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Motivation (or Lack Thereof)

By Dmitri 

Hello dear readers,

The quarter is just about wrapping up for me. At the time of writing it’s just before Thanksgiving break for me, meaning I have an uninterrupted week to finish all my homework up, write an essay, study for the upcoming finals, and on top of that balance my co-op search, and figure out what I’m getting people for Christmas. Yet right now, looking at all that work, knowing that I won’t have the structure of a normal school week, it makes me want to veg out and watch youtube videos during the first break I’ve had in 9 weeks.

Heck, I’ve even been procrastinating on writing this very blog. I meant to write it yesterday, but also did you know that the new reboot of Animaniacs came out on Hulu recently? The animation is fantastic, the new opening to Pinky and The Brain has no right to look as good as it does. See what I’m getting at here? It’s easy to get distracted and it’s even easier to get ground down by the constant workflow. So when I open up assignments I know are due after the break, and I know it would be better to get them done sooner rather than later, all I can do is just groan and close the tab. I’m occasionally hit with these spells of executive dysfunction. Usually between periods of hyperfixations and more organized structured work, brought on by stress or a simple lack of motivation.

My partner recently started school again at our local online community college, and I’m incredibly proud of him. With a triple threat of financial, mental health, and neurodevelopmental issues creating a wall for him, he’s getting it to work out. It hasn’t been a cakewalk, and I’ve
needed to help him where I can. But he’s still doing a lot better than he did last time he tried to go to school. In passing, I’ve made the joke that his recent Adderall prescription has finally allowed him to be able to write an essay. He corrected me though and shared this (Which he
told me was fine to share with you all): Adderall hasn’t completely solved his concentration issues, but it’s more so to help his motivation. When doing school work, it’s been easier to get himself to do things that don’t immediately reward his brain with serotonin. Before he found it
incredibly easy to hyperfocus on subjects he was interested in, yet zero motivation to work on other subjects. Hitting walls of executive dysfunction way worse than I ever experience. But luckily now he’s medicated, and like all of us, he’s on the road to bettering himself. It’s not
perfect right away (it’ll never be perfect really), but the journey there certainly counts for something.

But enough about him, I’m the one hitting a wall right now. What about me? I don’t deal with situations like this often enough to warrant any type of medical intervention. Well, I generally try and do what works best for me, give myself as much structure as I can, and try and knock
things out little by little. Yesterday I didn’t get any school work done (that Animaniacs reboot got me) but I did create a new resume for getting a job in the winter and I created a spreadsheet to approximate my holiday budgeting. It wasn’t my calc homework, and it wasn’t the preliminary reading I needed to do for my essay, but it was something. More importantly, it gave me some sense of accomplishment. I find, and I bet a lot of my neurodivergent readers will agree with me here, that it’s incredibly easy to spiral downwards when I have no motivation. The workload never changes, and I’m just Sisyphus looking up a really tall mountain. It’s easy to veg out but sadly that only ever works to increase my anxiety. Doing the things I can to pick myself back up, knock out some little things, and get the ball rolling is sometimes the best I can do. And that’s ok.

Till next time reader,
~Dmitri