Life doesn’t go as planned, but we can always reflect. Here are some life updates, in case you’ve missed me. I know you did.
I was reflecting on where I was this time last year, and I noticed that so much has changed, but somehow, not at all? At the height of the pandemic, I was inspired. I was fit. I was PUMPED. I had routine. I had goals. I made the decision to apply to grad school. NYU Steinhardt for mental health counseling, here I come! And Fordham as a backup, just in case. But I was a shoo-in for NYU, of course. I was blogging like crazy, with a vision for the future. *Narrator: She was not a shoo-in. She got rejected. This started a spiral into a depressive episode.*
After a good cry, it was on to the next plan, I guess. In August 2020, I told my company I wasn’t happy, and ultimately it was decided I would leave at the end of the year. October 2020, I was hospitalized for suicidal ideation from a medication titration. In November 2020, I applied to NYU Silver School of Social work for their master’s program. In December, I was accepted with a scholarship and registered for classes four days later. In February 2021, I started classes, and March 2021, I began my field placement (i.e., social work internship) as a psychotherapist for an outpatient clinic. Oh, and I had Covid at the end of February. So fun. I’ve finished my first year with all As as a student with a disability. I also moved apartments in the middle of finals (do not recommend) from Washington Heights to Brooklyn.
I’ve also been battling a mysterious chronic illness. After I had Covid in February 2021, I started having migraines in April. When I went to my PCP, she asked how frequently I get headaches. I replied, “Uhhh, every day I guess? I thought that was normal?” To which she then referred me to a neurologist. Fast forward to June, the numbness and tingling in my limbs and face were so bad I couldn’t use my hands and my upper lip froze, my migraines worsened, no medication was helping, and I was having vertigo and was so lightheaded every day. On top of it, my depression was roaring. Oh yeah, and I officially got diagnosed with ADHD. And PCOS.
It’s been around five months, and I’m not any closer to an answer of whats been going on with my body physically. There are some treatments that alleviate the symptoms, but symptoms are questions, not answers. I’ve been to so many specialists and had so much blood drawn and things stab me and shock me and inserted in me, but still, no answers.
Some days I catastophize, and some days I practice radical acceptance. It’s been a hard few months (a hard 12 months, 24 months, to be honest), but every time that voice whispered in my ear “you can’t do this with a disability, you need to quit” I just get more motivated. Of course, with a good cry and a headache first.
I could count the last nine months in so many ways. The money I’ve spent on HomeGoods, the time lost from depressive episodes, the number of headaches and migraines I’ve tracked. The doctor’s appointments, the needles or procedures. But I could also count in a new light: The grades I’ve made, the friends I’ve made, the laughter I’ve cackled. The community I’ve created.
It was a whirlwind. It still is a whirlwind. I don’t know how I’m in my last fall semester before graduation, and somehow, it’s already almost October.
Point being: you can’t have the good without the bad. You cant have the bad without the good. I know that life won’t be all good all the time, and it isn’t always black and white. I am exhausted. I am drained. I’m so tired. But I love what I am working towards and I feel inspired every damn day. I’m not stuck in corporate America anymore, and I’m on my way to making a real change in the world.
Quit your job. Make the life change. Chase your passion. It won’t be easy, but it will be fulfilling.