Health, Psychology

Motivation, Distraction and Apathy

Here’s the thing about depression and anxiety: sometimes you just can’t seem to get anything done. Depression leaves you apathetic, although so can anxiety. Anxiety leads to  distraction and difficulty concentrating. Depression drains motivation like a sieve until you’re only left with the lump of your body stuck in bed or on the couch or wherever you might land.

woman dark eye spooky
Photo by Rene Asmussen on

Lately, I’ve been having both anxiety and depression, although anxiety is generally winning. I see them as two sides of a coin. Depression zaps me of energy so I really just don’t give a shit about anything. Anxiety generates so much negative energy, I end up lost in a sea of fear-induced avoidance. I want to do things, but I can’t quite muster the courage to do so. Either way, I end up in the land of unproductivity. Sure, I get things done I absolutely must do, like work and eating, but things that don’t absolutely have to be done, don’t get done. Like writing blog posts.

The sneaky thing about anxiety is that I often don’t realize just how distracted I am. This may go on for days or weeks or longer. Last year, my streak lasted for the better part of six or seven months, and the only thing that pulled me out of it completely was falling into a deep depression. I wouldn’t recommend this method to counteract anxiety. 😉

This round was a good week and a half, right up until this morning when I found myself once again taking the wrong turn and autopiloting my way home vs. to my actual destination. I autopilot a lot when I’m anxious, and not just while driving. For some reason, this morning an alarm bell in my head woke me up to the lack of concentration I’ve had lately. Whatever caused it, I’ll take it. Sure beats falling back into depression.

I’m riding a fine line right now, tiptoeing along the edge of the coin. At any moment, I could drop off either side. That might only be how I feel. On my best days, I can truly believe that how I feel doesn’t mean a damn thing when it comes to what is actually true. Too many days in the past year and a half, I’ve been pretending to be OK—or failing miserably at trying to pretend. The road to stability is paved with days I can actually stop pretending and just be straight up honest with myself and where I’m at. Those are my Zen days, when I stare reality in it’s chaotic face and choose to keep on fighting.

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