Long, Rambling Post About Dreams and Self Doubt

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Well, I'll be 24 on September 9th. I know that's still young, but I feel like my life is just flying by and I'm not doing anything with it. I have an anxiety disorder that has honestly crippled me, and I'm just so fed up!

I'm a high school drop out. My highest level of education is grade 9.

I want to do something with my life, I *know* what I want to do with it, but I'm afraid to go after it because I'm afraid I will fail. It's one thing to say "I will not let anxiety control my life" but it is a whole nother thing to actually get over an anxiety disorder.

The logical solution that a lot of people would suggest is drugs, but I do not like putting anything in my body that will change my natural body chemistry - not even birth control. This is a personal choice I made after I was put on Paxil as a teen and it almost killed me.

In the past year I have truly gotten better with my anxiety, all on my own. When faced with a stressful situation that will normally lead to an anxiety attack, I try as often as possible to use the ABCDE method, which I recommend to anyone dealing with stress or anxiety.

So basically, I feel like I've been making personal, albeit slow, progress. But now that I'm finally getting a handle on things, I'm feeling very dissatisfied with my life. I mostly feel guilty that my husband has been left with all of the financial responsibility. I want to stand on my own two feet, you know? At out wedding we had a beautiful poem read, it was called The Prophet on Marriage, by Khalil Gibran:

And stand together, yet not too near together.

For the pillars of the temple stand apart,

And the oak tree and the cypress

grow not in each other's shadow.

I mean, could this be any more true? I truly believe that to have a happy life and to have a happy marriage, I have to learn how to stand on my own two feet. And I want to so badly, but I have so many doubts in myself.

I am an artistic person. People always told me I should go to school and "do something" with my drawing. But drawing is not my dream. Photography is my dream. When I think of my life and what I want to so with it, all I think of is photography. I don't know that I have a talent for it, but I know it's what I love. I see these gorgeous pictures sometimes and it feels like I can stare for days, just completely in awe of the photographer. I always think "I wish I could be as talented".

My husband has always known what he wanted to do with his life. He wants to pursue music, and study the recording arts. He always said that it wasn't about how much money you made, but whether or not you were happy doing what you do.

And to be honest, I know photography is not the most lucrative job field, and I don't care! I just want to take pictures.

Does that make sense at all?

I've been looking for schools in the Toronto/Mississauga area that offer programs in photography, but I feel so intimidated by it all. My husband is supportive, but not in a very . . . "showy" kind of way, and I feel like I really need someone to tell me "Hey, you can do this!"

Many people have overcome more obstacles and adversity than I currently face, and have gone on to achieve much more than I hope to acheive . . . but I feel like they have something inside them that I must lack.

What do you guys think? Is it true what people say? "You can do it if you put your mind to it". Can we really turn our little (or big) dreams into reality?

Oh well, I said this was going to be a rambling post, and I sure delivered!!
laugh.gif


-Kee

 
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No prob,I just wish I had known about her before. She is such an inspiration. And she is soooo funny too. Her name is Dale Smith Thomas

 
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Actually Kee photography is one of those things is not completely necessary to study in order to practice it and that comes from the mouth of my photography professor which is quite a successful photographer himself. You just need to start, learn about the equipment which you could do by yourself and call yourself a photographer lol. I know it's always better to study, that's what I do and it gives you confidence about what you're doing, but you could always learn by yourself. I know you can do it. You can build a nice portfolio, offer your services for proms and weddings first and then keep going up till you're doing the kind of photography you want to do, you could even have your own studio. I mean there's no limits you only have to overcome the barrier you've put in front of yourself and start walking towards the goal.

I'm in a similar situation, but kind of backwards. I am studying medicine, well not yet I'm still finishing my Bachelor's degree in Biology, I love science but I must say my real passion is art. I mean I could paint all damn day, yet I don't. I don't even have time for it because what I study takes up all the time, I like it, it's my challenge but the gratification doesn't come from a passion, it comes from the fact that I'm doing something that's not easy and I'm overcoming the challenges, so I feel proud about myself. I always feel jealous of people that do art as a living, like really jealous because I never had the courage to just say, you know what I'm good at science but art is what I love. I'm going to earn less as an artist (Which is arguable because you never know.) but it's my passion. I've been fighting this ever since I got into college, four years of studying my ass off and being one of the best at something I don't feel is what I really love. Yep I suck lol. I just hijacked your thread, sorry lol!

 
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Yes you can do it if you put your mind too it. Ive been dealing with alot of crap in my house and i guess if those things didnt happen i would have never graduated from college. Sometimes you need a big push and belive in yourself. Set goals and meet them one by one not all at once. Kee im 2 days older than you. lol

 
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just want to say i admire you for braving your anxiety all on your own..i really admire the fact you dont alter your body in any way!

 
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You are very strong to overcome anxiety in the way that you have.

