One of the most difficult things for me to learn in my journey of mental health recovery is finding balance in all of the things I have in my life. It seems easier said than done, but it is necessary for me to sort through what is most important, set aside the things that aren’t, and to make sure I give myself a chance to rest and recover when I need it.
My struggle as an adult has been to not feel like a failure, and in order to achieve that, I have always jumped at any idea I had to pursue as either a career or to just give me some sort of fulfillment. I have always tried to attach my identity to whatever it is I was working on at the time, instead of focusing on just trying to be a better, healthier person.
A good example of this would be at this moment in my life. I have a good job. I love coffee, and it is something I am passionate about, and I finally got a good barista job at a coffee shop I love. I make decent money, and the job makes me happy. It also gives me plenty of time to work on Mental Geek stuff, which is a huge pro in my book. Mental Geek is an incredibly important project for me, because I really want to help make a positive change in both the geek and mental health communities. I don’t even give a shit if my name is attached to it or not, I just enjoy the work of it and what I am learning along the way.
My problem I am battling in my brain is that I feel like I am not spending enough time learning coding, and that I should make that my main focus, because I should be a grown up and get a high paying job ASAP in case anything bad happens and we need the money. My brain tends to just think of the worst case scenario at all times, and it is really annoying.
All this being said, I have to continue to step back and look at my life direction. As I said, I already have a job that I both love and make decent money at. I also have been using the time to work on what I love, which is Mental Geek. So, who in the hell am I trying to impress, and what void in my life am I trying to fill? I’ve been burning myself out because I am worrying about doing too much, and eventually I will neglect the important things in my life. Aside from work and mental geek, I have my physical health I am trying to improve. Oh, and being a husband. My wife has been incredibly supportive of all my ideas, no matter how good or bad. She has also been an amazing support for me during my mental health struggles. She is pretty damn strong, and deserves a husband that doesn’t neglect her for the sake of everything else in my life.
So, what am I rambling on about? Balance. Balance is important. Sometimes it’s important to take a step back and look at what is going on in your life. You may already be on the right path, but it’s so easy to be distracted by other ideas that you may not even notice how great things are. It is important to give yourself a break, because if you are trying to worry about a lot of things ALL THE TIME, you will crash and burn. Believe me, I have been there and it sucks. It’s not easy to avoid that, but it is avoidable.
I get to work in coffee, and use my time to help the Mental Health/Geek community, and I am learning all sorts of coding, mental health, and coffee skills in the midst of all this. I think that’s pretty cool.
I have had a lot of failures in my past, but I am not ashamed of them. They have all just been stepping stones to get to the point I am at now. I would never realize this if I didn’t pause to look at my life journey.
If you are struggling with trying to find a balance of what you want to do with your life vs what is going on in your life, maybe do what I have done. Take a break, and step back and look at where you have gone. Life is one long journey, and there is no need to overwhelm yourself to try find something to give you an identity. You probably already have a lot going on for yourself, you may not even notice if you are focused on always reaching for something else.
I don’t know exactly what my life will look like at the end of the year, next year, or five years from now, and that’s ok. I am learning to enjoy the process, and I know what I am passionate about now, and those things are worthy of my time, and my sanity is also worthy of my time. I am finding balance, one day at a time.