2020/12/08 (Tue)

So. Here we are again.
I’m back to complain some more because I am a privileged white woman living in a first-world country with nothing better to concern myself with but my own thoughts, so self-conceited and selfish beyond belief.
Yes, that is me.
Hi, nice to meet you.

I’ve been feeling oddly numb and empty, the warning sirens wailing in my head warning about a depressive episode about to consume me whole.
I don’t want to work on my writing project, I don’t want to watch the usual shows or drown everything out with my newest cross-stitching addiction.
I don’t want to drink tea anymore despite having spent a couple hundred quid on ethically sourced loose leaf teas.
I don’t want to do yoga despite having been doing yoga daily a while back.
I don’t want to move or get up in the mornings.
I don’t want to cook or watch YouTube or read books even though I’m only 3 titles away from reaching my 100 book goal on GoodReads.

This all spells out depressive episode but I find myself pushing away the possibility subsequently making it all the worse.

Whenever I get to a tight spot as such, I panic. Quietly, behind the scenes. I panic because I am afraid that I will never get back to the projects I’ve started, that this depressive state will last forever and I will once again end up abandoning everything I’ve touched before this moment.
Which only makes matters worse as it messes with my self-worth and my self-perceived ability to finish what I’ve started.
I do not have the vitality to work on anything at this moment and I guilt myself for it, I drag myself through shit for my inability to snap out of this state of mind and get straight back into my previous optimistic energetic self.

You’d think that through 12 or so years of on-and-off depression I’d know better than to repeat the same mistakes as I have before, the same mistakes that left me chained with creative blocks so bad I ended up hating everything I once claimed to love.

Despite all that, I am still mid-panic, feeling pathetic for wasting my precious limited time just wasting away watching YouTube videos as doing anything else appeared to require too much energy.

I’m terrified of myself.
Of the part of me that’s able to get extremely excited about a prospect of a project, starting research and preparations with all the energy in the world, only to crash a week later unable to bring myself to touch said project again.
God does it make me hate myself.
Every single time this happens I push myself to work on the things I lost the fire for inevitably creating a “have to” chore feeling that just straight-up sucks all the passion away from it.

Here I am noticing the pattern, noticing the guilt I feel for under-performing, my perfectionism still running deep, still raising hurdles every so very often.

It’s so weird to hear my friend tell me how inspiring I am, how much of a role-model she takes me for, how my self-discipline is better than that of anyone she has ever met.
It’s weird because I feel like the exact opposite of all of those things. I have accomplished some things this year but my pride and self-pat-on-the-back only ever last a couple of days, hours, minutes. It never lasts and I’m unable to permit myself to rest in-between said feats.

Applying for the new job I never mentioned the fact that I am incredibly fast at my job, a trait that my past manager would often praise and thank me for.
The other day my current manager used the exact same words to describe my work – fast and accurate with great attention to detail.

It’s such a double-edged sword kind of a compliment in my world. Whereas I do appreciate them noticing, it also puts insurmountable amounts of pressure on me to continue performing at such a fast-pace striving to do more and more and more until I eventually end up burning myself out.
My manager didn’t mention wanting me to do more, no, it is me who puts the pressure on because obviously one must keep on improving forever, don’t they?

And so in my personal life as well, I am able to achieve things in a relatively short amount of time if I set my mind to it. I’m the only one aware how long it takes me to do things and how much time I end up spending on the internet browsing loose leaf tea shops, watching useless YouTube videos and switching between different social media apps.
I’m the only aware of how much more I should be able to achieve if I was to give it my 100% and so naturally I feel pathetic for not doing so.

Logically I know that it is impossible to be productive 24/7/365 and I’m the first person to call out hustle culture and how it’s eating us alive. Heck, I even wrote a blog post for my work about mindfulness, creativity and the link to the great Quarantine Productivity OlympicsTM of 2020.
All the while being one of the victims of this unhelpful mentality.

I keep getting back to the same place over and over again having to remind myself to allow the breaks, to allow the brain-dead staring-at-a-wall-for-30-minutes type of hours.
But I fall back into the evil perfectionist productivity that nags me to work on something at all given times.
Work/life balance? What’s that? When I can’t even find a life/life balance?

My advice to myself at this point would be to embrace the depression, to embrace the fear and to stop pushing all the unpleasant feelings away at the same time as pushing myself to be more and more productive.

Maybe it’s depression, maybe it’s burnout, maybe I’m just lazy.

Whatever it is that I’m feeling, it’s not going to get better with force which I know will only lead to resentment for the things that I once loved doing.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *