Originally published 1/31/2018
I think I had a mental breakdown recently. Or I’ve been having a constant mental breakdown for a few years and I finally snapped. What it comes down to is, I think, that I’m lost. I don’t know who I am. I’m not proud of anything I’ve done. I don’t know what I want to do with my life. I don’t feel like I’m contributing anything of value to the world. (I also feel like I’ve missed a whole bunch of steps as a parent and now I don’t know how to back up and fix any of it.) I’ve proven myself as a failure at everything I’ve tried to do.
And when I think about going forward…I don’t even know where I fit into this world as anything other than a wife and mother. But, though those are certainly a significant part of who I am as a person, I honestly don’t know who I am outside of those things. I don’t feel like I have an identity. I don’t have a purpose. I’m not working toward anything. I’m not making a difference. And the problem is I don’t even know how to change it. I don’t know what I COULD do that would fill this space, this emptiness.
There are a lot of things I want to do. Things that I’m kind of good at. But I don’t have the confidence in myself, in my abilities, to do any of it. To try to compete in a world where I’m kind of good at things but everyone else is way better. And I don’t really know how to get better at any of the things I’m kind of good at.
I thought I wanted to teach. I really did. I’ve wanted to be a teacher my whole life. But the more classes I took, the less excited about it I got. And it got to a point where it was so stressful just getting through the coursework that I couldn’t even figure out why I was doing it anymore. So I quit. Again. And I feel like a complete and total failure for quitting – even moreso because people helped me try to reach this goal, financially and otherwise, and I abandoned it. But continuing to go down a path that I’m sure isn’t going to make me any happier – and racking up even more debt doing it – didn’t seem like the right thing to do.
But I question every decision I make. I feel like every problem we’ve had, every hardship we’ve been through, every ounce of stress we’ve had to endure has been because I fucked up somewhere along the line and make things harder for us. And because I constantly feel like a fuckup, I make even more stupid decisions that cause even more problems.
And in all this is Ryan. My constant. The person who, no matter what, sticks with me. Believes in me. Loves me. I don’t deserve him. But I am beyond thankful that he refuses to give up on me.
The problem is…I just don’t know what to do. I don’t know if there’s anything I could do for a living that would actually make me happy. That I would genuinely enjoy doing. I really though I enjoyed marketing, but I clearly wasn’t good enough at it. And I’ve been out of it for so long that I’m way behind on the limited knowledge I had to begin with.
I love acting, but it doesn’t pay unless you get really lucky, and I can’t relocate our family and screw everything up again to follow a dream that may never come to fruition. I don’t even think I’m good enough to try.
I’m a good writer, but what the hell can I do with that as a career? Again, good, but not great. I don’t even know HOW to write a novel, and even though I have ideas bouncing around I don’t know how to harness them into a world, into a story.
And my lack of confidence in my ability to do anything traps me in a shroud of apathy. I’m never going to be good at anything, so why even try?
And now we’ve moved. We moved halfway across the country, away from everything I’ve ever known. And I have no identity. I don’t know who I am, or what I want to do, or where I’m going, or what I’m doing. I just…exist.
What am I supposed to do?