The Positive Pensive

An anxious pessimist tries to find the positive
A string of blue lightbulbs
Personal Wellbeing

Listlessness: a post about feeling not very much at all

The last few weeks I’ve been struggling to summon very much motivation or excitement for anything, even things I’ve looked forward to in the past. And people are starting to notice.

Those who see me every day note that I don’t seem to be myself.

“Is everything alright?”

Actually, yeah. Everything’s pretty good. I mean, the house is still in complete disarray (the silver linings of an air bed have long since worn off – it had to happen some time). I had a nice break in Amsterdam. I’m sleeping pretty well. Things could certainly be a lot worse.

It’s not like I haven’t noticed myself feeling a little different, either. I’m not really firing on all cylinders and I lack any real interest.

I started wondering what I could blame it on. Perhaps my diet could be deficient in something. It could be the changing of the seasons. I should be doing more exercise.

But without really knowing, what possible answer can you give when you’re feeling lethargic and listless but don’t know why?

The reality of maintaining good mental health

Many of the posts on this site try to take a helpful, advisory approach to mental health. You can’t go sticking ‘Positive’ in your site’s name and then take a melancholy, morbid approach to things.

The eagle-eyed amongst you may have noticed I didn’t post last week. I have a great deal of passion for this site and the subjects it tackles, but on occasions where I can’t think of anything valuable to share, I’d rather not post at all than waste your time.

So here we are, a week on. There is so much I’d like to write about, but with each topic I think of, the enthusiasm has left me before I’ve even had a chance to open a Word document.

And right here, what you’re reading, is the reality of mental health. It takes effort. I’m not 100% sure it’s something you can ever really conquer once and for all. You have good days and bad days. Great weeks and downright awful weeks that you want to write off as early as Monday afternoon.

Don’t get me wrong, plenty of mental health conditions have a ‘recovery’ aspect to them that once under control should be celebrated. But for many of us, good mental health is something that requires ongoing monitoring and practice.

So, I feel flat, but I don’t know why. I’m keeping an eye on it and am lucky to have lots of very understanding and empathetic people around me if I need them. Right now, I’ll be sure to follow my own damn advice and look after myself. Just as is true with flu or any other physical affliction, I’m sure with enough TLC and –

No, not that TLC, although I don’t doubt that that might lift my mood a little. But with enough actual TLC and rest, my mind will be feeling better soon enough.


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