Been trying to work on interrupting some habitual self-talk & thoughts lately.
Often, when I think of a video game or a hobby project, I entertain guilt over not doing it - I shame myself because I "should" be doing that.
All these "neglected" & "abandoned" games & books & projects. As if I have obligations to them and have failed. This is not true - I've signed no contracts, not even with myself. And it's not productive, motivational, or inspirational. It just leaves me feeling ashamed, guilty, and beaten down - by myself, no less. It all adds up into a general background radiation of sadness.
Instead, what I'm trying on for size is just acknowledging that I'm interested in that particular thing. When the thought comes up, I try to interrupt and tell myself, "No, I'm not obligated, I'm just interested." Sure, it's an abstractly unfortunate thing if I get through life not having done or engaged with all of my interests. But it's not a moral failure or a useful source of shame.
And I know that I've historically over-estimated just how many hours there are in a day and my personal capacity & energy in any particular collection of those hours. That's led me to really feeling down on & critical of myself over interests to which I don't get around.
I also know a lot of this is an artifact of dealing with my own shifting focus & motivation - which I believe is difficult for me thanks to ADHD. I have a low level of self-trust when it comes to committing to something for myself. It seems like whatever capacity I have for commitment and reliability are bound up in keeping my day-to-day livelihood going - and even that is a struggle. It takes a great deal of vigilance to herd the cats that live in my head.
But, the oldest habitual tool I seem to have for dealing with low self-trust is self-abuse. Guilt & shame & denigration & beratement. I guess it has worked for me at some point for me to have learned it? Maybe it's how I was handled growing up? How else can someone like me be kept on-task and on-time?
I mean, I'm actually thinking hard about that last question - because I feel like I'm lacking in alternate tools that inspire & energize rather than punish. I would like to engage with my interests. I would like to build momentum on some projects & shareable artifacts. I would like to finish more book and play more games. And, you know, considering age and my career future, I would like to explore what could be next for me.
Other than yielding to the whacky waving inflatable arm flailing tube man who controls the mechanism of my focus & enthusiasm, I'm not sure what I can do to make myself more consistent and persistent. Still toying around with notions of refining my systems to capture disjointed efforts and simulate focus by gluing them together, since my brain is a pen plotter drawing unoptimized paths.
But, interrupting the cycle of self-abuse around it seems like a good start, since the only thing that does is send my energy straight to ground when I do get enthused about something - and that's a completely broken process for self-regulation.