Monday, June 22, 2009


Ok, I've had this title up two or three times already, but I always end up talking about something else. Motivation is a real demon for me.

Lack of motivation is pretty common among people with depression or other mental illness. It can be hard just to do the basic necessities of life, like cooking, cleaning, personal care. I have been pretty seriously unmotivated for 9 years now, since I went on disability. It is easy to understand why I don't do things I don't like doing, like cleaning, but I've had a hard time coming to grips with why I don't do things I ostensibly like to do, like my crafts.

I love crafts. I knit, needlepoint, cross stitch, embroider and quilt, to name the main ones. I love working with colour, I love the different textures of threads, fabrics and yarns, I love pattern. I enjoy the meditative, repetitive nature of many crafts. I love planning and starting new projects, and I love the finished products. I love my crafts. But in 9 years, I have shockingly little done.

This has been a source of much anguish to me. My dream has always been to be retired and free to pursue my crafts all day. There appears to be nothing stopping me from living the dream right now. I have a basement full of materials ready to go. But most of the time I don't do them. Does this mean my dream is wrong, misguided in some way? Maybe I don't really like crafts as much as I think. I have the feeling that I am having the experience of living my dream, only to find it was not what I wanted. Why am I not doing something I supposedly love so much? It is painful to feel that I don't know my own mind.

Thinking about this topic for the past few days I have been coming to the conclusion that it is the depression that is causing a lack of motivation, even for something that I enjoy. It is hard to accept that depression could take away something so basic to me, that it can take away my dreams like that.

I used to measure my days by how much crafting I got done. I felt good if it was a productive day, and I beat myself up if I didn't do anything. Recently I have stopped beating myself up. I had achieved a certain amount of acceptance with sitting on the couch, and I was more peaceful. Now, though, after writing all this, I am wondering. I have questions for the future. Many people on the Truehope program do get their motivation back. What will happen to me? Will I pick up my crafts and be happy? What if I do not like crafts anymore? What will my dream be then?