I’ve been thinking a lot about the future. I’ve been thinking a lot about independence and my struggles with it and, most of all, my career. I’ve been thinking about transferring to another university and falling into the same hole I have over here of never reaching out and saving my grades by the skin of my teeth at the last minute. I’ve been wondering what I really, really want to do with my life.
I’ve been wondering about this position I hold now and how much it’s impacted me on an internal level. How I thought I’d had it all figured out before, how I was so arrogant about my “progressive” stance in the mental health industry. How I preached that those of us struggling with our mental health should band together and be a community and “F.T.I.” as Tech N9ne would say. “Fuck. The. Industry.” How I preached all of that and failed to see that my vendetta against the industry has literally made no impact. It did nothing. It never will do anything.
So I’m changing my visions.
And I’ve got ideas. Boy do I have ideas.
What I’ve experienced with respite houses is unfathomable love and support. I experienced some genuine concern and gentleness from people in the hospital, but not at this level. I pray for the day we see a hybrid cross between the two: a peer respite that has hospital services that aren’t down your throat, up your ass kind of services. In fact, I want to be apart of that merge. I don’t think any kind of mental health care can move forward without us being a true influencing force behind it.
By “influencing force” I mean participating within the industry.
We could burn down the APA and the pharmaceutical billionaires, but as much as that fantasy really titillates my pleasure glands, what good will that really do?
So I’ve been thinking up ideas. I’ve been thinking of ways to both involve myself in the mental health community and ways to get the mental health community and I in all the rest of the aspects of community. I’ve been thinking of starting something.
I have many, many ideas. Not starting something big, not starting something wholly impressive like Paypal or Tesla, but something smaller, maybe like a Lenovo IdeaPad compared to a Macbook Pro. We all have to start somewhere.
“Oh no, what now, don’t go off the deep end”.
I know you’re all thinking that. But this idea that I have, I’ve been putting a lot of organization and thought into it. I’ve also been thinking about how rough of a transition it is to go from hospitalization to different programs and places and how it can feel like you’re being juggled around from place to place, from people to people, and even when some of the places are good, it can get exhausting to deal with it all. I’ve also been thinking about how important it can be to have an advocate on your side, and how–at least with the system in this town–if you’re not part of a specific program and you’re struggling or end up the hospital, there aren’t too many options for you.
There’s this weird middle ground between a classification of “moderate” and “severe”, between “insured” and “uninsured”, between “needs daily help” and “is generally well”, Between “no support” and “has support”. And I’ve been wondering, since I’m one of these middle ground people who sometimes struggle reaching out, what would beneficial for me? What kind of program that is connected in some way to peer programs?
A program that is a good educator for the community. Sure, NAMI does that I believe, but that’s not their main focus. They have many things they focus on, which is great. They’re a huge ass organization, with great funding. But what about something focused on advocacy and education? On helping people in hospitals, especially new-comers, finding all the possible resources that could help them get back on their feet? Something that worked in conjunction to peer places and other like-minded programs? Something that, perhaps, helped vocationally or volunteer wise? Something–anything–to promote peer connection and community connection?
At the moment, there’s a fellowship I’m attempting to receive, that would help me create something like this locally. It’s going to take a while.
A condition of the fellowship, were I to receive it, is that I drop out of college. That scared me.
I came back to it and read their mission, their reasoning for this requirement, and I fell in love with it. I’m willing to give up college for the time being to become a part of something worth more than a degree. College isn’t going anywhere.
I’ve never been a college kid anyway. I’m good at academia, but it’s never been my real interest. My ideas have been my real interest. Besides, since when was school for smart people?
Why would I wait another ten years to start a bit of what I planned on starting from the beginning any damn way? Why pass up an opportunity to Just Do It?
Obviously the refined finishings will be more innovative than what I put up there, and worth the amount put in by the investors and the amount awarded. I’ll be updating everyone on this. It’s not a “sudden” thing, really, I’ve been thinking about this idea for a couple years, before I even knew something like a respite house or a peer program existed.
What I want to do will be different and much smaller. It won’t be a respite or a group or anything that already exists. It will be smaller than all of the combined, but profound nonetheless, and connected to all of the above. I’ve got until I turn 23 to develop this idea to finite pieces, pitch it, and get the fellowship. That’s a year and a half. If there were ever a time for hypomania to be introduced to my life, now would be the time.
Ha ha see I can make jokes too.
I’ll stop now.