If I were an actor in a play, I would be asking the director that question.
Seriously, I am not sure why I am doing the things I am doing. That being said, some things are clear.
I travel to my day job because they have fantastic health benefits. This is worth the time and trouble of the long commute. I eat, and bath, do my laundry and make a fire in the woodstove to take the chill off the house as the days get shorter and colder.
But what is my motivation?
Where is the reason I am doing this? What makes me complete certain tasks without thinking about them, while I agonize over other activities? Is there really an elephant in the room or am I making that up to avoid facing hard choices? Of course, it’s an elephant!
Why wouldn’t I face hard choices and make very, very difficult decisions that will have lasting consequences for the remainder of my natural life?
The better I get at catching myself in unhelpful thinking styles, the more I feel I should be able to use those skills to face the “big questions.” But that isn’t how it is working for me. When an automatic thought pops into my head, I am getting good at seeing it, letting it float on downstream without actually engaging it.
I am an elephant hunter on par with Teddy Roosevelt.
I am after the big questions, the tough questions, the ones that keep me awake at night. But unlike Teddy, I have not been able to “bag my trophy.” I get within sight of the elephant and chicken out. Heck, sometimes I am in the same room with the elephant and I will squeeze myself up against the wall to get around it. This keeps me from having to engage it.
28 weeks removed from my hospitalization for Major Depressive Disorder, in many ways I am a stronger, healthier version of myself.
But the small stuff, for me, is easy to impact. I can knock out a task list and change my behavior based on a scientific-based logical approach that leads me to live a balanced life. This small stuff is supposed to all work together to help me with the big stuff. But so far, I have not seen that in my recovery.
READ: Does it really matter?
This leads me back to what is my motivation.
Why do I address some things and not others? What makes the elephant in the room off-limits? My next therapist appointment is coming up. We have danced around the elephant in these sessions. We have used the Change Triangle to look at underlying motivations. And progress is being made.
Yet, my date with the elephant is still a questionable matter.
Even without poking at it, the elephant can be roused from its vegetative state by other conversations. Things that on the surface have nothing to do with the elephant, can suddenly take a turn that leads me face to face with the pesky Goliath. When this happens, I choose to tiptoe out of the room instead of waking the beast and confronting it.
It only took me 43 years to confront the elephant of depression.
Now I really didn’t want to confront it. Had I figured a way out of my depression this time, I would not be writing this. I’ve written about my decision to seek professional help. It was a very frightening thing to do, but it was the least scary of the three choices I saw for me.
So, there will come a time when I will face this new elephant.
But right now, I am trying to understand my motivation for continuing my journey. And why do all the roads I am taking keep leading me back to the elephant? It’s like Einstein’s time-space continuum, where, upon entering a black hole, you return to where you started before you even left.
It is easy to get lost in those types of thoughts. My goal is to not get lost and to finally face the hard questions about what my life looks likes going forward.