Many of us have grown up thinking that if we are properly self-punishing then we are somehow being responsible. "What, I'm a nervous wreck -- how could I possibly take on more?" On the other hand, if, God forbid, we are feeling carefree, we have this nagging sense that we're being downright irresponsible, certain that if we don't get right back to self-flagellation then the other shoe is going to drop. And hard. We don't correlate our sense of responsibility with what we are actually producing. We correlate it with how hard we are being on ourselves. […]
Worry isn't work. Being stressed out isn't work. Anxiety isn't work. Entertaining a sense of impending doom isn't work. Incessant internal verbal punishment isn't work. Indulging the great unknown fear in your own mind isn't work. Hating yourself isn't work.