So yah, I’ve got chronic depression. Have had for almost 20 years (diagnosed). It truly sucks! Motivation is a fucker! Trying to do any one thing when you’re depressed is near impossible, when depression is at its worst. How to describe it to a “normal” person: It’s like you’re trying to exist with a really heavy blanket wrapped around you. Not just draped over your shoulders, either. This heavy blanket is wrapped around your head, your arms, legs, torso. It has such a tight grip that moving (that’s the motivation part) is near impossible.
The thing is – and every depressive knows this – when you do manage to move (in a meaningful way; not just rolling over in bed, or getting up to go to the bathroom), the heavy blanket loosens ever so slightly. Enough to move some more? If you’re lucky… or maybe if the sun is shining that day. The more you move, the more gaps you can tease out of the blanket. It’s still there – boy, is it ever! But there’s some wiggle room.
And that’s when I walk my dog. Up until then, I’m practicing the art of convincing myself – talking myself into something I don’t really want to do (motivation’s a fucker, remember?).
I should walk the dog.
The dog really needs a walk.
I need to get up off my ass and walk the dog!
You’ll feel so much better after you walk the dog.
Sometimes I win this thought-battle, sometimes not. Sometimes the walk even motivates more activity. And sometimes, it’s about the only thing I can manage before collapsing under the weight of the blanket again.
They call is chronic depression because it’s persistent. It’s always there, to one degree or another. You just gotta keep trying!