I just want to add another perspective to the "altering of chemistry" discussion... because I am a science nerd I feel I have to, LOL! Only joking.

While it is of course your own decision to take or not to take any medication, another side to this is that your "natural body chemistry" is already altered, and that is why you suffer from anxiety. It is a bit like taking insulin for diabetes - the natural body chemistry of a diabetic means insulin must be added from a synthetic source in order for the person to function. Of course, anxiety disorders aren't always as life threatening as a lack of insulin production, but hopefully you understand what I am trying to say.

Note that I am not in any way saying "oh go take meds for god's sake", I just wanted to add another view to the thing.

Regarding your dreams, I think we all doubt ourselves when it comes to living out our highest dreams. Maybe there is so much at stake then, so we don't want to fail. It is more hurtful to fail at the thing you want to do more than anything than to fail at something you don't care so much about.

I think you can definitely do whatever it is you want to do. Photography school sounds like a great idea. I'd say apply. And if you're not accepted, apply again. One of my best friends always wanted to do industrial design, and she had to apply 3 times before she was accepted. But she was accepted!

Also, I wanted to ask if there is any way you can study for your high school diploma at home? Maybe that could be a good thing for you since you have your anxiety disorder - I take it that could mean a problem for you when you are out among people?

 
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I have no doubt you can make it, Kee. I mean pursueing your passion of photography and being content with what you achieved.

What´s funny is that I have no problem trusting in other people´s abilities, but when thinking of myself all I see is failure. I´ll be graduating from med school in 2 years, yet I feel like I haven´t accomplished anything special yet in my life.

So I can´t really offer much advice other than saying "I know you can do it". Which I wished I could say to myself and believe in it lol.

So yeah, I totally know where you´re coming from!!!!

I wish you the best of everything!!!

P.S: I am gonna check out that ABC model for anxiety relief, it sounds really interesting.

 
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Kee, have you ever considered NSCC in Halifax? I know its not Toronto, but its bigger then NFLD and cheaper then TO. I took the radio and tv program they had which was in the Valley, but is moving to Halifax next month. It would keep you a little closer to the good things in NFLD.

 
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Kee, I think we all can do it if we put our minds to it. I have an anixety disorder too and what really helped me was EMDR. If there are any specific events from your past that make you feel horrible about yourself, it might be able to help you, too. You just have to find a therapist who's been trained in it.

 
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Kee,

I know that dealing with anxiety is hard, I know because I have it too. It is difficult to get over, and it takes a lot of time. I am on antidepressants because I am depressed as well, and can say it helped the hell out of me. It's definitely a personal choice though. I have been like this for a good ten years, and without my pills I would be a different person completely. I credit the actual problem solving and understanding (obviously) to extensive therapy though. It takes a long time to "get over" something, and until then, it's a matter of acceptance and knowing that it takes work to have anything be any different. My anxiety has not been solved in the slightest by AD's, so I deal with it on my own. It is debilitating, but only if you allow it to be, and only if you view it that way. I understand that anxiety attacks are such a pain in the ass, but when you know how to cope like you do, it becomes less of a big deal.

As for doubting yourself...honestly, life is too short. In the end, you will be happier with what you did, than with how much money you made. I know for damn sure that you can do ANYTHING you want to do if you have the motivation and the courage. Literally, all my life I was told that I would amount to nothing but a cheerleader with a pretty face, I have two (well, 1 and 1/2 =P) BA degrees and got accepted to some very prestigious graduate schools. SCREW what other people think, screw debating...just do it. Not talented enough my ass. Honestly, some talent doesn't just happen...people learn and work at their talents. If you see someone whose photography is better than yours, set a goal to be like that, to work to get to that level and you will. My grandpa always told me "You're as good as the best, and better than the rest." It helped me keep myself up.

"He always said that it wasn't about how much money you made, but whether or not you were happy doing what you do." -- your husband is very smart. It is about being happy...everything else is just a bonus.

You can accomplish everything. If you want big rewards you need to take big risks ;] Is the risk worth the satisfaction you will gain? I say it is.

Good luck, Kee. You rock, and you DEFINITELY can do it.

 
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what she said!

seriously though Kee, maybe just look into the services available in your area, just short courses or internet stuff or whatever, it will give you a sense of control over your life.

I have 1 more year to go in my degree - the rest of this semester and next semester - and I want to do masters or move overseas, but i cant apply until I've graduated, so until april next year i just have to sit and wait. It's so frustrating but by ringing the student office up and askng lots of questions about it, I feel like it's really happening, and like I have better control over the situation

I have faith in you and I do truly believe that you can do whatever you want with your life -- don't let the fact that you havent graduated stop you doing what you really want to do. You can do it!

 
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I used to feel the exact same way too...but what made me feel better is taking the time out to celebrate the accomplishments you have made...big or small

i like literally pat myself on the back lol

 

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