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Maintaining a work ethic with BPD

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grace1012

Member
Joined
Oct 29, 2020
Messages
6
Location
London, England
Anyone struggle with lapses of motivation? I find it can be quite a vicious cycle. Would love any tips!
I have also been diagnosed with ADHD and GAD, so you can see how this may come together...
My academic progress has come to a bit of a standstill lately, and I am currently applying to Cambridge as well as US unis (Harvard and UChicago being my top choices). I’m increasingly worried about how my mental health may result in a lasting impact on my future.
Any and all nuggets of wisdom are most welcome!!
 
Hello513

Hello513

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 24, 2018
Messages
2,402
Location
THE DEATH STAR.
Anyone struggle with lapses of motivation? I find it can be quite a vicious cycle. Would love any tips!
I have also been diagnosed with ADHD and GAD, so you can see how this may come together...
My academic progress has come to a bit of a standstill lately, and I am currently applying to Cambridge as well as US unis (Harvard and UChicago being my top choices). I’m increasingly worried about how my mental health may result in a lasting impact on my future.
Any and all nuggets of wisdom are most welcome!!

I frequently struggle with motivation though I have different conditions than you.

I don't know if this is possible for you, but I have found the best motivation is to find work you are genuilenly passionate about. Trust me it makes motivation much easier when you are passionate about your work. Unfortunately while ideal for a lot of people this isn't really possible in their situation.
 
Ozymandias

Ozymandias

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 12, 2019
Messages
309
Location
West London
Grace, I think I can identify with your situation to a large extent - I have BPD myself, suffer greatly with anxiety, and I've come to suspect that I might also have ADHD (which basically didn't exist when I was a child - I'm 42 now). I was also academically talented - my teachers at school saw me as an Oxbridge candidate, and before dropping out of university (more on that below) I was well on course to obtain a first-class degree (albeit from a former polytechnic).

And I've made absolutely nothing of my life - my BPD and whatever else 'won' in the end; I'm currently unemployed, and haven't worked full-time since 2008. Which isn't to say I believe you'll end up the same way, not at all... but my experiences have taught me a few things that perhaps it'd be worth you - and any other aspirational younger person with BPD - thinking about.

More optimistically, I can already see one positive sign in comparison to myself in that your applying to top institutions means your focus - and confidence - in this context have already lasted longer than mine did. I wasn't interested in Oxbridge for several reasons, one of which was that - due to my lack of self-confidence - I wasn't up for the competitiveness of those institutions' selection processes. As to focus... again, long before the time came to actually make applications, I'd become distracted by... extra-curricular activities... and so my studies - and therefore future career - were secondary priorities.

I mentioned above that I dropped out of university... those damn 'extra-curricular activities'. Short version - I fell for someone, she didn't fall for me, she decided she hated me for falling for her, and I fell apart. Completely. This is relevant, because the intensity with which people who have BPD can fall for others, and the completeness with which failure in this context can take us apart, can lead to anything and everything else we're doing at the time being completely derailed. Indeed, losing jobs - and generally having to 'start over again' - in the aftermath of BPD 'episodes' is a common symptom.

An overall idea having BPD has given me is that the niche we come to occupy in life has less to do with what we're capable of at our best, and is more the result of what we're still able to manage at our worst. We'll always hit low points during our adult lives - all of us, BPD or no BPD - and if we're unable to do anything at those times, it makes us unable to be anything. As I've found from personal experience, employers don't really have much patience with repeated bouts of being so wrapped up in your own distress that you can't concentrate on anything external.

The closest I've come to sustained stability has always been when I've distanced myself from anything to do with relationships. I'm not saying you should become a nun... I would strongly advise however that you be extremely careful who you allow to get close to you in this context. Certainly don't use shit like Tinder... let yourself be viewed like a piece of meat and people will treat you accordingly. Those with BPD tend not to have the luxury of sufficient emotional resilience to handle being treated so disposably.

