Tonight I feel sad. I can’t pinpoint an exact reason as to why, but it’s a sadness that aches. I tried to sleep it away but that hasn’t helped. I tried to distract it away and neither has that. It’s the kind of sadness that makes me feel lethargic and restless all at the same time.
So, with sleeping and distracting not working, I’ve turned to blogging. At first I had no idea what I wanted to write about. There were so many things I COULD write about, but none we’re grabbing me tonight. So I turned to Pinterest for inspiration, and that was where I reconnected with Maya Angelou. I’m sure most of you know Maya Angelou, but for those that don’t she was an American Poet and Activist amongst other things. I love Maya Angelou – her books, her poems, her philosophy on life. As I scrolled through Pinterest reading her words one theme stuck out to me – the theme of doing more. Not being content to be idle and quiet, but to help others and show compassion and grow as a person.
My partner often complains that I’m never content. As soon as I get one thing I want the next – whether it be clothing, house decor, an activity or an interest. I’m never happy. And he’s right. I’m not. The restlessness I feel tonight is not new to me, I’m just struggling with it more than usual. I’m not sure if it’s a BPD thing (the lack of sense of self, etc.) but I can’t remember the last time I felt content. It’s impossible for me to do one thing at once. I can’t just sit and watch a movie, I can’t just read a book, I can’t just cuddle with my partner. I always have to be doing two or three or even more things at once. My brain just won’t settle. Maybe that’s why I find Mindfulness so God damn awful and difficult.
Just like I can’t find contentment day-to-day, I’m struggling to find contentment in life. I always feel like I’m not doing enough. Not enough in my job, not enough for those around me that need help and compassion and just not enough with my life. It’s a constant itch that tells me I should be – no, HAVE to – be doing more with my life. Making more of an impact, making more of a change. It’s like a desperation to leave some mark on this world so I don’t feel as if my whole existence is just a complete waste, bogged down with depression and mental illness. Like Maya Angelou’s words above, I don’t feel content with merely surviving – I want to thrive, to help, to make change.
Unfortunately finding the motivation to make this change is pretty fucking difficult when depression means you sometimes don’t even have the motivation to get up in the morning. And so the cycle of restlessness continues. Of course Maya Angelou also writes about self-loving and knowing you are enough. Maybe if I could focus on this more I could shake this restless, this lack of contentment with life.
I’m hoping that one day I can come out on top of mental illness and put to positive use the compassion and understanding it has already taught me. Until then, it’s just a matter of day-to-day and trying to find contentment in the small things, which is something I am still yet to master. Does anyone else struggle with this sense of restlessness? That you need to be doing more than you’re doing and every second you’re not you’re wasting the world’s time? I’d love to hear from you if you, and how you manage it. Until then I will take this learning curve that having a mental illness is and, hopefully, continue to learn and grow so that one day I can find the contentment I’m searching for.