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Who Needs a Therapist When (Pt. 4)

Maybe some of the issue isn't me.

Image Courtesy of Mohamed Nohassi CC



Me. I need a therapist. Thank you internet for being one. All tips will go to someday affording a real professional.

So, I've been having a motivation problem. Like, every other morning I wake up with my bones full of lead. I can push through to go to work, but when I need to be working from home, or doing personal projects or pretty much any average day, the hopelessness saps at me and I find myself unable to even get out of bed.

For a long time, I've thought that it had to do with a loss of self-confidence. After all, I'm a well educated woman, who takes pride in her competence. I don't like doing things that I'm bad at—which means that I've taken the time to get good at most things that I have to do. And, it's been a bad couple of years for my feelings of competence. I've managed to get a masters without being employable (turns out that you really need that unpaid teaching internship to ever teach at a college level), to get to 32 while still making only a couple thousand a year over the poverty line (just enough not to qualify for Medicaid! Thanks America) and to run up against physical, mental or social limitations on pretty much every aspect of my life.

Yet, while I'm reacting badly to rejection and mistakes, I don't feel the crushing humiliation of self that usually accompanies it. In fact, while I've been forced to accept some unfortunate limitations of body and mind, I haven't been really shaken to the core over it.

In fact, the self-loathing that seems to recur and haunt me in the mornings isn't Earth-shattering, but cripplingly familiar. It just, is around more these days.

In fact, yesterday was a greatly productive day. I woke up with my alarm and didn't return to bed when the dog was walked, but actually did household work and worked from home for a full eight hours. I plowed through the normal drudgery without too much stress and with enough bright moments to call it a good day.

Today should have been the same. Only, I went back to sleep after my alarm and didn't walk the dog until nearly noon. By the time I was done with that, there wasn't enough time to do much of anything before work, and I wasn't exactly feeling motivated either. So I watched TV for three hours before calling it quits and going to my evening job.

And, while sitting there wondering what the hell is wrong with me—I've worked 60 and 80 hour work weeks before. I've never done school without also working full time. My 20 hour in person job plus my work from home cushion job should not be challenging in any sense of the word. So how is it possible that I don't even have the motivation to roll out of bed?

I think it has to do with self-efficacy, not self-esteem. I am pretty good at the things I do. I have a lot of genuinely admirable qualities, and while I often do trash things, they definitely aren't awful like stuff I used to do.

What I can't make happen—is meaningful positive changes in my external life. Of course I have no motivation to work on a job that will scrape me enough money that I can buy groceries. Of course, I have no motivation to go to a job that slowly strips pieces of my humanity away for not quite enough pay. Of course, I have no motivation to start another personal project that will only be sidelined in a month when I need to prioritize bills over passion.

Of course, I have no motivation at all. I've been working since I was 16 and I still don't have any retirement funds. I've been working since I was 16 and my career could be described as a series of unfortunate events. I've been working since I was 16 and things aren't getting better, only worse. When I was in college at least I always knew I could afford milk.

So maybe my despair is justified. It isn't that I'm not good. I'm just not good enough to make a decent life in today's world. To be frank, I don't think anyone is, it's all luck. And, if the only thing that could improve my life is luck, there isn't much point in getting out of bed, now is there?

Read More of My Meltdown

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