I don't know if this is possible for you, but I have found the best motivation is to find work you are genuilenly passionate about. Trust me it makes motivation much easier when you are passionate about your work. Unfortunately while ideal for a lot of people this isn't really possible in their situation.
This is also very good advice in my opinion, but perhaps more from the ADHD point of view than a BPD one. Probably the biggest single issue I've had with work is that of boredom... from the very first bit of work experience I had when I was 15, I struggled to cope with the repetition intrinsic to so many jobs. It's such a big switch from education - in which classes and lectures are never more than a couple of hours in length - and I've never been able to make the adaptation.

However, I've never been able to find a job - or general line of work - that I have any real 'passion' for... if I can do so, I think that's the best chance I have of not becoming bored - and consequently depressed - in any given role after a short amount of time.
 
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Nukelavee

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 17, 2019
Messages
2,923
Location
London, ON
An overall idea having BPD has given me is that the niche we come to occupy in life has less to do with what we're capable of at our best, and is more the result of what we're still able to manage at our worst.
Pretty much the same, here. I try to find that sweet spot between something I'm good at, and the bare minimum I can manage when on tilt.

Luckily, right now anyways, I'm at a point where my writing and art is supporting me.
Anyone struggle with lapses of motivation?
For my entire life. I'm one of those last minute people. LEave stuff to night before, pull an all nighter, and get 75-80. Simply starting a day early would boost that mark, but it rarely happened.

for myself, I've found the issue is simply starting - unless I have a good image in my head of what I am doing/working on, I delay forever. But, once I get rolling, I'm like, "Why didn't I start earlier?"

I've found routine, ie, building a routine, helps a ton. If the routine says write in the evening, I write. Make things habit, so you don't need to actively chose to do it.
 
Ozymandias

Ozymandias

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 12, 2019
Messages
309
Location
West London
Pretty much the same, here. I try to find that sweet spot between something I'm good at, and the bare minimum I can manage when on tilt.
This is a huge problem for me, and I've never been able to find a consistent solution to it... I'm in this pushmepullyou sort of situation whereby if a job isn't sufficiently varied and intellectually challenging I get bored - and then heavily depressed - but if it's too mentally taxing then I only need the BPD stuff to get set off a little for me to become overwhelmed by stress.

I think changes in the workplace that have been facilitated by post-financial crisis politics and technological advances were what caused me to drop out of employment altogether. Now, between bosses having carte-blanche to treat staff life shit, and computer systems which allow workers to be tracked in a myriad of ways for each and every second of their shift, even low-paid, low-skilled jobs have become high-stress environments. At my last job I was literally treated like a fucking robot, with the needs to drink and go to the toilet becoming this massive inconvenience.

And they try to tell you that employment is good for your mental health...! Yeah, nothing like being systematically dehumanised to help you feel better about your worth as a human being...
 
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beautywithin

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 10, 2020
Messages
96
Location
UK
Anyone struggle with lapses of motivation? I find it can be quite a vicious cycle. Would love any tips!
I have also been diagnosed with ADHD and GAD, so you can see how this may come together...
My academic progress has come to a bit of a standstill lately, and I am currently applying to Cambridge as well as US unis (Harvard and UChicago being my top choices). I’m increasingly worried about how my mental health may result in a lasting impact on my future.
Any and all nuggets of wisdom are most welcome!!
I struggle with motivation and get bored easily, i like my brain to be challenged. What keeps me going with my job is routine i love routine and i function better with it.
 
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Thiswaythatway

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 26, 2019
Messages
229
Location
Uk
And they try to tell you that employment is good for your mental health...! Yeah, nothing like being systematically dehumanised to help you feel better about your worth as a human being...
All of your observations about the modern workplace are spot on. We are a fleshy, wobbly bit spoiling what could be a hyper efficient money making machine. If they could catheterise and put us on a drip they would.

We know work is about giving up time and energy and sometimes skill for the exchange of money. That I can accept, but the creep into our psyches, into our free time and trying to become the source of meaning in our lives I find hard to take.

The hardest thing of all in work for me is the being told that up is in fact down and green is actually red by people who appear to be there only to make your life harder.
 
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