Complacency is something all humans have to deal with. It’s natural to get in to a routine and end up doing the same thing day in and day out. It always a bad thing but can lead to a rut. I always thought a rut was just a stretch where I felt my creativity drained and a lack of motivation but I could always bounce back from it. I’ve found myself feeling that way recently and thought it was another rut, but it wasn’t.

While I think complacency is a natural thing pretty much every human being deals with I’m not so sure self-destruction is. Everyone has bad habits but I’m not sure everyone would say they’re self-destructive. I know that I have those detrimental bad habits and that’s why these last few weeks haven’t been just a rut.

When I was younger my self-destructive habits were decisions I knew were bad but made them anyways. I’d message exes, destroy my sleep schedule, ghost friends and family and fuel my lack of motivation by bailing on work things. They were choices that caused problems in the short and long term. Even worse, I didn’t recognize them as a kid so they became a consistent pattern that would undue plenty of time and positive work I put in to myself.

I can’t really explain why those were my self-destructive habits. I think a lot of it was about cocooning myself, keeping myself away and even looking maybe for something familiar. Very early on I didn’t talk to anyone about those things and so it was just retreating and not dealing with anything. As I found mentors and matured the situation didn’t get as bad and things improved.

I am proud to say that I did start to recognize these self-destructive habits as I got older and that was the first step in improving. Luckily, those problems have matured as I have so what was self-destructive is more like minor nuisances. However, I’ve reflected enough to realize when I’m in a familiar place. That’s not to say these minor nuisances aren’t still self-destructive.

Gone is the messaging people I shouldn’t, that’s thanks to the strong foundation I have at home with Ashleigh. Also gone is the bailing on work. When I was at home and working part time jobs it was seemingly less important but moving across the country and having to provide for the household has kept work and needing a job and paycheck in perspective.

Being a home body and lack of motivation still remain and that’s what originally made me feel like it was a rut again because there’s overlap there. However, it’s not just complacency and a feeling of being stuck that is a rut, I identified it as some depression. A death in the family, some professional frustrations and maybe just the perfect storm at this time of the year added up to feeling very down. My schedule for self-improvement in 2020 has gone by the wayside and all the work in my hobbies has turned in coming home and doing nothing productive.

What makes these self-destructive habits and depression a problem is it can spiral. If you don’t identify it and address it then it can get worse and worse. Luckily, I figured it out and started to try and attack it and feel like I’m finally coming out of it. Just telling myself ‘Alright you’re down and that’s okay, but what do I do to get better?’ really started to make a change, but what else?

I asked friends who I know have dealt with their own depression what they did to get out of it. One said talking to someone professional was what they needed. Another friend said for them the key was changing the routine. Being stuck in the spiral needed a change of the same everyday things. It was a huge change to their mentality that helped them climb back. For me it was just getting back to being productive, trying to accomplish just one productive thing a day to reverse the spiral in my favor.

Something listeners reminded me of, and advice I’ve given recently, is to just think positively. Identify the things that are going well for you and things you are doing right. This whole thing is maybe more about mentality than anything else and doing that really helped bring me out of that funk. It’s natural to get in a rut, and maybe even to be a little self-destructive, but it isn’t final. You can break out of it and be better.