How to bypass your brain and get motivated is great stuff – I need to do something like this as I’m a terrible procrastinator. Well, there’s already some external structure in my life – if I don’t walk the dog (getting exercise) I don’t get paid. Meeting the family in town for coffee stops me from skulking at home thinking “I can’t be bothered to go to the bank today. I will definitely do it tomorrow. Unless it’s Saturday. In which case I’ll go on Monday.” And then on Monday morning I fall over and break my foot and can’t go anywhere.
That sort of thing always happens to me! At least if I know that I WILL be in town once a week to meet the others for a coffee, I can do my town-going things then. To make sure of it I tell them “after coffee I have to go to the bank,” and they factor it into our plans for the morning.
The other day I was reading a blog where someone said she had trouble even getting up for a shower, and she thought it might be depression. This sobered me as I’m just the same. Some days I stand in the shower with the water streaming through my hair, staring dully at the tiles. After about five minutes I realize to my consternation that I can’t even be bothered to soap myself! But you can’t stand shrivelling up in the shower all day, so eventually you creak into life and fumble for the shower gel and shampoo.
I don’t think it’s depression, as I’m not unhappy – I’m content in my own way. I’m happy with my family, my house, my pets, where I live. I’m happy with my work, though I could do with more of it. I laugh at what I read in books or see on TV, and I enjoy my hobbies, which have not turned to ashes in my mouth. If one day you couldn’t care less about things that you used to feel strongly about, you know you’re in trouble. I’m not in that place.
I just seem to lack energy and motivation.
The other day, out of the blue, Mum said “I think… in fact I’m almost sure… you have an underactive thyroid.”
I was so surprised I laughed, as I hadn’t been discussing my problems with her. But she said “I’m serious – it might explain why you’re so tired all the time.”
“Well,” I said, “I assumed that would be poor diet – eating too many convenience dishes from the supermarket, and not enough ‘healthy’ stuff.”
“Maybe,” said Mum, “but you should still get it checked out. It IS in the family.”
I went home and looked up ‘hypothyroidism’ on the internet. All of the symptoms fit, including apathy, poor memory, feeling the cold, dry skin (which could be due to hot shower and central heating?) and brittle nails. My nails are normally as hard as iron, but I broke three only the week before. They’re wishy-washy symptoms that could be due to other things such as poor diet and late nights, and I wondered at what point does one go to the doctor saying “I’m tired, cold, broke my nails and can’t be bothered half the time – am I ill?”
I still don’t know the answer to that question. I suppose I should ask the doctor what she thinks. My Reader’s Digest medical book warns that if I’ve got it and don’t treat it, I’ll lapse into self-neglect, coma and death. So I’ll go tomorrow. Or the day after. Or sometime next week – unless I’m busy.