I’ve always played down my passion for becoming an expert in my field. On reflection I know this is because I consider myself practical and not academic. My biggest fear was failure.
Mental illness has played a part in this. Over time various diagnoses and life experience suggested to me that I would always struggle and recovery for me just wasn’t an option.
And yet I’m here. Against all odds and predictions. After hospital admissions, episodes of severe psychosis and 7 long years on a cocktail of medication I am finally recovering.
I have begun to see my mental illness as a freedom not a failure. Without it I wouldn’t be who I am today or where I am.
I’ve been walking in my recovery for over 4 years now. It’s still tough but the blessings far outweigh anything else.
I am no longer held in chains of fear. I’m (most days) enjoying being myself and I’m embracing experiences I would have never considered previously in case of failure.
In a few weeks time I begin my PhD.
Yes, there are days when I’m overwhelmed at the idea of academic study. The mere thought of writing 80,000 words makes me want to quit before I’ve started.
But if there is one thing I’m learning it’s that mental illness has made me better. A better everything.
What I used to see as failure I can now turn into fruitfulness and growth.
…and I’m going to do it. I will become that ‘expert in my field’.