My life has consisted of many lengthy periods of indecision. I’ve excused myself by placing the blame on many outside factors, my health (both physical and mental,) family and general life challenges and now, more recently, it’s been easy to blame Covid.
But in reality, these aren’t always to blame.
Often it’s apathy, pure and simple.
Making excuses can easily become a way of life, It’s easier to blame anything, rather than admit we don’t want to do something. I’m happy to admit my mistakes, but don’t like the fact that apathy is one of my worst.
Elongated periods of isolation have given plenty of time for self-analysis. Like many, I vowed to use this to my advantage. I was determined to finish editing my moth-balled novels, decluttering was high on my to do list, as was getting more fit, I even chose (& bought) an instrument that I’ve been eager to learn to play.
I’ve learnt a lot about myself, much of it positive, but also more negative than I’d like. I can’t, or rather, mustn’t ignore them. One recurring issue for me is a fear of making the wrong decision. For many hours/days/weeks, I’ll ponder over the pros and cons of a situation, then, just as my decision is made, I’ll do a complete U turn. This has resulted in me making many disastrous choices.
Several years ago, when I was diagnosed with EUPD ( Emotionally unstable personality disorder,) after the initial shock, I felt vindicated. It was all my condition, I didn’t need to take responsibility for the mess I’d found myself in. My failings were the result of my mental health disorder. Although I’d been trapped by poor decisions and had no way out, it was okay, it wasn’t my fault. Poor little old me. Boo-boo.
Yes, I’m making light of a important condition, BPD and EUPD are serious, dreadful to live with and need careful treatment, I wouldn’t wish it on anyone. However, I need to face reality, it hasn’t been responsible for every mistake I’ve ever made.
The world over, people are faced with life changing decisions. Many, thrive on the challenge, others struggle, yet still follow-through with their choice. Then there are those like myself, who will do all they can to put the decision off, at least for a while.
So when does indecision morph into apathy?
Who knows? Too much spare time is undeniably an enemy. It’s no fallacy that if you need something done, ask a busy person, whereas someone slumped on the sofa, is unlikely to be first in line to offer help.
I’m not proud to admit I live with apathy, so why have I made it public? Because I want other sufferers to know that you’re not alone.
So is there a way out of this. Yes.
Is it easy? Not necessarily.
Writing this blog is one step on the way to my recovery, I can’t tell you how many good ideas I’ve had, but didn’t put on paper. Consequently, the inspiration soon fades, it has to stop!
This morning, with a Zoom meeting planned, I found myself worrying how I could make the kitchen look less untidy,( knowing that other zoomers can see what’s behind you, can be a nightmare.) I struggled with how to make the biggest impact, until it hit me – stop procrastinating, just wash the dishes and clean the room! Feeling sheepish and rather ashamed, I rolled up my sleeves and began to wash the dishes. It didn’t take long to tidy up. Sipping a well earned cup of tea, I glanced over my shoulder and felt proud of my achievement, but why hadn’t I done it sooner? With renewed enthusiasm, I got the hoover out and set about doing jobs that I’d put off for so long. By the time I sat down to the Zoom meeting, my cup of tea was cold, but it was worth it. An inner sense of satisfaction was far more rewarding.
So to anyone who’s being plagued by the demon apathy, don’t sit and worry about how or when to do something, just try to tackle the task, there and then.
Like happiness, apathy is a choice.
We all, deserve kindness, including to and from ourselves. If we aren’t well enough, or are genuinely happy with how things are, that’s fine. Life shouldn’t be a continual struggle. If an opportunity for a bit of fun shows itself, take it. Play with your kids, the dishes can wait. However, if you find yourself wanting to watch a repeat of a show you’ve seen umpteen times before, perhaps try doing something more positive instead.
Depression, anxiety and fear all feed on apathy. Laughter is it’s enemy.
We all need self-care and love, to enable us to help ourselves and others.
Please take care, stay safe and be happy.