I’ve Got a Dream

I wrote the majority of this post 2 days ago when I was still feeling really down. I have not altered what I wrote at all. I have just added on the end. I credit the emotional release I had while writing this for helping me turn the tide on my fight with the darkness this week, even though that release had nothing to do with anything that has been bothering me this week.

First of all if you thought MLK instead of Tangled when reading the title, you clearly don’t know me very well.

I’m not responsible if you have that song stuck in your head for the rest of the day.

Anyways, my dream is to help people with depression using running and social support in addition to traditional therapy and medication.

So I’m starting to seriously consider going back to school to get a degree in psychology/health psychology, with the aim of being accepted into a graduate program and becoming a clinical psychologist. I’ve been fascinated by the subject ever since I took a few psychology classes way back 7 or 8 years ago when I first attended a community college, before transferring to AMU. I loved those classes and would have gladly continued studying the subject (even as just filler electives) if AMU had offered more classes (they added the Psychology major my junior or senior year).

I’m supposed to go meet with Hubby’s Health Psych professor, who is also department chair, as well as a clinical psychologist, making him the perfect person to talk to.

But to be honest, I’m terrified.

This basically summed up my last college experience:


It wasn’t that I was screwing off and didn’t care, it’s just that I really started having problems with my depression (even though I didn’t know that was my problem) and I just couldn’t cope with the stress, which became a self-feeding cycle of self defeat


I had dreams of going to Grad School and becoming a historian; teaching college history courses while doing research and writing books on my favorite subjects (Ireland and Absinthe), but by Senior year it was clear that I wasn’t going to have the grades to get into grad school, especially not the ones I had my eye on or any school that offered topics I was interested in.

To this day I feel like I let everyone down: my family, my mentors, and most especially myself. It is without a doubt the biggest regret of my life. In fact, just writing all this has brought me to tears, that is how much it hurts.

I have a friend who graduated the year after me who has a lot of the same academic interests as me, as well as the same mentor. I was always one of the first ones she’d tell when a grad school acceptance letter came in, most of which were from schools in the UK. I have to admit, while I was genuinely happy for her; every update, every picture, and every story she shared while in grad school in Scotland almost made me cry. I was SOOO filled with jealously and guilt, because that could have and should have been me as well (although I never let on to her that I felt this way).
I kept telling myself God had/has better plans for my life and that I wouldn’t trade my husband and son for the world (which is true, I don’t regret that at all), but it is SO hard to watch your friend live your dream. I felt, and in many ways still feel like, life is passing me by.

Going back to school for a bachelor’s in psychology (which will only take a year, maybe a year and a half) would be a way to redeem myself and feel like I’m actually doing something with my life and finally succeeding at something I have always had a passion for: school.

But I’m terrified that I won’t be able to handle it, that the stress will be too much.  Or that I’ll put in all the work in for the bachelor’s and I won’t get accepted into a graduate program because I fucked up so bad my first time through college, especially because I’ll have limited options for Grad School, because Hubby’s schooling takes priority, so I’ll have to find a program near wherever he ends up.

And failing like I did last time is a VERY real fear to me, especially this week. This is in part because my depression is winning right now so I am filled with negative feelings. But I’m also aware that weeks like this are the exact reason why things went the way they did last time; and if it could happen now what is to stop it from happening when I have a paper or exam, or during midterms or finals. And I can’t afford to have that happen. This is my last chance to do it right.

I’m also worried that, like my more or less failed start-up business, that I’ll invest all the money, time, and passion into it, then wake up one morning to discover the passion gone, which makes it really difficult to keep fighting through the tough days when the darkness starts to win. And after having gone through that so recently, I’m really afraid to start something new just to have the same thing happen. It’s so hard to tell what is the result of my brain fixating on something that seems like a good idea, or what is actually a good idea.

This is one of the worst things about depression. You doubt every thought and idea you have, because you don’t know when it is just your depression talking. It is frustrating and impossible to tell the difference.

I think I’ve finally turned a corner and I’m starting to feel better (the emotional release I had while writing this helped a lot). Hopefully I’ll go for a run this evening, but I may not be able to. I woke up this morning with a soreness in my lower back (in the area where I was injured in my car accident 3 years ago) that has only gotten worse. I’ve spent most of the day laid up on the couch just trying to manage the pain. I suspect the disc below the bad vertebrae is deteriorating; which I was told after my accident would happen, it was just a matter of when. I’m hoping I just aggravated it and I’ll feel fine later today or tomorrow, but there is the distinct possibility that I might need to start treatment for the disc. We shall see what happens.


2 thoughts on “I’ve Got a Dream

  1. First of all, girlfriend, this is NOT your “last chance to do it right.”

    Stop that crazy talk! The chances only stop coming when you stop breathing.

    I’m guessing you’re in your early to mid-twenties. I did not start grad school until I was 30 (with little four kids, a full-time job, and a very supportive wife), and I was certainly not the oldest student in my classes. YOU GOT THIS! Grad school is different. The folks who go (aside from MBAs, who are just weird) are there because they WANT to be there, because they have the drive and the maturity. You’ve shown that you have these. Plus you have real-world experience in the field you’re pursuing.You’re golden! Knock out that undergrad degree and feel ten feet tall! Then stride into graduate school like a badass. (Just sayin’)

    My humble recommendation (take it or dismiss it) is that you begin reading in the field. (You’ve probably already done this more than I know.) Get familiar with the lingo and the standards and the trends and the names and all that stuff. Build a foundation. Come at school prepared and you probably won’t feel the panic (as much). And realize that even people who don’t have the darkness feel panic from school. Be self taught as you approach school. (I already had 20+ articles and one short story published when I began my master’s program in professional writing. It gave me a psychological edge that really sustained me.)

    I realize your biggest demon is the darkness. I don’t want to be dismissive of that. And I know I can’t do much to help you fight that battle. But I do know about grad school and what that takes. I’m pretty sure you have what that takes.

    (Finally, MLK said “I HAVE a dream” so I didn’t mistake your quote. I don’t know that song — my youngest turned 30 last summer — and I’m not about to click on the link and get an earworm.)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for the vote of confidence and the advice.

      I’m actually in my late 20s, I’ve been a non-traditional student most of my college career. I started my bachelor’s degree at 21, I got married my junior year and was pregnant with EJ most of senior year (which certainly didn’t help my already difficult grade situation).
      I’ve always been under the impression that grad school is super competitive (which might come from the fact that most of the ones I wanted to go to for history either were full-ride and stipend for all accepted students or were in Europe), but if you think I can do it, then I think I can do it!
      I’ve done a lot of reading and Hubby studies for his Health Psych class by teaching me what they went over in class that week. That is part of what I hope to gain out of meeting with Hubby’s prof: some reading material to help me prepare.

      I’m hoping running will continue to help me fight the darkness, and hopefully at that point I will also be able to be on medication, which will also make the fight easier. And Hubby, who is almost done with his second bachelor’s, says it’s easier the second time around, because you appreciate all the things you took for granted the first time.

      I actually origionally titled the article “I Have A Dream” when I wrote it, then today when I went to embed the video I discovered that the Tangled song is I’ve Got a Dream, so I changed the title and forgot to take that part out. You are wise not to risk the earworm. But if I remember correctly you said your daughter is expecting, so you’ll have to get used to the Disney Earworms at some point 😉
      EJ’s grandma (my MIL) is moving in with us soon, and she’s going to lean that the hard way (even though Hubby is her youngest, EJ is her only grandchild).
      Thank you again for your advice, I really needed that!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s