I once asked if I was lazy or depressed. I still can't answer that question completely but I think I have a better understanding of why it's so tough to answer.
A great deal of my depression manifests in self-doubt and often strong self-hate. Any activity I engage in - this blog, a good paying gig with a popular magazine, dinner with a friend, a big party - I approach with fear and self-doubt. My depression tells me that there's no way I've got the stuff to pull of this activity without making a fool of myself.
I call it inertia because it builds on itself. Let's talk about a party. It starts with in invitation to, let's say, an event built around my industry with important people attending. At first I'm pleased to have been invited and excited about making new connections, seeing old friends and generally having a good time.
Then some tiny little kernel of doubt creeps into my mind. Either it's about my ever expanding waistline and how people I haven't seen in a long time will surely notice or it's about an article I recently wrote which I sure somebody there will have read and found completely idiotic and can't wait to tell me why. Or any other of a thousand little quibbling bits of self-doubt. The kernel grows and grows in my mind until it's all I can think about.
This is how I regularly cancel lunches, find excuses not to write articles even though I might need to the money, and generally prove myself completely unreliable. And, in doing so, I create one more very real way to doubt myself. Now, when the next thing comes up, I've got one more piece of evidence to show myself how I'll fail at that, too. It's an inertial cycle of failure.
So, the easiest thing to do - no, the only thing to do that won't further prove to me what I failure I am - is nothing. Outwardly, I appear lazy but inwardly I'm very actively doing nothing. Right now I can point to three things that I'm very specifically not doing.
Somehow, I thought that this argument would be clearer and more convincing. Having written it out, though, it still just seems like a very elaborate excuse for being lazy.
Maybe I should take a nap.