Dear 100 Hour Board,
I feel like I can't right now. That I can't do anything of worth, and that the things I do do aren't done well enough. I'm stressed and depressed (at least my ailments rhyme... ) to the point that along with sobbing and shaking, I just got the third bloody nose of my life and could hardly breathe for spitting up blood a little while ago. I'm not going to ask for you guys to make me less stressed, since I realize I'm at the level that I need professional help for this, not some sympathetic Googlers on the other side of the internet. What I am going to ask for is a compilation of motivational material. Things with the message that I can actually do this. So, dear writers, will you humor me in this and let me know that I can? And that life really does end up working out despite current indicators to the contrary?
-My Currently Messed Up Emotional State Here
P.S. Just writing that all out has made me feel somewhat better about my capabilities and life in general, but I'm going to let it stand because who doesn't want someone to tell them that everything is going to be okay? Thanks in advance for your answers.
Things will get better. In the meantime, here are a few of my personal motivators/cheer-up methods.
First is a song with a very motivational message (but also minor language, if that would bother you).
"The Fighter", Gym Class Heroes
Second is a figure skating routine that for some reason makes me really happy. In th beginning, the commentators aren't being very optimisitc, discussing how he struggles with some of the jumps that other skaters can pull off. But as the routine goes on, he blows them all away and it's wonderful.
Hopefully those things help encourage you as much as they help motivate me.
Like Mitty, I love "Mountains to Climb," though I really love the Mormon Message they made from the talk.
I've found myself listening to Michael McLean's songs whenever I get depressed or overwhelmed. His songs typically have a very 90s feel to them, and his only CD I've found that doesn't have that, Michael Sings McLean, isn't on YouTube, so I'm afraid you're going to have to listen to the 90s versions. But I love the messages behind his songs. Some of my favorites are "Ninety and Nine," "You're Not Alone," "The One and Only You," "Gentle," and "Hold On, the Light Will Come."
Never forget how much you are loved!
-guppy of doom
- The bulleted list on pages 6-7 of this devotional
- Forget Me Not by Dieter F. Uchtdorf (one of my favorite talks ever given)
- Doctrine and Covenants Sections 121-122
- Perfection Pending by Russell M. Nelson
- Similarly, "Be Ye Therefore Perfect - Eventually" by Jeffrey R. Holland
When I find myself feeling stressed and depressed, I love to turn to a few conference talks and devotionals that I have found over the years.
- "Mountains to Climb" — This talk was given by President Eyring in the April 2012 general conference. This happened to be my first general conference in the mission field, and I came to rely on this talk often throughout those two years.
- "You Gotta Believe" — This was a devotional given by Matthew Richardson in October of 2016. I was going through somewhat of a rough patch during that time, and this speech really impacted me. To this day, it is the only time that I have cried during a devotional. Powerful stuff.
- "For Times of Trouble" — This was a devotional given by Elder Holland in March of 1980. My dad sent this talk to me when I was on my mission. I can honestly call this my favorite talk of all time. It was, and still is, life changing. I have never related to a speech quite like I have with this one. It is my go—to whenever I am feeling down. It should definitely be required reading at BYU.
Also, the wise and beautiful Ms. Mitty recommends service. Any type of service will help, from something as small as washing your roommate's dishes, to volunteering at Y—Serve. As you serve others, you will find that your concerns and worries will fade from your mind, if only for a short while. It is difficult to worry about our own needs when we are focused on the needs of others.
Above all, remember to love yourself. You can do this!
When I wrote this question, I had absolutely no intention of revealing I was the asker. Perhaps because I like to maintain a public illusion that things are okay, or that I'm put together, or some other silly thing like that.
I suppose the reason why I'm writing this response is to let all those other people who are struggling out there who happen to read this that they're not alone. Sometimes it's really easy to look around ourselves and think that we're the only ones who are actually having such a hard time with a particular thing. But chances are that we're not. And maybe, just maybe, writing this answer will help someone out there realize that (and also, ya know, I can use it as a platform to vent).
While my emotional state has improved since I wrote this question (and I'm not covered in blood anymore, so that's a plus), there are still many ways in which it hasn't. For one, there's not a single area in my life right now where I'm performing at the level I want to. I'm not getting as much sleep as I want (and need to function properly), I'm living off a diet consisting almost entirely of canned food and free food scavenged from events around the Talmage (which unsurprisingly doesn't include many vegetables), I'm definitely not doing nearly as well I want to academically, I'm not fulfilling my church callings, I'm not writing as many answers as I used to/still really really want to here (guys, I seriously used to write like 20 answers a week; now I'm lucky if I write two), I'm not doing well at my job, and I only spend about a single hour outside during the day per week (turns out you miss simple things like sunlight when you no longer get to experience it), I'm not cleaning up around my apartment as much as I want to/should--I literally cannot think of anything that I'm doing as well in as I want to right now.
Added to that, I'm burned out. I don't have the motivation to do things like I used to. And my brain is tired to the point that I'm getting headaches from trying to wrap my mind around concepts like the generalization of norms to abstract, possibly infinite dimensional vector spaces. Shockingly, adhering to a schedule of 12+ hours of solid study or work or classes without any breaks per day coupled with sleep deprivation for about two months takes its toll.
But at the same time, no matter how hard things get, I refuse to give up what I'm doing, regardless of how sub-par my execution of it may be.
Presumably things will get better at some point in time, but even if they don't, that's okay. Also, perhaps I'm beginning to learn that the point of growing is that you don't immediately excel; it takes a period of trying your best and still falling short in order to truly increase your capacity beyond what it would otherwise be. And maybe I can try to comfort myself with the thought that even though it seems like I'm failing at things, if I was in any other less difficult major and performing at the same level as I currently am, it would seem as though I was doing very well. Maybe. At least I can tell myself that.
And I got free kolaches today, so things aren't all bad.
Chances are very high that I've shared these with you before, but just in case I haven't, and for the benefit of our other readers, the following two poems always help me when I'm at my lowest. Hopefully they can do the same for you.
Invictus by William Ernest Henley. This poem got me through some of the darkest moments of my mission, and is still a source of strength and inspiration to me.
Shake the Dust by Anis Mojgani. Watching the whole video is definitely worth it, because Mojgani's delivery of it is so much better than just reading the written down words. It's beautiful and strikes a chord with me that I didn't know needed to be struck.
Keep fighting. You can do it.