Learning, Growing, Healing, Trying

Sometimes I can't help but hold myself to an able-bodied standard. By this I mean, I can't help but think it's bad to rest and will trigger my depression if I have time to do nothing.

I’ve had depression for about 6 years. And spinal muscular atrophy my whole life.

Chasing success and worrying what people think

The correlation between the two has me constantly chasing success and never stopping for fear of my depression coming back the minute I stop. I'm writing this because I know that I'm not alone in this mindset - my friends have mentioned this before.

Having to feel like you have to prove yourself twice as much because we are still in a world where if you’re disabled, people still question everything about you.

Trying to do what is expected

I've gotten way better about caring what strangers think about me and my worth, but this also leads me to think about my future. As of writing this, I just visited a college a few states away in a warmer climate. I had to visit in person because no one was answering me via phone call. Long story short, I heard about this college from an SMA friend and thought that the college had a better journalism department, but it didn't work out.

I'm very grateful to have learned this with no wasted money (although I definitely believe that nothing is a waste, just a lesson, even what you do with your time, never a waste especially being disabled and needing things like rest, it's never ever a waste!) and a lot learned.

Deciding to follow my passion

All this had led to me truly not caring about college. For me, I have a great job and I'm so grateful to be able to write for my community. This is everything that I’ve ever wanted and people in my life have told me to continue my education…And after everything, I just know that this isn't for me.

My job has really helped me to be able to write about topics that I'm passionate about in different ways, get ideas from the community, and have time off after writing! This has also led to true joy and peace, something that has been hard to find since my journey with anxiety and depression started, my anxiety in my teens and my depression around 17, 18.

Working through negative emotions is part of self-care

I've learned that you shouldn't chase happiness - it will come to you and as much as negative emotions suck, they're important!

And to also remember that taking rest days and mental health days is equally as important.

You're only human and you are trying your absolute best.

I’m also learning that healing is super hard but important. I've learned that I cannot reach perfection and that's not the goal. The goal is to slowly get to peace.

And again, negative emotions are hard, but I'm super grateful for what they teach me. I'm grateful to feel and be human. Take a breath, you're alive and doing great, everything else absolutely does not matter. You will be fine and figure out whatever you need to.

Here's to healing, trying, doing you and just being alive. Grateful for my life.

By providing your email address, you are agreeing to our privacy policy.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The SpinalMuscularAtrophy.net team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

Join the conversation

Please read our rules before commenting.