I told my husband a few days ago that I was having a problem with motivation. He reminded me that having no motivation is part of the disease of depression. His comment reminded me of something I read recently in the book Reaching for Hope An LDS Perspective on Recovering from Depression by Meghan Decker and Betsy Chatlin:
I like to remind myself of the eternal perspective spoken by Elder Neal A. Maxwell: "God, who knows our capacity perfectly, placed us here to succeed." I think that by "doing" I am becoming. On those days when your depression seems most insurmountable, there is a small, even thirty-second "do" within your grasp. The smallest step you can manage is one more claim upon eternity where a loving Savior welcomes every effort -- even baby steps.
Small steps slogging through molasses. Do something small, but do something. The operative word for you who are suffering is do. President Kimball said, "Do it." If you are struggling with clinical depression, do something -- take a baby step.
The phrase "do something" has been running around in my head for a few days now along with a couple of other thoughts. One of the other thoughts was from a conversation I had with a friend who told me that she has an idea book that she takes with her everywhere to write down her ideas and thoughts throughout the day. I love having notebooks and writing things down so, of course, I loved the idea. Lately I have been writing down thoughts and notes on all different pieces of paper, appointments on different calendars and just generally feeling like I was all over the place. So I was trying to think about how to incorporate my friend's "idea book" into my life.
The other thought was from a goal training class I took online recently. One of the first things said in the class was that if you don't have a goal first thing in the morning then nothing will get done. When I heard that I thought that was exactly my problem lately. I have plenty of things to do and goals to accomplish, but I couldn't decide which ones to do first and when.
Yesterday morning before I climbed out of bed, these thoughts all combined into one complete idea. I got up and pulled out a new notebook and titled it "Do Something." I then wrote the date and my goal for the day which was to do the dishes and go to the store. It wasn't a huge goal, but that wasn't really the point, the point was to just do something.
The last few weeks have been challenging in that my motivation level has been really low. Some days I haven't even done my basic Breathe Strategies, the items I have put in my Basket A (see blog entry Basketful of Blessings). But once I wrote down my goal and other thoughts in my notebook I was pretty excited about my day. Then I actually got up and did something. I went to the grocery store and the local craft store. I got some fun new craft ideas and then went home and did the dishes. The next thing I knew I was outside doing some weeding. I felt more energized than I had in weeks.
I'm going to keep writing in my "do something" notebook and see how it works. Some days my "do something" might be very small and some days it may be big. I'm not exactly sure how will it go, but I do know that I'm looking forward to just doing something!