Over the last few weeks I have been thinking about my future with mental health campaigning and where I want to direct what spare time I have; as there is little time after university duties that I have left so I need to be specific as to what I can and can not do.
This last year hasn’t been the easiest for me; I have been on the receiving end of some rather nasty cyber bullying, I have found out who my true friends are and who the people are who want gossip out of me. I have lost a very important part of my life because I didn’t agree with the way that a project was being handled by them, which was a massive shock to the system and really did hurt me emotionally but in hindsight walking away from them because of this was the best thing I ever done.
While these things have hurt and do still hurt, looking back I needed them to happen for me to be able to open my eyes and see the world from a different perspective. I was too focused in on one thing and driven to make them happy that I wasn’t able to see other opportunities available to me. I would have done anything for them, and it turns out that I did sacrifice a lot of my time and energy which could be directed in to something else. So now that these things have happened and I can see another door for me to open, I want to jump and hold on to this ride and never let go.
I would never have thought while I was homeless, on drugs, in a violent relationship that I would ever have made it to university. In fact one of my teenage memories was of my ‘mother’ telling me that I would never make it to university, and me being as naïve as I was back then really did believe I wasn’t good enough. So for me to not only work my damned hardest to get into university, I actually got through the doors at Med School (ok, I’m doing Medical Physiology and Therapeutics and not Medicine, but I’m at Med School all the same).
This is something that I should never forget; how hard I worked to get where I am and how hard I need to work through to finish this degree. I still remember the day, two-ish years ago, where I have my interview at university to get onto this degree and being offered a place on the day. It was five years ago to the week that I gave up the drugs, five years previously that I had nothing but the clothes on my back waiting to hear whether I had a place in supported housing or if I would remain homeless. Luckily the supported housing project took me on and gave me that first opportunity to turn my life around.
Five years it took me to work from the ground up, from nothing at all to being at Med School. Five years of hard work. This is what I can’t let go of, how hard it was for me to do that. Ok, welling up now – subject change needed.
So, that is why I feel that I have to rethink where I am going in my life. To find the direction I want to be in and follow the dream, to keep working for what I want and not be blinded by the wonderful fantastical opportunities that don’t turn out to do anything but put my face on a poster. How does that help my future?
From here on in I need to settle in onto what university has to offer and develop the inner geek. I will of course still be loitering in the mental health community under @EhOhSaysYes, though I will also be making the inner geek happy by following more science related things on @EhOhDoesScience (see what I did there?). Feel free to follow my new twitter, though please I wish for this account to be science related and not have science and mental health intermingle.
While this is a move that I know that I need to take, it is also a move that does leave the future of this blog a little uncertain. I want to keep giving helpful advice to people with mental health conditions, show them that you can achieve your dream and have a life where mental health doesn’t control you – you control your mental health. Though how to go about it is a little unclear to me right now, so please bear with me while I make this transition. I am still around; I’ll just be having a little geek session going on.
I have been watching other mental health campaigners, such as @bipolarblogger and @sectioned_, tackle the stigma and discrimination that we mentally ill folk face every day. Watching in awe as they talk with large organisations to help raise awareness of mental health and give vital information about how mental health affects people and how others can help those who are suffering. I know that with them, and other utterly brilliant campaigners around, the activism side of mental health is in good hands. Hat’s off to you all.
Until my next update, please take care of yourselves. And if I don’t speak to you all before then I hope that the holiday season is good to you. Whether you celebrate or not, whether you hide from the world until it’s over. Do what makes you feel happy and good about yourself, don’t feel you have to fall to societies pressures. Just be you and be happy.