Ever since I was diagnosed with depression 3 1/2 years ago I haven’t really felt passionate about anything or really inspired to do something (except for the occasional art piece or work of poetry). Thinking back, this started long before my diagnosis. In fact, I think I’ve been suffering with depression for most of my life. I just didn’t know or realize it at the time.
I do know that things got worse around the time I was diagnosed with my depression. By brother-in-law had just died and it was the straw that broke the camel’s back, so to speak. I mainly noticed this shift in school. Before he died I loved school. I loved learning, I procrastinated all the time, but I still managed to get all of my homework done by the time it was due (with rare exceptions). After he died and my severe depression set in I stopped enjoying school. I can honestly say that school, especially college, became the worst segment of my life. I never enjoyed myself. I stopped having any interest in learning most things and I started letting my assignments slide. At some points I became so bored with everything and so overwhelmed that I stopped doing homework, I stopped going to class, and I had to take a medical withdraw. This situation happened twice. But each time I came back to school. Now I’m out of school, but not quite graduated due to an outstanding incomplete that has been bothering me for almost a year now. The teacher has to grade it and submit the grade by this February 28 or I do not have a graduation date of Dec. 2014. I could just let this incomplete slide and take an online class next semester, but that wouldn’t be the best thing for me. According to my therapist, if I let this slide and decide not to do the work I’ll basically be “throwing away a year of therapy.” It’s probably true too. In addition to dealing with my depression and Borderline Personality Disorder, we have been dealing with me keeping my commitments and finishing school. So in that sense I agree with her. I had 24 chapters total out of two books and 11 short stories to read and summaries left to do as of Monday the 9th of February. The main problem: I had no motivation or inspiration.
While we were talking in therapy I mentioned that I thought one of the main problems was that I didn’t really have any passion to do things. As I was mentioning that I paused and said, “Well, I do have something I’m passionate about now.” I thought this was completely unrelated to the issue at hand (my homework) and so I was a little surprised when she pursued it. She asked what I was passionate and this was my response: “Well, lately I’ve really become passionate about becoming a mental health advocate; speaking out about mental health and sharing my story; trying to end stigma.” When I said this my therapist got a little excited. She started talking about this community outreach program (or something along those lines) that deals with mental health advocacy. I don’t remember all the details, but I do remember that I was really excited about it. “That sounds amazing!” I said. Then came the stinger: “But you know, a lot of those places won’t “hire” or accept someone without a college degree…”
That became my inspiration, my motivation to finish this seemingly impossible incomplete. I want to become an advocate for mental health. Therefore, I need my degree and I want it now. The best way to get that? Finish my work. I also want to speak about my story, my experiences. And as my therapist said, “everyone wants to hear about a happy ending.” My ending would be so much happier if I could say that even though I struggled with apathy, suicidal thoughts, self-harm, depression, BPD, and I dropped two semesters of school after not going to class or doing my homework, I was still able to push through and graduate from college with a B.A. Hopefully I’ll be able to say that soon.
Inspiration is so vital to this life. I went so long without any inspiration. No passion. Nothing. Finally I found the inspiration I need to push through the obstacle that’s confronting me right now. It doesn’t mean it’ll be easy, but I’m confident that with this inspiration and my dedication that I’ll be able to see it through.
What’s your inspiration?