I used to be a dreamer, now I’m just dreaming

I was going to go to medical school. But I didn’t.

My brother is a doctor.

I’m secretly jealous of him. I’m jealous that he got to be a doctor and I didn’t.

When I told him this he got mad. He thought I meant that he didn’t have to work hard to get to where he is. But that’s not what I meant. I just meant that even with equal encouragement from our parents (which we didn’t have…*bitter*) I never really stood a chance at becoming a doctor.

There was no way that with my un-addressed ocd, anxiety, depression, (bipolar), I would ever have been able to keep it together long enough to successfully qualify for, apply to and complete medical school.

I couldn’t even get through a year of university without flaking out. I was the star A student who randomly started handing in D (or worse) papers and totally spacing out in class, talking on the phone during lectures and crocheting during seminars. In retrospect, I can’t think of a professor who didn’t seem absolutely confused by me by the end of the year.

Let’s follow memory lane through my squandered academic and professional career and note that I worked for almost every top charity in the city, got some great jobs and quit every single job in less than a year.

I read this article by Natasha Tracy about bipolar using it’s big fat butt to squish all of our dreams and goals.

I have this image of bipolar as a row of elephants skipping rope in a narrow tunnel. (not sure what’s with all the elephant analogies, must be a fetish thing.)

The tunnel is the dreams and plans that I used to have of where my life would go. I can’t really get there anymore, so instead of trying to get there and getting squished by elephants, I think I’ll just back out and see what dreams I can come up with here and now.

There are so many parts of life that I didn’t really know existed when I made my grand life plan. I was a really closed minded, judgmental person. I didn’t know that people could be truly nice. I didn’t know what it felt like to be cared for. I didn’t know that it was okay to just have fun.

I didn’t know that the real purpose of life isn’t to see how successful you can be, it’s to see how much joy you can generate. I thought I’d be a doctor and be completely self sufficient and perfect and never make a mistake. I never thought I’d be the fat, old, uncoordinated lady sweating in a ballet class.

Life isn’t really turning out the way I thought it would…but maybe it will turn out even better this way. Just a thought.


2 thoughts on “I used to be a dreamer, now I’m just dreaming

  1. i can relate to this so much. i worked really hard in my twenties to build up my own little business. when my mentall illness came back with a avengance that all went down thew toilet. now i’m 32 & feel like i’m totally left behind. all my friends and family are doing well in their careers, getting married, having babies, accomplishing things. i am just trying to get through each day. it’s an awful feeling. mental illness robs us of so much. thanks for sharing this & i really hope things improve for you.


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