Hopes and Dreams

Living with mental illness has made me rethink my hopes and dreams. 

Before I became ill, I wanted a career. I worked full time after I graduated university, aged 21, until last year. I had dreams of being someone really high up and influential in the field of autism. I pushed myself so much. My job defined me. It was on my mind constantly. 

Before I became ill, I was always socialising. Weekends and evenings were filled with plans. I was a social butterfly; always arranging plans and spending loads of my time at different places. 

Before I became ill, I thought I would end up having children. From a young age I wanted my own children. I couldn’t envisage my life without them. 

I have had the title of this post saved in my drafts for the past few weeks. Over the past 24 hours, my sister in law gave birth to my second niece and a good friend had a little girl. It has made me think of how different things are in my life compared to a lot of other people. But I also realise that comparing my life to others is not productive or conducive in terms of my recovery. 

Living with mental illness has made me realise that I need to work to live and not live to work. Being in a highly pressurised and stressful work environment will only lead to high levels of anxiety and low moods. 

Living with mental illness makes socialising really difficult. It sometimes means passing on invites to social events that will be busy or have lots of people there. Quality over quantity; surrounding myself with a few good people rather than lots of people is better for my well being. 

Living with mental illness has made me rethink my view on having children. I would never want to have a child if they were to inherit my anxiety and depression. It is not something I would wish upon anyone, least of all my own child. I struggle almost every day with anxiety and depression. It would not be fair to bring children into the mix. I worry that I would be a terrible mother because of this. I will sound selfish now, but my anxiety and depression tell me how hideous I am; that I am fat, ugly and disgusting. Having a child may potentially make this worse. 

Living with mental illness makes me value the little things in life; health, love, family and friends. So my hopes and dreams are simply:

  • To be able to manage my anxiety and depression
  • To continue to have good relationships with my husband, immediate family and friends
  • To have a job that makes me feel worthwhile
  • To be happy
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19 thoughts on “Hopes and Dreams

  1. Jessie says:

    I absolutely love this post. I could have written it myself. I use to want to be a famous photographer. Now my hopes are just to have the depression under control and to be happy. Or at least content. Really great post. X

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Gemma, you have wonderful goals, and I suspect life will help you fulfill them in ways you can’t even imagine. They leave room for wonder and surprise, and I know you will meet and exceed each one. All the best!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. This is my story too. Before being physically and mentally ill I had plans. But those plans change with being ill. I don’t know if I will ever get back to the job I love or have the children being ill has made me realise I wanted all along. I like your hopes. I hope to simply be happy too and for a day without pain, depression and anxiety. I hope we all can get that in our futures

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I love this so much, I always love how rational you can be and how much a genuinely good person you are Gemma you are wonderful ☺ keep at it and know that you always have my support

    Like

  5. Excellent post. I had lots of things I wanted to be also… I have a hard time accepting depression and anxiety, even though it’s a constant plague. I do have children and I do understand your concerns (even to the part of getting fat while pregnant and then being depressed about that). Everyone must make their own choice about parenthood. And it is difficult, ill or not. Lord knows I struggle! Anyway, like you said, you must pick the things that matter most and let the others go… again, very good post.

    Liked by 1 person

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