I woke up this morning in the same funk I have been in for weeks — no scratch that — for months. It wasn’t a place of foreign surroundings and in fact, seemed all too familiar. For anyone who has struggled with depression or any other form of mental illness, you know that for the majority of our young adult lives, it will be the most committed partner if one allows it to be. Of course, this is all out of speculation and taking into consideration that my manic depression has been my longest relationship to date.
It isn’t until you uncover your “flow state” hobby, that you are introduced to a world in which the toxicity of self criticism can no longer reach you. Writing has been my escape, but as time goes on, I find myself reaching for excuse after excuse as to why I can’t — why I don’t have the time, the focus, the energy and I have realized that in denying my mind its main source of freedom, I have bound myself to my own misery.
So where do I go from here?
If I told you I had a list of every thing I told myself I wanted to accomplish, dreams to pursue, and goals to achieve, but not a single one was checked off at this point in time, you would likely ask me “why” and my response to you would be fear. The fear of failure, of unpaid bills, of rejection, of disappointment…fear of the unknown.
Which scares me more?
The “part 2” to that Q&A would be whether or not the fear of failing, financial stress, rejection, and disappointment surpass that of never making the attempt at all. The biggest piece of advice I give to others is one I find great difficulty in following myself and that is to advise yourself in the third person, because the advice you give to others without hesitation, is likely the advice you would struggle, yet need, to give yourself. The self-reflection piece of this is huge.
If I were to quit my job today, how would I pay for my surgery next month? If I were to stay in my job until surgery and then they let me go the moment I tell them I need 6 weeks off, would I be mad at the way I spent the 30 days before? If I use every moment of my free time to pursue my dreams and hit a road block, will I use this as an excuse to give up? Am I meant for the “safe road” or one of risk before reward?
These questions and their potential answers terrify me, but the thought of each going unanswered is beginning to terrify me more. You get to a point where the back and forth becomes unbearable and you have to take a leap of faith out of shear desperation to get the opposing sides to silence, but knowing when that point is becomes difficult. For me, this is because the alternative to success is rock bottom so in jumping, I’m hoping for either softer ground to land on or wings to help me fly. Either way, here’s to take off.