My biggest challenge to get past, the biggest thing holding me back, my mental blocks. I call them mental blocks, some people call them walls, it’s like hitting a wall and suddenly you can’t do anything.
For me, when I get this way, it’s like nothing is worth it. Or, my mind tells me I’m not smart enough or competent enough to accomplish what I want. The biggest thing, which I fight to make sure no one else does, but do to myself, is hold my past against me. “You never finish anything, you never stick to a damn thing. Why even bother?”
This thinking comes into play with my writing, doing dishes, cooking dinner, doing laundry, sometimes even taking a freakin shower! I mean, come on, who doesn’t think a shower is worth it? Like, really Mr. Mental Block, a shower isn’t worth it? Screw you, I’m gonna take a damn shower.
The best way to get past this, is to just do the fucking thing. Sounds simple, right? Well, we all know it’s not. Actually, normal people don’t know it’s not easy, they’ll just tell you to “push through” but do you realize how hard it is for someone with a mental illness to just do something? It’s damn near impossible some days!
Just how difficult is it? Well, it took my boyfriend all weekend, I’m talking all day Friday, Saturday, and Sunday to convince me to do the laundry. Sure, he offered to do it himself but I wanted to help. I didn’t want him to have to do it alone, I wanted to feel useful! I’m tired of not feeling useful.
Well, it turns out I wasn’t that useful anyway. We finally did the laundry, one basket full (there was two), and I hardly did anything. He carried the basket to the laundry room at our complex, he loaded both washers, he paid for it, I just sat there on the counter and watched. I could have easily brought the other basket, hell it has fucking wheels! But, no. No, I couldn’t be bothered to help too much with the laundry. Why? Because my mental block told me I couldn’t do it.
I did, however, help move the clothes to the dryer. Go me!
No matter what you do, it doesn’t have to be perfect when you’re fighting a mental block. Not at all. My helpfulness wasn’t perfect, but I went through the motions and saw that it wasn’t as difficult as my mind made it out to be. Now, maybe, just maybe, I can do that other laundry basket tomorrow. Also, a correction needs to be made. There was, in fact, three full laundry baskets. Now there’s two. Yeah, that mental block thing kept me from doing laundry for a while. Oops.
If you have to put it down for a while, it’s okay. If you pick up whatever you were going to do and get overwhelmed by the thought of it all, it’s okay to set it back down. You can try again in a few minutes, hours, days, whatever. It’s okay. Don’t force yourself to do something that overwhelms you. Unless, of course, it’s time sensitive or super urgent. Then you might want to try forcing yourself a bit. But if you’ve got all the time in the world to tackle the project, give yourself the time you need.
But, if worse comes to worse and you just can’t find it in you to do it, don’t hate yourself. My therapist suggested I start playing with clay. In my mind that meant to make things out of clay, simple, right? WRONG. Clay is bullshit guys. And my therapist had to explain to me that he meant just playing with it, I don’t have to make anything. Yeah, right. Like I’m going to sit down and just play with clay. Anything that makes me feel like a child just frustrates me. I have to be doing something with an outcome. That’s just how my mind has been lately. I need that outcome to feel productive and accomplished, like my time wasn’t wasted.
So, it’s okay if you just can’t do it. Again, unless it’s urgent and important. Don’t beat yourself up over not being able to do something. I’m one to talk, I beat myself up for hours about not writing a good enough post. Then, I tried to work at it from a different angle and guess what, here we are.
Things take time, work, and effort. But when you’re fighting a mental illness, you time, work, and effort tend to go towards fighting the mental health issues. There’s little left over for projects. And that’s okay, because you’re still breathing. That’s what matters.