The past few months have been a struggle for me. My mental health has been giving me a lot of issues. I’ve been very stressed, overwhelmed, anxious, worried, and unhappy. There has been a lot going on with family, friends, work, and my personal writing. Even with the strong support system I have of my family, friends, therapist, and psychiatrist, I’ve still been struggling and its been negatively impacting every area of my life. So now that the dust is starting to settle on somethings, I’ve decided now is the time to open up about everything. If you’ve been struggling lately, I hope this post encourages you to open up to someone as well.
Family: Family is one of the most important things in the world to me, especially my parents. They have always support me, loved me, and done their best for me during my entire life. I have never felt unloved or unwanted by them (except for the times when my anxiety falsely told me those things), and I am so grateful to have the parents I have.
As with all living things, my parents are getting older, which means their health isn’t as great as it used to be, and it scares me. It scares me that I live so far away from them and that at any moment something bad could happen. I recently went back to Pennsylvania for three weeks to spend time with them, help them, and see friends. Those three weeks were very physically, mentally, and emotionally tough on me. I won’t go into details out of respect for my parents privacy, but it wasn’t easy seeing how much things had changed, how much they had changed in the year since I last saw them. It was even harder when I made the realization that Pennsylvania didn’t feel like home to me anymore, and that I don’t foresee myself ever living there again. Overall, it wasn’t the trip home I was hoping it would be.
Oh, also while I was home we found out that my cat Nightmare has asthma. He had an asthma attack that scared the crap out of all of us, but he’s fine now thanks to the medication the vert prescribed. He’s 11 going on 12, and never had any health issues before this. Thankfully it was something easy to treat, and he’s fine now. I’m going to lose my mind and my heart is going to break into a million pieces the day he dies, and hopefully that day doesn’t come for a long time.
Friends: First I want to apologize to all the friends I didn’t get to see when I was back in Pennsylvania. I will make sure to put you guys at the top of the list of people I see when I return back to Pennsylvania. I lost the first 3-4 days home because my 24 hour train ride turned into a 40 hour train ride (a story for another time), and then I was sick the 2-3 days after I got back.
I was grateful that I got to spend time with my two best friends Cat and Kellie, but I was also nervous about it. The three of us have gone through so many changes in the last year since I saw them that there was a part of me that was worried I would see them again and it wouldn’t be the same… and I was right, it wasn’t entirely the same, but it still felt amazing to be around them again. I forgot just how easy it is to be around them and talk to them about anything and everything. It won’t ever be the same, but it’s still pretty great.
Work: I knew when I made the switch to freelancing full-time that I was taking a big risk. Looking back, I should have thought it through so much more than I did. At the time I made took this risk, I was solely focused on my mental health and happiness, not considering the financial aspect of it. I didn’t consider the fact that maybe jobs wouldn’t pour in as easily as I hoped, or that jobs would continue on as long as I hoped, or that some of the jobs I was getting might be scams. Knowing what I know now, I still would have taken this risk because I love writing and being a writer is an important part of my identity, but I definitely wouldn’t have made some of the choices I did. I think I would have kept my grocery store job, but knocked myself down to part-time, or found another part-time job while freelancing.
Honestly, I’m beginning to feel like maybe I’m doing this freelancing thing incorrectly. I submit the job proposals or applications, I reply to the ones who reply to me, and then I either get the job, don’t ever hear anything back, or in one instance, the person blocked me for no reason. I’ve been going through Upwork to find jobs, Indeed, LinkedIn, and other job recruiting sites, and don’t feel like I’ve been getting the hits I should be. I have the degrees, the experience, and the passion… so what’s missing? If anyone else is freelancing right now and having more success then I am, some advice would be greatly appreciated!
Personal Writing: When my life becomes a chaotic mess of stress, anxiety, depression, and other negative emotions, my writing always goes with it. And admittedly with the freelancing gig not going as well as I had hoped, doubt is beginning to creep into my mind. What if I’m not the great writer I thought I was? Writing is one of the few things people have always told me I’m good at. Even from a young age when I was writing short stories for my second grade teacher, she would tell me how good they were. In middle school my writing wasn’t always understood or appreciated (apparently writing dark fiction/poetry when you’ve thirteen is an indicator of depression and being suicidal), but I still received good grades on all those assignments. High school and college, it was the same thing. I was even encouraged by my Honors English teacher Mr. Iles to become a writer because he enjoyed reading my creative assignments. So I have always considered writing to be my greatest strength.
But lately I haven’t been feeling that way. I know some of it stems from my freelance work, and some of it stems from a place I can’t quite identify yet. I want to be a writer. I need to be a writer. I don’t believe I’d do well in any other field because I wouldn’t have the same passion for it as I do with writing. But writing is starting to be unkind to me, and I can’t figure out why.
Is it time for me to find a new passion? Is it time for to figure out what else I might good at? I’m at a loss for what to do right now. I’m starting to feel like a failure and like I’m not living up to my potential. I feel like I’m letting myself and all those who believe in me down. It’s a terrible feeling to have… and this is probably something I should bring up to my therapist in my next session.
So while some of my recent struggles are no longer worries, some of them are still very much a struggle. I’m at a loss on what to do, so any advice would be greatly appreciated.
How is everyone doing? Are things going well for you? I hope so. It’s Thursday, which means the weekend is right around the corner. So I hope everyone has a fun weekend!