Work is its own cure. You have to like it better than being loved.
sort of re: this thread.
I dunno man, I don’t like these assertions that if you fixed your mental health problems with effort and discipline and medical advice then they must not have been very serious to begin with, that if you were truly crazy you would not be able to take any steps to improve your situation, only to ameliorate it around the edges.
it’s true that I’ve had few non-mental-illness-related problems that I didn’t bring upon myself, like I don’t know shit about direct experience of trauma and can’t speak to that. but I transitioned from “pretty nonfunctional” as a teen to “pretty functional” now through years and years of really constant effort and discipline and work. like, just because that is not always possible or not immediately possible doesn’t mean it’s not also the only thing that works.
the only mindset that has ever helped me is thinking “how can I be useful?” and taking steps to increase my long-term usefulness. if my only goal is just to feel better then I will never feel better. it’s a hedonist’s paradox situation.
and like, it sucks when people think that I’m being avoidant when actually I’m just prioritising more important things, or don’t see the amount of discipline it takes just for me to not have a nervous breakdown, or don’t understand the difference between that discipline and OCD-type behaviour, or want me to be “fixed” where “fixed” means not having to think about this stuff all the time.
but I swear to god I can’t hear the phrase “self-care” anymore without locking up with anger and frustration and nausea, it’s so misused. maybe my self-care is rolling my eyes at the concept of self-care, it’s no less useful or more toxic than some of the stuff I’ve seen labelled as self-care.
I think this is also why I can’t deal with anarchist critiques of the concepts of “work” and “productivity”. like being passive-aggressively bitched out for saying “I didn’t do anything productive today”, fuck that. a related thing I’ve been thinking a lot about lately is that I don’t find many archetypally “fun” activities that fun and never have. I can take or leave theme parks, rides, picnics, changing outfits with your friends for three hours, music festivals. it’s often this self-conscious performance of frivolity, LOOK HOW MUCH FUN WE ARE HAVING, that I find stressful and a bit empty.
and like, what is more capitalist than a rigid divide between work and joy? than a concept of “free time” which is all about frivolity and consumption? having said that, I find parts of DIY culture strange. I don’t find fulfillment in making my own rope or expending thirty minutes of effort in order to not have to buy an eight dollar new bike part.
I would like to be able to talk about hard work and discipline in a way that moves beyond a critique of the protestant work ethic as the spiritual justification for worker’s exploitation. I want to talk about work a way that’s not purely reactive and bratty. but then, what’s the point of putting so much energy into another reactive discourse? probably I just need to BE A GROWNUP and expect that of others and hang out with people who take that expectation for granted.