July 20, 2021

Day 19 of S.R and why I think the word 'motivation' is now toxic

Another 7 AM start today. That makes 9 days of getting up at 7 and 5 that I didn't. I am gaining. Proud of myself for each day that I conquer my project. It is doing wonders for my mental health too. I am more positive and less frustrated- so far. I do feel like I need a nap today; time will tell if I have one or not. I am now considering putting some time into crafting again.

Before my world was turned upside down, I spent a lot of time doing crafts and streaming on Twitch. I have been off for a year and a half because I did not have the mental energy to look after my grandma and stream. Plus, I had a mishap with my finger, which required stitches and several months to heal properly. Looking back now, it was a whirlwind of things happening to me.

I needed stitches for my finger, which made me realize that I was burnt out because I was trying to stream consistently and take care of my grandma. My grandma was on a decline mentally after that, which took up more and more of my time. Any time I did have, I spent watching TV or doing a single game. I was living on my grandma's schedule, and I wasn't sleeping or eating all that well, except for dinner because I had to cook it Plus, I have my dog. It was a lot, but I did it because I had to. I am by no means complaining. I wouldn't change anything- except for my finger. I do not regret putting in the time I did with my grandma, even the bad days when I just felt like I would explode with frustration. Caregiver burnout is a thing.

It taught me a lot about myself and how I am a work in progress no matter what time in life I am in. The rug was pulled from under me when she passed, as I am sure it is for most people. (Not all)

Spending the following months in shock and emotional turmoil was not fun. Crying at random times and being set off by simple conversations or questions was not something I normally do. I thought I was good once all of that seeming settled down. I was wrong. After my birthday in May this year, I mentally began shutting down.

I would talk myself out of the things I was doing, telling myself I could do what I wanted and that what I was doing didn't matter. The truth is: I didn't want to DO anything. I didn't want to go anywhere or see anyone. I wanted to lose myself in a void of numbness. Yea, I was getting up and getting dressed and eating, but that was it. I just wanted to not care about anything or anyone. It was weird. I felt weird. I would go outside, and family would sit with me, and I would make conversation, but I didn't care if they were there or not. I felt no joy.

It took me a few weeks to realize that my desire had completely died. It was also during this time that my party leader from Habitica shared this video with us.


After watching some of this video, things started to make sense to me as to why I couldn't bring myself out of my mental trap. I was using the wrong words in my "self-talk" It took me until just recently to put the pieces together and start to change the way I talked to myself. I no longer use the word motivation. DESIRE is the key to equalling motivation, if you will. I ask myself regularly, "What do I desire?" not "What can I do to motivate myself?" The power isn't in motivation anymore.

Granted, there are things that we HAVE to do because it is part of life. Even in that kind of circumstance, I think about what I get out of it. I desire to be helpful in turn makes someone else happy or brings them a small piece of satisfaction.- which brings me some happiness because I did something for someone else. The power of a POSITIVE perspective has turned me around when I needed it.

For a while, I have no doubt that I was wearing a mask and faking that I was doing just fine on the outside when I was mentally spinning in a way I never thought I would or could.

I eventually desired change and have done something to facilitate that, and I see progress.

Written by EmeraldPhoenix

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