A lot of people have written about how mental illness and your perspective are linked. Anxiety often comes with looking to the future instead of focusing on what’s happening at the moment. I’d have to agree with that statement. I get stuck in a lot of what ifs and thoughts about the future that make my anxiety flare up. I’m trying to stop thinking that far ahead, but at the same time, I’m supposed to be thinking ahead.
I’ve graduated college. I’ve become an ‘adult.’ I’m working freelance and supposed to be making money, but whenever I turn around my family is trying to make the process more difficult. I’m trying really hard and that doesn’t get acknowledged in the moment a lot. I acknowledge it, but I’m living with myself and a witness for every single moment. So getting caught up in the fact that I’m not the adult that I’m ‘supposed to be’ isn’t helping out. I keep thinking about the person I want to be and how I’m going to get there.
I’ve made all the lists and I’m trying so hard to live in the moments that I need to exist. I’m slowly but surely cleaning my room and getting rid of all the things in my life that were just taking up space, but it never feels like enough. I’m making leaps and strides in progress that are going unacknowledged by the people in my life. I would love to chalk all of this up to the fact that not everyone is in my shoes, but I know that it isn’t just that.
I’m stuck in a lot of mental spaces that I’d rather not be stuck. Part of that is looking to the future. I have to be able to do that for work and for my parents and my partner and my extended family. I have to look forward.
So when it comes how to this affects my anxiety, I need to think about how I can have my cake and eat it too. And I’ve come to the conclusion that the best I can do is cope right now. My anxiety hasn’t been crippling lately, even if I have been sluggish with the progress that I’m making when it comes to work. The best that I can do at this point is make my list of goals, break it down further and then take everything one step at a time.
I can’t forever be stuck in worrying so much about the things that I don’t have control over, but I have to be focused on the life that I want to live. Writing has been the life that I want to live, and even that has felt like a far off dream. I’m trying to keep my head up and my feet moving, but I’m afraid of the places that I will go if I’m not paying attention to the path I’m walking. I’m afraid that I’m going to find myself down the line with three part time jobs and no time for anything else in my life. I’m afraid that I’ll wake up and everything will change in a moment.
That’s the fear that paralyzes me. But I’m trying to turn into something that I can use. If the future is so uncertain, then I should write as much as I can right now. Make the work that I do worth it. Work as hard as I can. All of this stuff will lead to a better future eventually, even if I can’t see it right now. If I just dedicate myself to my work, then I will find that one day it’ll be everything that I”m good at. Hopefully.
The future is so uncertain. I spent most of my childhood looking forward to it, and now that I’m here, I dread what comes next. So I should enjoy the stuff that I looked forward to when I was a kid. And even if someone gives me shit, I’ll just turn that into the strength and energy to keep going.