While the emotional lull may feel quite similar, there is a crucial difference between confidently possessing potential actions that may feasibly solve a problem (PPA) and having exhausted all conceivable actions (ECA).
I posit that this difference is deeply understood and helps to explain procrastination. There is hope in PPA. When you start to spiral negatively, you can rescue yourself with thoughts of all things left to try: I’ll email Bob on Monday; I’ll call the doctor this week; I’ll read those studies soon. This rescue mission often works well. So well, in fact, that part of you will decide to not take those stated actions, because if they don’t work, you’ll be stranded without the ability to save oneself from darkness.
This logic misses a key point that the list of potential actions is not fixed, that the process of exhausting some of them indeed births new potential actions (e.g., you e-mail Bob and he says, “No, but I think I have a better person for you to contact”).
Unfortunately, the list of potential actions is also not infinite; at some point, the births cease and you truly can run out of ideas to dreadfully arrive in ECA. Of course, it’s hard to know for sure if you are in ECA. Perhaps you are simply looking to excuse yourself from making an effort. Simple test: can a stranger instantly come up with ideas to try? If “yes,” then you ain’t in ECA. (Being laughably far from ECA is why it’s hard for me to be too sympathetic toward people with “health issues” who haven’t perfected exercise, sleep, nutrition, and screens.)
When you are truly in ECA, I don’t really have an answer. This is maybe where acceptance enters, though I don’t really get how non-Jedi’s do that to a considerable enough degree to truly reverse darkness if the ECA state is truly bad. Something like actively fighting against your wants/vision of yourself? xxxxxxxxx told me how whenever someone would ask him to play basketball the desire would emerge to play. Yes, I love basketball. But he, through years of “mourning,” disabused himself of the thought that he’s the type of person who plays basketball (because his injury prevented him from playing). That, while it wasn’t what he would have planned or wanted, it’s what is, and what is is totally fine, glorious even, in a different way. Nothing is so unbearable that you can’t bear it because you are, in fact, bearing it in this moment. And this moment. And this moment.
Ughhhh. I really don’t know.