Do It Anyway
Do it anyway.
You know, something I don’t see talked about very much in terms of mental illness is how much easier life is when you’re sick. Okay, no, that’s not quite what I mean. Life isn’t easy in that it is comfortable, or enjoyable, or in any way better when you’re ill, but you’re at least letting your brain just handle things the way it wants. Even if what it wants is objectively garbage and abject self-abuse that will leave you unhappier in the long run, there’s a relief to taking your hands off the wheel and letting the crazy steer for a while.
Which I think is what makes it hard, once in a while, to pursue improvement. Misery loves company, and sometimes company loves misery because it takes little effort to be miserable. When I talk recovery, when I talk treatment, I want it to be these series of strides straight forward, when in truth, I’m often looking backwards to the bad old days. Yeah, things were awful, but they were easy, weren’t they?
Do it anyway.
And the truth is: yeah, sometimes they were easier. Making no effort is easier than making any kind of effort at all. Sometimes lying in that pool of your own unhappiness feels safe. You know it well. You probably know it better than a life that exists outside it. It’s familiar, here in the dark. Improvement, that’s a long, winding road with backslides and ditches and signs that point the wrong way like out of a Looney Tunes cartoon with no guarantee of what life will look like on the other side. Motivation for what you don’t know is hard to maintain. It comes and goes. Sometimes, it just goes entirely.
And it’s for those times that I’m writing this, as a note to myself: to do it anyway. Motivation ain’t shit in the face of consistency. Even when the bad old times feel tempting, easier, go through the motions of wanting to be better. Do it anyway, because there will be days when you want to be better so badly it hurts, and those days, you have to be able to look back and see that you’ve been trying, to see how far you’ve come. Do it anyway because what you don’t know has to be better than what you do.
Do it anyway, because if you keep doing it anyway, eventually you want have to try to do it at all: you’ll just do. And that’s what I’m shooting for.
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