Scared of chasing your dream because of your mental health? Me too.
Ever since I can remember, I have always been in love with words, language and literature. From a young age I would bury my head into a book to escape reality. My reality was my parents having violent arguments, being bullied at school for being tall or having a weird name and just generally being totally misunderstood. I would pick up a book and the words on the page breathed life into me and my unhappy childhood. The stories I read were a place I didn’t have to explain myself or give into fear. They taught me how to dream, to love and to believe.
It was from my younger self that I continuously grew this unconditional love for words and how they made me feel and express myself. When I was in my early teens, I tried to learn guitar so I could write songs to share with the world. Unfortunately I grew bored and frustrated with learning how to play it (I was always a little impatient, even now), but what was left instead of songs was my first selection of poems. I was just 15 years old. 13 years later to this day, I have a bachelors degree in creative writing and I still absolutely love to write, especially poetry.
So for me, my BIG dream is to one day become a well known and successful writer. Well, technically I am a “writer”, but I don’t make a living out of it properly and I’m certainly not well known or famous. Is that really how we measure our success? Not entirely I guess but it would be nice to be somewhat recognised for our “art”. Although I love to write and it is a massive part of who I am, it completely terrifies me that I am just not good enough, nor will I ever be. And this makes my dream feel even more unreachable.
You see, my “illness” is awful and unpredictable in every way possible. I wake up some days totally consumed with depression and suffocated with anxiety. It is crippling. On good days, I can get out of bed and communicate with people. I can even write a blog or two, go to therapy and go to the gym. But this is currently as good as my days get at the moment, and although it still doesn’t feel good enough, it is a massive improvement compared to a year ago, or even six months ago. I still lack motivation even to get up in the morning, even on my better days. I live in fear of not only not living up to my family’s expectations, but the expectations I have of myself. And those are the worst ones. My inner monologue haunts me every waking moment.
But these thoughts and feelings that hang over me like an unwelcome cloud of invalidation and deprecation will not force me to give up on my dream. I will not let it. Although it currently feels unobtainable, I know if I put my mind to it and work hard enough through the tears and anxiety, it will be incredible once I reach my goal. I believe hard work really does pay off, eventually. My experiences in life have taught me some valuable lessons and I will continue to dream, to love, to believe. Because if I don’t try and keep trying, I may never know.
It’s a huge climb to the top, but the view is magnificent.