So far, my brain has not given me an answer to that question, which I find curious. Most psychological quirks, if you drill down far enough, are based in pretty primal stuff– from the basic fear for personal safety, to fear of loss, fear of rejection, fear of change, etc. So my usual assumption, when my only obstacle is myself, is to try and figure out what it is that my psyche is afraid of. Or, to put it more charitably, what it's trying to protect me from.
And... I can't find a definitive answer. But I have a few suspicions.
Everything You Love Will Be Taken Away
Earlier this weekend, I discovered that Overwatch is gutting Mercy. I mean, mathematically it's a net buff, but they are removing her signature ability because it "frustrates"
Just... WTF, Overwatch.
On the grand scale of things, this is supremely unimportant. It's just a friggin' videogame. But dammit, I was having a lot of fun with Overwatch. And I was having a lot of fun with Mercy. I started a whole YouTube series about it, for cryin' out loud. The changes are arguably going to make her "more powerful," but it comes at the cost of losing her iconic ability and turning her into this whole other thing.
It is not exaggerating to say that this change, if it goes through, will probably cause me to part ways with Overwatch. Not in a ragequit, but because if they're willing to throw away something that has been a defining moment from day one over something so ridiculous, then every emotional investment in the game is built on a foundation of sand. So... what's the point?
If that happens, Overwatch will get tossed on the "Now you're just a franchise that I used to love..." pile, along with Star Trek and so many others. So many things that used to fire up my geeky heart, that now just get a shrug, either because they have been morphed away from what made them cool in the first place (Star Trek, to some extent My Little Pony), or because they've simply run their course and have nothing more to say (Star Wars is a big one here).
But this phenomenon, combined with six years of close friends and family members dropping like flies, followed up by losing our house and watching the country lose its bloody mind, have left me in a place where it's very hard to get interested and excited in things– because there's every reason to think that everything I love will either get fucked up or just plain destroyed.
Some Days Are Better Than Others
Back in February I posted about feeling more like my old self, and there are times when I do. But there are also nights when I try to keep from crying myself to sleep because I miss Buddha. The problem is that it's hard to keep momentum. On nights like that (and days like today), I switch over to willpower and push myself onward out of sheer stubbornness, but that gets exhausting.
I think that, more than anything, is probably where the demotivation comes from. Part of my brain is going, "Come on, up and at 'em, this book isn't gonna write itself! Your fans are eagerly hoping for more art! You need to exercise so your body doesn't atrophy!" and so on, but the rest of my brain replies, "Why bother? What's the point? I'm tired, and it's just going to be screwed up anyway." And while those two bicker back and forth, the rest of me stays stuck in limbo.
Deciding to Move Forward Anyway
"I have never seen any life transformation that didn’t begin with the person in question finally getting tired of their own bullshit."–Elizabeth Gilbert
The good news is, looking at this situation, analyzing it, acknowledging and being sympathetic to it, I can also overcome it. As an adult human being with free will, I can make the decision that I'm going to do something whether I'm motivated to or not. This is different from the rote stubbornness of moving on willpower. This is a rational choice. "Okay. So you're tired and demotivated. But you have the choice of being tired and demotivated and getting nothing done and feeling even worse about that, or being tired and demotivated and still having written the book/drawn the comic/done the workout. Of those two, which would you rather have?"
In other words, if heart can't pick up the slack, and ego isn't up to the task, intelligence still has something to say on the matter.
So yeah, I'm in a mood. But I'm the boss of me, not the mood. And the boss says we keep going.