For Valentine’s Day this year we are getting a little personal on the blog. I believe personal is good. Being open and honest to you, readers, hopefully makes you feel free and safe to share your own personal struggles and triumphs. Because together we are strong and can accomplish much.
In my first year of college I began to see one of the school’s counselors. There had been a death of someone I had known and my RA (resident assistant) suggested seeing a counselor. I jumped at the idea because talking things out with an impartial party has always been good for me. Seeing this counselor was the one thing I did for me.
My counselor helped me figure out things like what degree I should take. She was an impartial voice that I counted on for advice on many things (I’m a strong believer in getting good advice.) She also diagnosed me with mild depression. She explained it as from what she sees I was never really happy or really sad like some depression displays as. I was just always “okay”. And she was right.
I could have turned to medication as some do (and should) but in my heart that didn’t seem to be the right answer. I knew that I was going through circumstances that were bringing me down, the main factor being school. Now, don’t get me wrong here, I wasn’t struggling with my classes, I have maintained a 4.0 to this day. But formal education sucked the joy out of learning for me. Instead of learning new things that would help me as an author assistant I was stuck in college algebra relearning the same formulas I will never use again.
So I followed my heart. I moved back home and took a semester off so I could get better. I changed my degree from a Bachelors to an Associate. Both choices were hard to make. They were choices not expected of a straight A, top of her class student, but they were the right choices. I spent my semester off volunteering at the local senior center. I worked more for my author clients and resigned from the job that was causing me an unhealthy level of stress. I enjoyed time with my family that I had been away from for four years. I got better.
Last summer brought some big changes. I helped my mother move from New Hampshire to Florida in only a few months. And then I too moved; temporarily. School started again. Winter came. And suddenly I started to feel emotional. This time I went to my primary care doctor. I asked her if the emotional change could be from low iron (something I discovered I had in my time home). Although she confirmed that low iron can create emotional changes, my levels were good with my current iron dose. So the diagnosis came that this too could be depression.
And like last time, although I could try medication, my heart is telling me to ride out this storm. That things will get better. In May I’ll have my college degree and never have to attend another formal education class. In the summer I’ll finally move to my own apartment (my very first). I’ll then get to have my kitties back. I’ll be able to buy bookshelves and have all my books organized and with me. I’ll be able to display my tea collection and find a new place to volunteer. I will hang out with my best friend who will be moving with me. And who knows what else could happen? I could fall in love. Get my first speaking gig. Get to work for a new author I adore. Publish my own book that does well.
My heart tells me to weather the storm so that I can have the future I desire. And I will follow it.