The Mighty Logo

When You Feel Held Back From Greatness by Your Mental Illness

The most helpful emails in health
Browse our free newsletters

“There’s this person inside my head. She’s brilliant, capable. She’s me, only so much better. And I’m afraid I will never become this person.” — Meredith Grey, “Grey’s Anatomy.”

This hit home for me tonight… I’m laying in bed, still slightly lethargic from my latest depression and new medication addition. But, in my head, are finally-clearing thoughts that aren’t so negative. It’s like the cloud is lifting and my creativity is again infusing the brain that felt useless for a whole week.

Recently, I was offered a position at work that I would have normally jumped at. It was a good learning opportunity, but would have been a challenge walking in to help clean things up and turn things around. It would have required more dedication and more on-call hours. I like a challenge. When I’m well I am so productive, creative and innovative.  I feel like I connect with people and I make positive changes.

Unfortunately, with the nature of my illnesses, I can’t count on being well all of the time. I can’t maintain a fast pace and ridiculous schedules and loads of stress… not for long periods, at least. I’ve learned through counseling that these are triggers for me.

The best thing to maintain stability is to work where I have flexibility, but normal hours. Where I have some autonomy to be creative, and where I can maintain some routine and structure. Stress is inevitable in any position, but mostly manageable.

And that’s exactly what I have right now.

So, although I am “capable” of the position, I chose not to pursue it. This was a decision that made my health a priority. It was rational and pretty big according to my counselor.

But this has me thinking… I have mental and physical chronic illnesses, and although I am capable of doing big things, I may never do them. My health has to be my priority and I have to set healthy boundaries – and yet I feel robbed. I feel like I have these limitations and it just plain sucks. So, I have a question for my readers, because I’m curious and looking for some way to rationalize this…..

Do you feel your mental illness or chronic illness has limited your ability to pursue greater things? If so, how do you cope with that? How do you accept it?

Is it just a matter of mindset?

Anyway, I would really appreciate your feedback.

Thank you,

One Flawsome Momma

We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here.

Thinkstock photo via Tawatdchai Muelae

Originally published: July 7, 2017
Want more of The Mighty?
You can find even more stories on our Home page. There, you’ll also find thoughts and questions by our community.
Take Me Home