Discipline, Purpose, and Emotional Health

The past month has been a roller coaster of emotions. There were a few weeks where I struggled to do anything let alone write. I found myself mostly wasting away playing video games and eating junk food, generally feeling unmotivated and undisciplined. But I felt a sense of responsibility to finish writing my story as it felt like the only thing I had control over. When I finished I fell into a bit of an existential crisis trying to figure out what to do next.

A lot of time was spent in self-reflection trying to feel better. I started up meditation again, going for walks for some fresh air, and going to the gym. Everything that’s meant to help someone feel better but I found it was only really a temporary fix. I don’t believe that these don’t work but more that I was not doing it correctly. I couldn’t focus, my thoughts racing from one place to another, often running in circles. Realizing that, I tried something different. I reached out to some of my friends and talked about how I felt. It was surprisingly helpful as many of my friends were going through the similar pains and struggles that I was feeling as well. Talking it out has helped me work through the issues in a way that made me feel better, truly better.

I started working on my new storyline this week and it’s helped me immensely. I started to think why this was. As I spent more time working on creating new characters, new fictional worlds and history, I felt more confident in myself and in what I was meant to do. The more consistent I kept with my progress, the more at peace I felt with life. It made me realize there’s a connection between working on your passion and feeling better about yourself. Whatever progress you make, even minuscule as it may be, it’s still progress and it makes you a better person for it.

It reminds me of the fantastic quote by Neil Gaiman regarding “Making Good Art”. I recommend watching the entire video because there’s so much wisdom to it. But if you’re strapped for time at least watch from 9:50 onward, it’s incredibly moving for creatives out there. There’s so much truth to it and I feel I understand it better than I had when I first heard it. I felt more inspired than I had in a long time and that made me genuinely smile once more.

I apologize for the lack of a book review this week, I was at a bit of a low point but I’m slowly getting back into the swing of things. There are no quick fixes for feeling low but we can work to help ourselves and each other feel happy again. For me it’s working on what I love most in life and helping others work towards their goals. It’s not the same for everyone because everyone is different and unique in their own way, but I hope everyone feeling sad finds that thing that makes them happy again, whatever it may be.

If you are experiencing any emotional pain please reach out and talk to someone about it. I didn’t believe it at first but it really does help. There are a lot of people who can and want to help and things will get better. 🙂

– Raphael

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