Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Inspirational quotes don't work on me

I've been trying to start this post for weeks! Or maybe days. Inspired, motivated, lazy, forgetful, apathetic - there's lots of doing or not doing words there. After my long and painful breakdown last year I have put all my effort into not doing - to take life as slowly as possible in fear that if I take on too much of life I'll get knocked in the teeth and fall face first back into the abyss of depression.

But where does that find me now, twelve months from when things started to really go downhill last year? It finds me in a big fat rut, that's where.

We are nearly exactly half way through the year. The Winter Solstice has passed and I'm still just flat lining through life, managing my mood on a day to day basis.

One of my current favourite pastimes, and boy does it allow time to stand still yet pass with incredible speed, is Pinterest. Pinterest gives me the sense that I'm getting inspired. Inspired for what? Anything really: fitness, healthy eating, cooking, crafting, parenting, blogging, shopping, inspiration. I've been using Pinterest to inspire me to get inspired but it's not working.

The social web is chock block full of inspirational quotes and life lesson slogans in pretty little infographics typed out in fancy fonts onto pictures of whimsical landscapes of fields of flowers, cloud porn or the clich├ęd country road that disappears into the horizon (none of which feature in my samples below). And yes, I know I reshare that shit on Facebook and Pinterest too sometimes, trying to grab hold of a little of that inspiration the well meaning poster has wanted to spread.

Call me cynical, but all those inspirational quotes just don't seem to work on me. Takes these for instance:


Seeing a fit and slender woman running along the beach with the slogan "Just Move" emblazoned across the bottom doesn't inspire me. It makes me feel exhausted and has been worried about UV rays and skin cancer. It makes me think of sand in my shoes and how I haven't worn a pair of shorts since 1988.


"Only you can help you. Get off your ass and do something about it." Yeah, yeah, I know! But somehow this knowledge doesn't translate into action for me. This poster is a call for change. Take action. Take risks. It's trying to tell me to break out of the comfortable rut I live in. I can list for you the reasons why this just isn't possible right now, but I won't bore you with my laundry list of mental and physical concerns right now.


Suck it up! I think this inspo quote is telling me to suffer in silence and exercise and starve myself until I don't have to suck in my unsightly gut any more. The problem with this so called inspirational slogan is that I don't bother sucking my gut in any way. Why would I put myself through that discomfort just so other people who might be looking at me feel more comfortable about looking at me and my body. Why do I need strive to not have a gut that needs sucking in? To be better liked? Or to just be accepted by a society that thinks that thin is worth suffering for? Nope, this inspo quote ain't doing it for me either.


OK, so the quote above is actually a really sensible one and something I could and should aspire to. But... and there's always a but, I have a chronic anxiety disorder, long term depression and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. As much as I want to focus on the positive my mind automatically flicks to the negative "what if" scenarios in life. I've been learning to challenge my negative autopilot way of thinking but it still needs a lot of work. Must get stuck back into to mindfulness meditation... if only I had the motivation!

Now here's an inspirational quote that I can live by! Or at least keep me in my rut that half of me wants to stay safely cocooned in. There's no guilt attached to it because it probably isn't inspirational at all.

Just fucking do it, or whatever.


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