Fluctuating motivation in mental illness means that sometimes, things are happening, while other times, the wheels just fall right off.
A few weeks ago (I think – I’m not good at remembering time in a relative sense) I was feeling pretty motivated. Maybe my concentration wasn’t the best, but I had several things on the go and I was keeping busy shuffling back and forth amongst these various things. I had to use lists to keep track because I have a hard time juggling multiple things in my head at the same time.
This week isn’t like that. I feel aimless. I have some books downloaded that I want to read, but haven’t gotten started on yet. There are some drafts I’ve started for blog posts, but I don’t really care enough to finish them right now. There are also some other writing projects I’ve started but don’t have the drive to work on.
I recently had a couple pieces that I’d submitted to publications that weren’t accepted, plus some that it’s been long enough since I submitted that I’m unlikely to hear back from them. I know that it’s totally par for the course and I don’t take it as a rejection of me in general, but I do find it drains my energy. Given that I don’t have a lot of that to begin with, I think it’s probably good to take a bit of a step back from trying to write for platforms that are more competitive (in the sense that there’s a reasonably good chance of rejection).
I have no intention of trying to make a living as a writer, so I think I’m better off trying to focus my limited energy, attention, and motivation on things that will give the most mental bang for my buck, so to speak.
I think another reason for my decreased motivation is being distracted by concerns about my physical health. That feels very heavy right now, and it’s hard to be motivated when I’m carrying around a rhino on my back (I was trying to think of an animal and there’s a photo of a rhino on my wall, so rhino it is). It feels like uncertainty has stalled me in a sort of mental no-man’s-land.
But I guess the natural state of things is that motivation will ebb and flow like the tide. Motivation is low now, but it will come back in its own time.
How do you manage dips in motivation?