I spent the whole morning in a sea of frustration, stuck in front of my computer trying to do 2 or 3 things that I thought would take about an hour; before I knew it the whole morning slipped away and I’d made virtually zero progress. It was enough to send me down the slippery slope of pessimism and lack-of-motivation.
I’m finding it tough to figure out what the balance is that I should best strike between getting on my own case and trying to motivate myself to action that will ultimately make me feel better and being gentle with myself and just letting myself be and process what I’m feeling. I suspect most people would advise the latter. I think general consensus is that this is good for your mid-term mental health. My problem with this approach is two-fold. One: it doesn’t help right-the-fuck-now. Getting off my backside and having something to show for my day would help to slow the current slide that my self-confidence is taking. Having company, even though I feel like I don’t want it would, I know, make me feel better (with awesome timing, *just* as I wrote that sentence, a friend popped round for coffee to see if I was OK, I think it’s possibly the only time that company hasn’t made me feel better :-/) Two: it’s not the way I’ve ever approached difficulties in my life before. When I need to feel better, I get busy. Distraction and not thinking about things has always served me really well in the past. As I think about it, I still believe it would serve me well now. I just don’t believe that sitting around and experiencing the bad feelings helps. It would be much better to be doing something else but I’m simply incapable.
So, maybe the question is if it’s better to accept your incapability, which seems gentler on yourself but maybe prolongs the amount of time you are incapable or if you fight it, which is potentially a catalyst for becoming capable but also potentially just a catalyst for feeling worse.
Or is it simply that I’ve never been in a situation before where the processing was necessary and now it is? Or, am I just looking for an excuse for my inability to make progress because that will make me feel better.
I read an awesome blog post by Ben Brooks-Dutton a few days ago. The part I found most helpful was “I’ve begun to think that sometimes acknowledging a question is more important than answering it“. I’ve been trying so hard to stop the incessant over-analysis of my feelings in the last few weeks. The reason I started to write was to try and stop the thoughts spinning round and round in my head and give them a place to sit still. I found that this insight helped to bring me some peace. Just not today.