For me, it started three years ago, when I was 17. I slammed into a cement wall head-on at 90 kilometres an hour, compacting the front hood of my car into the length of a shoe, as my face slammed into the airbag-less steering wheel. I was told by the officer who charged me that this type of crash should have taken my life and the fact that I had come away with nothing but a bloody nose was nothing short of a miracle. You would think that kind of event would turn one’s perspective on life optimistic, but again, that was just the beginning.
Since then, life has been a mental struggle, or at least a strange jigsaw puzzle three years in the works. Depression and anxiety entered the mix after the accident, followed by suicidal thoughts about a year later, which have fluctuated to varying degrees ever since. It’s ranged from the typical, “I just want to go to sleep forever,” to actually trying to buy most of the materials necessary; and believe me, it’s a strangely surreal feeling staring down your death in the form of a helium tank on Amazon.com, but anyways…
The more I’ve thought about it the more I wonder…why?
If you told the 10-year-old me where I’m at today and what I’m doing, he would be very excited, and even I can recognize, at this moment, that I’m following the paths to (hopefully) living out two of my life dreams. But then again, he was way too naïve to know what was to come in between, so you can’t really blame him.
He had no idea he’d enter such an emotionally draining romantic relationship for three years, or fall into the wrong crowd of drug-slinging “friends,” nor did he have a clue of the immense sacrifices necessary to pursue those dreams. And he definitely didn’t expect that the time spent in college would be some of the loneliest times in his life.
At this point, I’d like to think all the parties I’ve missed and the times where I just didn’t talk to anyone for days on end was all time spent perfecting my passions, but that would be just as naïve a thought as I would’ve had 10 years ago. An unfortunate fraction of that time has been spent in the same loop of negative thinking that weighs down your mind, and wears it out over time.
So, what’s the moral of the story? I’d love to tell you to follow your dreams blindly like I did but it probably wouldn’t be very smart, considering where I’m at, but I do think there’s at least a little bit we can do for ourselves, based on my own experiences.
End all your relationships that provide any sort of negative experience and find people that truly believe in you and what you do. I know from personal experience how difficult it is when it’s your best friend or a romantic partner but in the long run it’s so much better to have true support from one or two good friends than to surround yourself with tons of plaguing negativity or even apathy. Because whether you realize it or not, it will drag you down to their level, something below your own potential.
Try to think of life as a game of probabilities; in every aspect of your life, put yourself in a position where everything you do will make the success of doing what you love more probable. Who knows, maybe one day, I’ll be able to actually stick to my own advice.