Written for writing 101 Day 4 – but I wrote something else. But if you don’t know me, this explains a lot.
The best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry (John Steinbeck, Of Mice and Men.)
I have many plans and many dreams. I don’t know that any of what I dream will come true. It’s sad to not have hope but I’m not hopeless, just a realist. When I graduated with a BA, got my first job, and job promotion, I felt on top of the world. I felt that my life held so much potential and that anything was possible. But at our high points in life events can go awry. And I fell for many stories, down to a place where all my dreams did not matter because I was consumed by the realities of poor mental health.
Mental health was something I hadn’t given a thought to before. The realities of mental health are harsh and difficult for others to understand. Mental health difficulties hurt you psychologically, emotionally, and physically. I think for me physical effects are hard to deal with do to constant fatigue. But I have learned I am more then my mental health, I am a person with experience to share. And to tell you that no one is defined by their difficulties, rather that they fought/fight through them.
I had plans to become a project manager someday for a commercial developer for the place I worked. I was going to take LEED training, and take a Construction Administration Certificate at the University of Alberta. But the 23rd of December 2008 is the last day I ever worked. My mental health has made me so sick that I cannot work; I’m not even well enough to volunteer.
Soon my challenges were just making it through the day, trying to not sleep all day. I was dreadfully bored stuck at home and not able to do much. I planned an hour reading, watching some TV, scrapbooking, sleeping for two hours, and going for a walk. At first, I tried going to the gym and I even drove there. But I had no energy to exercise and not enough concentration to drive.
I got a bit better. I enrolled in courses in Residential Design. I am taking the last course for that certificate now. I thought that it would be useful if I ever went back to work. But that hasn’t been an option. I have just been trying to find stability in my health over the last seven years. I became a bit better for a couple years, I was going to classes for three hours once a week and spending three or four hours at home working on my current course. I could often go out and stay out late at night with friends or my ex-boyfriend. I could do an activity for four or five hours in the day. But that didn’t last.
I was taking a night course and I only made it to five of the thirteen classes. I just couldn’t concentrate and didn’t feel well at night. I spent all of that July depressed and in bed all day. Then, this summer I was in hospital for three weeks adjusting medications. But I still can’t do much for more then two or three hours tops. I feel so tired, I can’t get up much before 11:00 am. And I am a zombie if I do. I have had to give up many plans with friends because it is so difficult to do things at night.
This was not in my plan. Living with this mental illness was nothing I’d ever imagined. People just shrug it off sometimes like it’s just something that will get better, but it doesn’t. For me it gets worse. I don’t know how to make myself feel better. I deal with insomnia as well. A part of my brain is disconnected and I don’t how to make the neurons function normally. Pills don’t do to much. Psychology doesn’t help. I am waiting for a time when I can have plans again.
When, I think of this quote I think that it really hits the nail on the head. We all have such grand plans and dreams for our lives. And we should never loose hope that we can complete them. But in reality we are not in control. The maker of mice and men has the power to let things occur to us and to protect us. He teaches us and builds us so that we might know what his son Jesus knew hanging on a cross. He brings us closer to him with our trials. And I do not mean to complain, or tell my story until I’m blue in the face. But this is my experience and God and my friends and family bring me peace. And perhaps, not all my plans will go awry and I can help others when their plans do.