Apathy, lethargy and inertia


Lately I have experienced a fair bit of the above with the people I've come into contact with and it got me thinking. Actually at first it had me a bit mad and frustrated. I couldn't get my head around why people would continue working at a job where this was what they exhibited each day.

But when I took time to reflect on it I could understand it a little better. Then I remembered that I'd been there with my life before, the only difference was that I never hung about in a job for it to be a problem. I would always leave when things got too familiar and routine, when a state of inertia crept in. I craved a life of interest, excitement and meaning, so I would move on when lethargy reared it's ugly head.

This yearning for more came about at an early age. I remember aged 17 or 18 I had some pretty bad insomnia. I would be up til 3/4 am in the morning because I thought someone was trying to kill me. I don't know where this madness came from, but I had nightmares and it permeated every part of my young life. When I think about it I was pretty messed up as a teenager! I made things worse by watching TV til late at night, or drinking on my own to wash away my depression (by the way that doesn't work).

At that time I felt I had already lived a life before, I felt I was repeating myself and wanted to hurry up and get to where I was going. I felt old before my time and wanted to be old again to feel comfortable. I dreamed of other times through history where I would fit in better because I had no idea where I was going at that moment in time. My grandparents and parents had given me all the opportunities they could and here I was wishing I'd been born in a time when bombs were dropping out of the skies.

It was around then that I got into reading Buddhist teachings and posting mantras and inspirational quotes on my walls. I was finding calm before I knew the tools that were out there. At that time my depression was often a catch-22 because it had me changing and moving, striving for something different, whilst also lamenting me for my imperfections and failures. It was a rollercoaster that with hindsight I could've have avoided if I had deep dived into Buddhism at that moment. But like my whole life I just dipped a toe and took a little from it before moving onto the next thing.

Skip past a few failed relationships (on my part not theirs), a broken engagement, three close deaths and a couple of big home moves and now I am here. An older version, a little wiser, but a lot more comfortable in my skin. In some ways I am still the same person, but in many parts I have changed and now feel like I am just beginning.

Experts often say that looking back to the past is the worst thing a depressive can do. As though they might get stuck in there, never moving forward or progressing. But I don't think I have ever really looked and analysed my past. The mistakes I made were eventually learnt from, but not before a lot of dark times and the inevitable thoughts of suicide. Fortunately I only took a step down that path, I was lucky. Taking a moment to write out some of my past and make connections with what was going on at that time is incredibly useful. It's not only cathartic, but makes me realise how much we can actually weather as humans.

If anything my depression was my mind wanting some hardship in my life. I wanted to be in a time of simplicity and challenge, for life to have a meaning. But instead I am one of the privileged that gets to enjoy a healthy life with so many luxuries. This is what motivates me to help others and give where I can. Now that I am in a calmer place I'm able to see the benefits afforded to me actually allow me to do a lot with my life. I've left the inertia, lethargy and apathy behind for consistent action towards a bigger goal. That goal being to help others out of their depression and towards a life of significance.

I am no longer tired, I am no longer searching, I am right where I am meant to be.

Tom :)

#Mentalhealth #Depression

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