Happiness? In work?

Discussion in 'General Advice' started by BPD anon, Mar 8, 2015.

  1. BPD anon

    BPD anon Here I sit, broken hearted

    On his Tumblr, Seebs was just in a conversation where he said certain brain problems make it so "working on the problem doesn’t feel good" wrt home repair. I think I have heard of people being happy, or at least content, with work in the past as well. It seems weird to me. I'm generally happy when there is no pressure to do work. I spend this time reading, playing video games, and messing around online, all of which get nothing productive done (and I'm fine with that for my free time). I write because I enjoy plotting stories in my head and I enjoy the attention I get when it's all finished, but the process itself is horribly tedious. Anything that could remotely be called "productive," including household chores, usually causes mind-numbing boredom and an energy drain. I am low on energy in general (last time I gathered all the clothes into the hamper, I had to quit halfway through), but doing the stuff I enjoy doesn't take any. Hell, even getting up to go to the video game area isn't something I do a lot, so I mostly play my Gameboy. From all the people complaining that lying in bed on their computer all day is not a happy thing, something might be more wrong here than I thought, though again, my mood is generally neutral to positive when there is no work involved and no giant BPD outbursts.

    Is this just normal ADHD stuff? If so, I am incredibly sorry for taking up your time.
    • Like x 1
  2. kmoss

    kmoss whoops

    Huh. I don't know if it's normal ADHD stuff - my issues tend to center more around just not being able to start anything (and also I am not diagnosed with anything except depression) - but based on some of the stuff I've learned in industrial/organizational psych, there's actually a phenomenon that happens when a person is at a certain level of comfort and focus known as "flow" that creates more amounts of productivity than when you're out of it.

    When I actually get around to doing things, (I usually have to make it an all-day thing because when I schedule breaks I'll get distracted and then never finish it) I actually put a little work into making my immediate environment as comf as possible. So I'll toss on music because I can't focus otherwise, I'll change clothes to my most comf clothes...and then I can drop into that flow.

    I think I actually find more pleasure out of organizing things than anything else - a lot of the stuff I do for school leaves me feeling pretty blank and bored because I can't see the immediate effects. I mean, writing a paper is just words, but when I clean my room, I can take a step back and go "dude, there is a visible change in my environment. I did that." and then I high five myself and do something else.

    I guess a lot of it, though, is improving your comfort level, which I used to be pretty bad at.

    I hope this kind of helps?
  3. BPD anon

    BPD anon Here I sit, broken hearted

    Starting stuff is hard for me as well! I am not sure whether I have experienced this "flow" thing or not.
  4. BPD anon

    BPD anon Here I sit, broken hearted

    Seebs, can you delete the duplicate thread?
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2015
  5. unknownanonymous

    unknownanonymous i am inimitable, i am an original|18+

    i'm often not sure about whether i get happiness in work. like, doing stuff like essays and whatnot for school doesn't make me happy. doing art does make me happy, except when my anxiety gets in the way. and i have the feeling that fandom is more fun for me than anything i could do for a job, even in art. so yeah... i guess it depends on what i'm defining as "work" at that particular moment, and how anxious i am about it.

    p.s - @BPD anon your icon reminds me of an evil!peter pan for some reason. like, not a specific evil!peter pan (if those exist, which they probably do since it's an iconic story). just... the concept of an evil!peter pan. and i'm pretty sure it isn't actually evil!peter pan.
  6. BPD anon

    BPD anon Here I sit, broken hearted

    I would consider doing art and fanfiction work. Basically anything where you are making things happen instead of just consuming media. Like, these posts are work, but they're not very much work and the expected reward (people talking about the things I do) is pretty high. I wish I posted in other people's threads more, but that takes work. Also I usually make them while feeling a minor emotion, which is somehow a great motivator. Like, the top post here was spurred by "uncertainty about self."
  7. Re Allyssa

    Re Allyssa Sylph of Heart

    I used to be one of those kids who genuinely enjoyed doing school work. I used to like the puzzle-ness of it.
    I don't really get joy out of essay writing... but coding projects, or syntax trees or something, yeah. It's usually after I finished, like a "HA! I DID THE THING!" I haven't had work that doesn't make me beat my head against a wall while doing it in a while. But if it's not too hard, I can have fun while doing it.

    As for like cleaning and stuff... eh. I like it afterwards because yay clean! during is kinda a pain. Depends on what it is.
    And yeah, of course organizing is great while doing it.
  8. seebs

    seebs Benevolent Dictator

    You sound really depressed. Which is actually not at all surprising, really?

    Like, I kid you not: When I am feeling well and things are basically okay in my world, I can actually be pretty happy while cleaning. Programming is fun, in and of itself. I enjoy doing it. I enjoy writing, too. I enjoy most things when I'm well. When I'm depressed, I don't have as much enjoyment, but I frequently still have at least some.
    • Like x 2
  9. Lissiel

    Lissiel Dreaming dead

    Seconding the depression thing. If i dont enjoy creating things, thats usually an indication for me that things are pretty bad and i need to change up my meds/do therepy/etc. stat.
  10. BPD anon

    BPD anon Here I sit, broken hearted

    But I have literally never enjoyed creating things. This isn't new. I've always loved engineering plots and such, but actually writing stuff down has always been a slog. It's just been a "worth it" slog because then people get to see the stories I create and give me some sort of attention for them.
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2015
    • Like x 1
  11. seebs

    seebs Benevolent Dictator

    I think I deleted the dup thread.

    And honestly, given the shit you've been through, I would be sort of unsurprised to find out that you've never in your life not been depressed or otherwise fucked up. So, yeah. The act of creating things can be in and of itself sort of joyful when you're not quite so traumatized. So there's that to look forward to!
  12. Aya

    Aya words words words

    One thing that happens with depression is that the reward circuits in your brain can get broken, resulting in situations where doing stuff makes you feel tired rather than good (and maybe also tired). A rewarding enough activity can break through that but it takes much more than with "normal" people. Combine that with ADHD where doing tasks requiring focus can be really really hard and nothing that takes effort feels worth it because everything is SO HARD.

    For me personally, my psych med cocktail makes this a lot better.
    • Like x 1
  13. Meagen Image

    Meagen Image Well-Known Member

    So what would people say is the best way to break out of the "depressed because I'm not doing enough things because everything is hard and unrewarding because depressed" cycle?

    1) Shirk work until I have a better day?
    2) Force myself to do things regularly even if it makes me miserable at the time?
    • Like x 1
  14. Rongeur

    Rongeur ~Heartless Bitch Extraordinaire~

    Ehhhh....This honestly depends. Shirking work for the long-term is probably not a good idea, since shit piles up (and sometimes even days off can be shitty and unrewarding when you're depressed). But keeping your nose to the grindstone and never looking up also sucks ass and wears you down. This is the kind of situation where an anti-depressant can help tremendously, as well as (or in addition to) medications for any ancillary conditions like ADHD. I'd look into that first, and keep working in the mean time, but be kind to yourself - like, you don't need to live in a sparkling clean home with a 4.0 GPA and a home-cooked dinner every night, you just need to keep your head above water. There's also nothing wrong with the occasional day off, or with just calling some days a wash if things aren't going that hot.

    Edit: Also, this is advice for your situation specifically, not in general. Like I said, it depends on a lot.
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2015
  15. Meagen Image

    Meagen Image Well-Known Member

    Yeah, I guess the answer would be something like 3) Try to do a thing every day. It's okay if I don't manage a single thing on some days, and few things on other days, but always be open to the possibility of doing a thing.
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