Emotional Inertia is a real thing.
Inertia, of course, is a physics term. You may have heard about it as being Newton’s First Law of Motion. In the simplest form it states: An object in motion will tend to stay in motion and an object at rest will tend to stay at rest; unless acted upon by an external force.
Emotional Inertia is the idea that emotions (good or bad) tend to hold course unless something comes along to change them. If you're sad maybe a surprise visit from a dear friend. If you’re happy perhaps receiving some bad news. But in general if you’re happy you stay happy if left alone.
I think that another group of forces exist within our own brains. Depression is a negative force working against happiness, a force that doesn’t rest. If I get a day where I’m happy, my depression is constantly pushing back against it, trying to wipe away the good feelings and replace them with sadness and despair, feelings that have unfortunately come to offer a level of comfort to me.
The next physics crossover is Newton’s Second Law. THis is the one concerning acceleration. F=ma, or a=F/m. THat is the acceleration of an object is based upon how much force is being applied compared to its mass. The lighter an object the less force is needed to accelerate it. The more force applied regardless of how heavy the object is, the greater the acceleration.
I think this applies to my depression as well. My depression has a lot of emotional mass as well as a lot of force behind it. This is due to the years and years I’ve been dealing with it. It’s easy for depression to maintain, or accelerate its course. My happiness has atrophied over that time from lack of exposure. The emotional mass of my happiness is quite small, the force of my depression is quite large. It’s quite easy for a happy day to come crashing down if for no other reason than the weight of my depression.
So here I sit. The acceleration caused by my depression has turned me back from those days a few short weeks ago when I was feeling “OK”. The inertia of my depression has me believing the good days are further and further away. “Why do anything, dumb ass. You’ll do it poorly, you’ll feel like crap while you’re doing it and you’ll feel like a bigger pile of crap when you’re done.”
I don’t know, I'm just rambling trying to stay out of bed this afternoon.