Mental Illness Won’t Keep Me From Following My Dreams

Throughout my adolescence I just knew I was going to be either a zoo keeper or a therapist. After taking a few classes at the local community college I decided psychology was much more my pace than biology, so therapist it was. I graduated with a bachelors degree with a major in psychology and a minor in sociology.

After graduation, I took a few years off so my husband could have his turn at school, it was then that my mental illness really started to take off.  I felt like there was no way I could have gone back to school once that happened. Then, after several hospitalizations, I decided that I couldn’t work in the mental health field because when I was hospitalized again it would mean being a patient of my coworkers.  After a while I decided to start this blog so that I could still make a difference, even if it’s a drop in a pond.

Another dream I have always had was to open a bookstore.  I never found it to be a very realistic dream and so I didn’t really ever entertain the idea for long.  Lately, though, I’ve started thinking about what my store would be like. It would of course have books, lots of books.  It would also have some book-themed items (like this shirt, it’s the most comfortable shirt I own AND is book themed). I would have cats there from the local shelter, and the cats would all be up for adoption. While waiting for their forever home, the cats would be spoiled with attention by cat loving customers (and me).  

I would also offer book related craft nights, book club meetings, and a lot of other programming, some with a fee and some simply to draw in customers.  I have had so many ideas and thoughts about this potential bookstore, but never took my thoughts seriously, because I have a mental illness.

I thought having a mental illness meant I could never succeed at something as big as opening a business. I talked about this recently in therapy, and Melissa (super-counselor without a cape) helped me see that people succeed all the time despite their mental illness. So maybe I might have a bookstore one day. Or maybe I’ll have another dream, but either way I can’t let my mental illness stop me from dreaming and in turn from living.

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