Yes, motivation follows action. I have discovered that by pressing on with an activity even while feeling sad and hopeless pays off in big dividends. I am speaking in terms of my own personal experience. When it became impossible to move my body out of bed in the morning I forced myself to get up –drive to a place where I could walk –and started walking. I truly felt like a Forrest Gump(see movie) as I have continued this “moving the body” program these past 30 years or so. I gradually ended up with a lightness of spirit and I started to deal with the guilt, shame and other stuff that I continually ruminated about. This ruminating, in a short time completely immobilized me physically, emotionally and spiritually.
Sue shares her personal story in Depressed Anonymous (pages 144-145) telling us that “Action does precede motivation” and I began working at a local zoo. It is a beautiful place (and safe from muggers too). I began talking with people and learned about classes there to become a docent (volunteer teacher). I enrolled and graduated. This gave me a new purpose in life. I get great joy from working there doing outreaches to schools, nursing homes and hospitals. I have made friends with both animals and humans. There isn’t a day that I go to talk that I don’t get thanks by someone, a visitor, or employee (or sometimes an animal)
My family hasn’t changed (although my Mother commented on the change in my face), but I have. In this, the Serenity Prayer really helps. I know that I can’t change them, but I have new friends and a real support system so that doesn’t matter so much to me now.
Whoever you are, you who are reading this: Believe! The first Three Steps are the most important. Walking or other exercise is important. Staying with it is also important. Going to meetings and participating is important, but above all else, faith is important. Faith will truly move mountains.”