say I'm 100% consistent with it, but during and afterwards, I feel connected to God (as I understand God) and much more open to risking failure in my own eyes by working on my second book, or by pursuing a big, crazy goal that someone here on DF has encouraged me to pursue. 

I guess what I'm saying is that inertia is of my own creation, which makes it that much more painful.  I find myself devaluing all past success, cutting off the flow of energy of the present, and blocking the desires of my heart for the future because I'm . . . afraid they won't come to fruition.  And so I find myself in a suffocating web of anxiety.  And that web becomes so intolerable that my higher self finally slaps me and says "SNAP OUT OF IT." 

I think our greatest liability and our greatest asset as human beings is that we can adapt to anything, and adapting to inertia is soul-crushing.  But observe in yourself how long it takes to say "I can't stand this any more," and hopefully the next time you feel stuck, it won't take so long to get back on your path.

I want you to be happy, dear.  Keep depending upon us who care for you, and mostly, upon yourself to recognize the pain you may be inflicting upon yourself.  There are many good responses here that I hope are of use to you.

With love and peace,

WOTL

Thanks, WOTL.

I wish I felt that sort of connection with a higher power.  I think it would help me.  I've tried--on many occasions--to talk to God, but I don't feel like anyone is listening.  The last time I felt any sense that God could possibly be listening was when my dad died.  He was in the throes of dying, and he was suffering so much, and I prayed to God to just let him die already.  He died sooner than the nurses thought he would, and I was thankful that his pain was over.  Since then I have tried to talk to God on many occasions.  I've felt nothing at all, and haven't seen anything that makes me feel like He's present in my life.  I believe that there is something--or there are forces out there--greater than myself.  But I don't believe it is at all invested in my well-being.  I'd like to believe that someone or something out there is on my side, but I can't seem to feel anything but emptiness when I try to connect with it.  I feel disconnected, and I'm not sure meditation can fix that, though it does relax me to some degree.

I think that mental illness is basically an inability to adapt to what's going on around you.  That inability comes in many forms and degrees, but the common denominator is that we have trouble functioning in whatever circumstances we find ourselves in.  I don't know how much of that can be healed by non-medical means and how much of it is insurmountable without help from meds.  I just know that, for me, it's a mix.  I'm trying to figure out what I can fix on my own and what I cannot.  I've tried multiple times over the years to get off of meds and wound up back in a deep depression, like I was before I even tried any meds.  So I know there is a chemical element to it, but I also know that my actions (or inaction) affect(s) my depression.

 

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On 2/10/2017 at 9:25 PM, CoolCat7 said:

If you can't believe in God (and I don't believe in a personal god), how about Joseph Campbell's "Thousand Unseen Helping Hands").  It's the idea that when you're living in the most authentic way and pursuing your dream, others will sense this about you and find little ways to facilitate your progress.  Sadly I don't think it works on really self-centred people like your mother.  But I believe it works on others.  Like, my husband tends to do more housework when he knows I'm on a roll with my writing.  My friends have been really encouraging about me taking a comedy class.  That kind of thing.

I've not heard of that, Lauryn.  I don't have anyone around me--except for my mother--so I'm not sure how that would work.

I really don't know what living in an authentic way would look like for me at this point.  Everything seems so muddy.  I don't even know what I want anymore.

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