Slow, if not steadyClever Manka, · Categories: Manka's Posts · Tags: emotional growth is the worst, fatigue, progress
I’m not what anyone would call quick to action in general, but once I make up my mind to do something, I like to get a move on. I knew changing my life would be scary, difficult, and stressful. I didn’t realize it would take so long.
Back in July, I was one-hundred-percent committed to making serious changes, and soon. I was done with medical specialists (regardless of type of medical degree/schooling). I’d tried relying on someone else to fix my body for seventeen years. I was ready for something new. Then I found out about Dr. Sexy and decided to put that life change on hold while I pursued one more medical-help option.
I didn’t anticipate the negative psychological effects of downshifting after I’d already made the decision to throw it into sixth gear.
I am a hedonist. I am a person of large appetites and I consume with enthusiasm. If I don’t actively enjoy at least an aspect of something, I stop engaging with it. This applies to food, media, activities, and other human beings. I don’t spend time and energy if the effort doesn’t bring me joy. Different things offer different levels of satisfaction, and sometimes I need to learn/convince myself of the enjoyable aspects (Sun Salutations, for example, or the regular eating of greens). If I’m going to choose to regularly interact with something, though (hobbies, friends, whatever), I need to find that interaction generally pleasurable.
There are, of course and unfortunately, critical things in life that offer no pleasure in the doing and must simply be endured. Right now I am enduring everything.
Most everyone who is familiar with depression knows about anhedonia. It’s a charming feedback loop where nothing is good/fun/pleasurable, and it limits (or eliminates) the motivation to pursue good/fun/pleasurable things. That coupled with the debilitating physical exhaustion that accompanies attempts to make myself do good/fun/pleasurable things, and I am lost.
I am surrounded by reminders of the life I’m not leading. I see the closet-full of thrifted clothes that I bought for re-fashioning, but I have neither the physical stamina for sewing nor the imaginative capability to create designs. I see my storage freezer, much too full for the large portion of cow I packed in there a few weeks ago because I haven’t done half the cooking I usually do in a year. My TRX and kettlebells are literally dusty. Even my art supplies sit neglected—I couldn’t trust my energy levels to commit to the due South fandom gift exchange I usually do at this time of year. Living with the constant visual and psychological press of these things that used to give me pleasure is stressful, but I have no resources to hide them and even if I did, where would I move them to?
Even eating is something I’m doing just to get it done and it took me two weeks to muster the enthusiasm for sex this past weekend.
There are people for whom the pursuit of pleasure (define that how you like) is not the primary motivating force in their lives. I have no desire to transform myself into one of these people, but in order to avoid completely succumbing to depression, I must find a way to live as one for a while. Until I find how to eliminate or accommodate the issues causing my fatigue, until I have the resources to improve things, I have to be okay with things not being okay. I need to find a way to be patient with the notion of enduring my life.
Conveniently, the yogic and Vaishnavic philosophies I’m studying for my yoga certification fall into line with this. Non-attachment stuff. Doing stuff simply because it is the right thing to do. Expecting no results, good or bad, from your actions. Studying these ideas helps me understand the concepts (former Religious Studies Student Me is enjoying approaching these texts from an academic standpoint), but I’m having a difficult time internalizing them or applying them to my current living existence.
While my body lacks the energy for passion, I need to focus on patience. I might be opposed to the concept that everything happens for a reason, but that doesn’t mean I can’t learn from this particular experience. I might be standing still, but that doesn’t mean I have to be stagnant.
Clever Manka is your site host. Patience is not one of her virtues.