Vicious Cycles: A Short Essay on Willful Self-Sabotage

Maybe you’ve been wondering where I’ve been for the past few weeks. Maybe you don’t actually care. Either way, I made a goal at the start of the year to write at least one blog post every week, to finally get back into the swing of things and start creating consistently again. Obviously, that didn’t happen. And it’s completely my fault.

This year started off well enough. I was blogging pretty consistently. I was doing pretty well mentally. I thought maybe I’d begun to shake some stuff and get back into the creative lane I’d been riding in 2017. I was exercising every day. I had the will power and the energy to tell myself what I needed to do and get it done. But that didn’t last. It started with staying up a little later to finish a post or get a few more words down. It ended with a garbage fire.

Somewhere along the way, I got tired. Physically, emotionally, mentally. It became easier and easier to watch YouTube instead of pounding out another blog post, easier to scroll through Instagram instead of working on a new book. As my energy levels flagged, I began to take the path of least resistance, the path that didn’t require thought or careful word choice or energy besides the minuscule amount required to thumb through my Twitter feed. It became easier to keep the lights on late rather than lie in bed and wrestle with insomnia. It became easier to say that I’d do it tomorrow, when I was less tired, and easier to wake up even tireder than I’d been the day before. It was easier to not try to fix it or do anything about it. It was easier to promise big things later, and sabotage myself now.

I came to with a shovel in my hands and dirt piled high behind me. I was digging myself into a rut, further and further in, further and further down. Consciously. Knowingly. Willfully. I knew (and I know) exactly how to dig myself out of that hole, but by this point it had become a vicious cycle, and it was easier to keep on digging myself deeper into that rut than to try and clamber out. I had already dug a grave for my creativity. It was easier to bury it than to try for resurrection.

But I know what I need to do, and I think maybe I can do it. It sounds easy; just put the phone down and turn off the lights and rest, but somehow it’s really, really hard. It’s hard to make things. Its hard to want to make things when you’re so tired you can hardly keep your eyes open. It’s hard to want to go to bed when it’s become so much easier to just not. But I think maybe it’s better to struggle against the cycle than to live your life with a need to make things and no ability to do so.


Vicious Cycles

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