Since my last post I have been asking myself why I am so prone to depressive tendencies. I figure, if I can answer the why then maybe I’ll discover the how. How do I tame the depressive tendencies? How do I control them instead of letting them control me?
But the how requires the why — the root, the core. There’s no controlling or taming without understanding the origin or motivation.
So why do I get so down? Some of it, as I’ve written before, comes from my being an extrovert who spends so much of the day alone. Last week I had a planning meeting at 7 p.m. and when I got there, my colleagues asked me what was wrong. “You’re so quiet,” they said. Indeed, I was more mellow than my usual self. “This is what happens when I don’t speak all day,” I said.
But I have gone through the ebb and flow of this workstyle for several years now and I know how to cope. Mostly.
There must be something deeper.
Why do I wallow in the depressive tendencies day after day? Because there’s no work — or not enough work — and without work there’s no money. And without the money there’s anxiety that requires time being spent looking for the work to get the money. Time spent looking for work to get the money means less time to do things I really want to be doing. Like taking more risks and writing about it. Telling stories that inspire women to embrace who they really are. Helping other women take more risks in life.
But it’s almost like I’m not allowed to do those things unless there is the work and the money. When I explained this to my friend Sarah, she reminded me of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. This is exactly what I am talking about. The stuff I want to pursue is at the top of the pyramid and unless the base is taken care of I am not allowed to pay attention to the top and the things I really want to be doing get neglected. Always pushed to the bottom of the to-do list.
Spending time doing those things without the work and the money is a risk. And I need to give myself permission to take that risk.