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Happy Monday: Why do I procrastinate things I enjoy?

I'm procrastinating so much at the moment, I'm even procrastinating finishing current read.

 

Happy Monday! I don’t know about you, but I’m seriously tired today. Might be the fact that it was the first day getting up early since daylight savings time started around here for me. Or maybe it’s just my ADHD. I don’t know.

But anyway, I’m here, I’m writing, so I’m counting that as a win. I’ve been having some trouble with motivational issues lately, and I can’t say I’m enjoying that.

Now, I can already hear the “lazy” argument from the people in the back, but the thing is, I’m not lazy. Really, really not. I’m tired, and exhausted, but I am not, and never have been, lazy. You know how I know that? One: I like working, creating, cleaning, everything that makes me feel like I’ve achieved something. It helps me feel good about myself. But also, two: I keep procrastinating things I enjoy doing. So it’s not like I don’t do the things I don’t want to, but do everything else. I just don’t do anything.

I’m aware that this is a symptom of depression. I’m also aware that I’ve been dealing with these problems on and off since the start of this year. What annoys me, here, is that I’m having a lot of trouble telling my ADHD symptoms from depression symptoms. Like so many people out there, including doctors and psychiatrists. But I want to be able to tell the difference!

Even though, I feel like this brings up the question: Why do I need to know what causes this lack of motivation? I’m not going to change my medication to accomodate that (mainly because I already take a low dosage anti-depressant to handle my IBS, so I don’t really feel like messing with a setup that basically works), so what does it matter?

I’m not sure. I mean, on the one hand, I guess it’s normal, for any spoonie, to want to know what is going on. Which mostly makes a lot of sense, because you can’t treat something you don’t know you have. But in my case, I know I have phases of depression every now and again. I also know that these are not bad enough for me to feel like I need to fix them. They are just part of my life, and when they happen, I try to accept that and adjust my expectations for myself accordingly.

What do I do, though, when it’s been a while, and I can’t seem to shake it off? Treating depression alongside ADHD can be tricky. I don’t personally have a lot of experience with this, but I know that for my sister, it comes down to treating one or the other, since treating both at once just doesn’t work out. I need my ADHD treated, since it’s the single most influencial part of my life, and I know that not treating it would come with a ton of other problems.

So, yeah. I don’t really need to know why I keep procrastinating. Whether it’s a symptom of my ADHD or depression, I need to handle it some other way.

And, well, what can I say? The best way, for me personally, to handle mental health induced procrastination, is to quit procrastinating the things I genuinely enjoy doing. This is a viscious cycle, really, because if I don’t do the things I “should” be doing, I don’t feel like I deserve to do the things I like doing. Which leads to me doing less and less, until I don’t do the things I enjoy, because they simply seem like too much hassle.

Once I start doing them anyway, I start feeling a little better, and everything else I should be doing, feels a little less impossible. Which isn’t to say that you can cure your symptoms of ADHD and/or depression by “just not having symptoms”. Obviously. It just means that for me, personally, one way to avoid sliding deeper and deeper into the pit of non-motivation, is to start by doing something I genuinely want to do.

I also try to handle this thing by keeping my expectations in check. I’m a perfectionist, like so many ADHD people, so it can be hard for me to let go of the image of who I want to be, in favor of who I can realistically expect to be right now. If that means that the best I can do today is run some errands and finally finish that book I started reading a month ago, then that’s just the way it is.

So, what else is new this week?

I’m probably going back to work tomorrow, even though with my recent knee related problems, I don’t know if there will be work for me to do. I saw my doctor today, so I’m getting some proper pain killers, which will hopefully help me feel a little less panicked about going back to work. But also, it looks like I have to accept that the job I’m doing right now, isn’t going to work long term (which isn’t exactely surprising, since it’s what I have been saying since I started). Which means I have to figure out how to make a living some other way.

Other than that, my past week was kind of uneventfull. As I told you (I think), I did a bit of a creative retreat, which was kind of nice, but also made a bit difficult by the current motivation issues. I did some crafting, though, and did some other stuff I sadly can’t remember right now.

This week, I’m really just hoping to get through work without another knee incident, and apart from that, I’ll see how it goes.

And since I’m German, and one of the few German traditions that I genuinely enjoy is coming up: This coming Sunday is St. Martin’s day, which is a semi-religious holiday that is celebrated in most central European countries, but especially in Germany. There are different traditions, but the one I’ve loved since I was a kid, is the lantern procession. Basically, in most cities, towns and villages across Germany, on or around November 11th, there are processions of kids (in the company of their parents) carrying bought or crafted paper lanterns and singing traditional songs. It’s inspired, very vaguely, by a legend about a roman soldier who supposedly shared his coat with a beggar. It’s mostly used to teach kids about compassion and sharing, but it also makes up an important part of many German childhoods, since these lantern processions feel kind of magical. You can google “Martinsumzug”, if you want to check it out.

Have a great week, everyone!

Image by Leah Kelley