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Old 30-03-2017, 09:22 AM   #1
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Am I too hard on myself? (LONG)

So within the past 5-6ish months I've been told often how well I'm doing and how surprising that is, but I don't feel like I'm doing as well as I could. I feel like I'm recovering very slowly.

Back at the end of 2015 I had a mental break down in college. I was hallucinating, suicidal, and oddly the most productive I've ever been art wise. I had to be hospitalized, and left the hospital probably too early because I was in the middle of my senior thesis for my Bachelors. So after a week in the hospital I went straight back to working on my thesis, graduation was only a month away so I figured I could tough through it. When I graduated, I didn't go to my ceremony because I couldn't handle it, and I was so doped on so many meds I'm told I went but I don't remember it. The only reason I finished my thesis actually is because my professor told me I don't have to come to class anymore as long as I email him regularly and show up with a lot of work at critiques. The next 4 months I took one class at a time at my local community college to get the last 6 credits I needed to graduate, as I had to drop them in my final semester due to depression.

The next 3 months I mostly stayed in bed. I think once college stopped I didn't feel the need to try to act like everything was ok because I was home by that point, nor did I really have the energy or motive. I started slowly just helping my mom do stuff, like take care of my grandma and chores.Not to mention my parents were planning to move to California, so I just packed boxes for a long time. 6 months later my boyfriend tells me he's moving to california for work, and I was suddenly like oh yeah that stuff. I had kinda forgotten about life and remembered I have to start the next step. So I moved out there with him.

Moving was kinda weird because my small town friends got very angry about me moving and pretty much all stopped talking to me except a few. I only knew an old middle school pen pal out in Cail, we had kept in contact over the years but we got really close once i got here. I started calling my mom a lot 'cause I was, and still am, I having a lot of trouble meeting people.
I started applying to various schools, and I got into one... and kinda couldn't handle going to class everyday. I guess I wasn't as well as I thought I was.

Now I'm getting my Masters at University of Phoenix for Secondary Education so I can become a high school teacher. Being able to do all my class work at my own pace with just a weekly deadline has been working well for me, I've never had a GPA this high. In addition to the class work, I have to intern at the school a certain number of hours, but so far that hasn't seemed to effect me. I'm more worried about passing the general knowledge test for teachers that goes up to algebra 2, so I'm focusing on that. It's not really anything I had to do before, since I majored in Illustration for my BFA. I should finish my masters in roughly a year if I can keep it up.

I've considered getting a part time job, but every time I start to look into it I relapse in some way. I feel like I"m not doing enough, but if I do more I'm afraid I'll get bad again. I skype my mom most days of the week now, and I was talking to her about what it's like dealing with school administration and she said, "you know, you're doing really well." I feel like if I was doing well I could handle going to a university full time, or at least work a part time job. I feel lazy even though I know it's not laziness. And for some reason people telling me I'm doing well makes me feel worse.

I know I'm stabler than I've been in 6 years, but it doesn't feel like enough. I'm terrified I'll finish my degree, have all the qualifications to teach art at public schools, and then break down once I'm put into a teacher's schedule of full time work. Maybe I'm being paranoid, but it does seem like a real possibility. I guess I'd just like to know if recovering this slowly is normal? If I'm ever gonna get to a point where I can go a full week without taking to the bed? I'd like to think I'll be able to.

I'm also afraid working 9-5 will be similar to how high school was. I used to vomit every morning on the way to bus from being sick with anxiety. Every single morning. Every second I wasn't in classes I was either in bed from depression or not sleeping drawing.

I'm doing a lot better now than then, but I'm also doing a lot less. I even dropped doing freelance illustration which I've done since high school. I don't know if any of you saw my thread from several months back about having too much time, that kinda only lasted a month though before I broke down, I probably jynxed it.

This is getting rambly so I should probably just stop.

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Old 30-03-2017, 02:49 PM   #2
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Hi there,

I can really relate to your thread. Finding that balance with what you can cope with and how much you need to rest due to mental health is so so tricky. I like you take on lots and lots when I'm feeling well and then it all just gets too much so I cut back on responsibilities, projects etc and then find myself bored or with too much time and guilty for not doing more. It can be a cycle of doing too much, burning out, too little, guilty or feeling better and then taking on too much again.

With the teaching, it's hard to know how you are going to be with the work pattern etc but I guess you will never know unless you try. A job isn't a permanent thing and if it's affecting your mental health too much you know that it isn't for you and you need for find a different profession or pass time.

I think that the balance is so difficult to find and maintain especially when there are so many factors which can push you off balance. What's your support network like around you?


Soon... Now will be then...Today will be yesterday... Present will be past...And thought will be memory... So...Live for the future! Make your future how you want it!

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Old 30-03-2017, 11:07 PM   #3
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It's always nice to know you're not alone in this. I live with my boyfriend. My parents live roughly 2 hours away, I visit them when I can. And the pen pal I spoke of, I hang out with her in person roughly a week of each month because she lives an hour away so we mostly talk over the phone. I've been trying to make friends, but it hasn't been going great. The group I'm trying to become apart of now said offhandedly that I'm "mysterious" and they don't always know how to talk to me. I have a few close friends from Florida who text me regularly.

Part of my feeling like that I need to be doing better is my brother is unmedicated bipolar. While So I feel like when my family says I"m doing well, it's because they're comparing how my brother would handle these situations. He refuses to accept he needs meds to be stable, so drinks a lot and takes his frustration out on other people. I feel like by my family comparing my level of functioning to my brother sets a low bar versus how I compare myself to neurotypical people's level of functioning. Maybe that's unfair for me to do that to myself, but it keeps me trying to do more, ya know?

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