Would You Want Someone as Messed Up as I Was to Be Your Therapist?
It will happen
Over the past five years on Medium, I’ve written about my life almost exclusively. If you read anything I wrote, you would have seen me deal with addiction, suicide, self-harm, depression, anxiety, psychosis, and a whole host of other things. To say I was deep in the rabbit hole is an understatement.
I used this platform as a form of therapy, as I researched mental health and wrote about the things that did and didn’t work for me. I thought many times about formally studying psychology in college, but I always held back. First, I thought if I ended up a therapist or counselor, hearing others’ problems day after day might send me down a spiral, then I wondered aloud if anyone even wanted a tattooed, mentally damaged, autistic, multipotentialite as a therapist in the first place.
Well, for I hope the final time, I switched my college major from computer science (which I hated with a passion) to psychology, with plans to get a graduate degree and beyond. I have this wild idea that I want to research how I could help people with mental illness at the crossroads of therapy, pharmaceuticals, cannabis, and other mind-altering substances like psilocybin and LSD – and put it together with AI and technology. I still have a passion for AI because I think it will greatly affect the future of humankind, and I still feel like the federal laws are holding back research on drugs like cannabis, LSD, and psilocybin.
I want to change that.
I feel like I have some ideas that I would like to research. Most of them aren’t new or unique, but stacking them, or pairing them up may see benefits where alone they failed. Of course, I want to write about it, both academically and in my various blogs and newsletters. All this time I’ve been writing about mental health with no authority – no titles or initials after my name. I’ve been writing from experience and from having helped myself get to a place where I can finally see some success. I came from a place where doctors once told me that I would be in institutions my whole life and I proved them wrong.
But now, I plan to do the hard work to get some credibility, even maybe seeing Dr. Weiland on a sign outside my office or lab. I am almost 55 and if I push hard, in 5 to 10 years I will see the fruits of my labor pay off.
But I need to keep myself healthy, both mentally and physically. I am still taking medication for psychosis, which is keeping me together, and I am working on my weight problem, as I seem only to be gaining weight as I age. If I want to have a decent career, I need to be healthy in body and mind and that will take hard work, especially getting my body back down to a healthy weight again.
I also have hypertension, diabetes, heart issues, neuropathy, and a few other things like back problems I deal with daily as I age. If I finally want to see the success I crave I am going to have to work to make sure I am healthy. I can’t be lazy.
The fact that I let myself get this heavy is a testament to my laziness, and I’ll be damned if I ruin the whole thing because I am afraid to actually put my head down and do the work.
The first step is an undergrad degree, which will happen in a year. After 30+ years, I am finally finishing my degree, and I couldn’t be happier. After that, I plan to find a college to do research and an assistantship and get my master’s and doctorate. I am already starting to look for professors of like mind to who I can attach myself as I progress through my studies – doctors and professors doing active research, teaching, and making a difference.
This is my time – after a life spent suffering with severe and debilitating mental illness, I am finally doing what I said I would all those years ago. I just have to manage my mental illness and my physical health.
I am on the edge of a huge chasm, and the next step will either see me broken at the bottom of the valley or see me spread my wings and fly like I was born to do.
I think I will fly, what do you think?