Trapped Between Passion and Practicality

I wish I could focus on my passion full-time.

Posted Dec 12, 2020

Mood swings” was how I described the nature of my depression to Dr. Lev during our Zoom session this past week. “From really low to just low.”  

 © Artem Beliaikin/Pexels
Source: © Artem Beliaikin/Pexels

“Up and down, back and forth,” I told her. “It’s exhausting.”

“That medication. The last one you gave me. It did nothing.” 

“You can throw it out,” Dr. Lev said. Silent, she waited.

I shrugged. “I don’t know what to say.” I started to tell her all the projects in progress with my mental health and advocacy organization. Even I could hear the level of enthusiasm in my voice shoot up as I spoke with passion about my own business.

Dr. Lev didn’t let that change in timbre slide by. “Is it possible you’re conflicted between working at your business for which you have enthusiasm and working at your day job which you’re not too fond of?”

 © Zara/Pexels
Source: © Zara/Pexels

My voice dropped back down, as did my mood. I acknowledged I felt trapped and I wished I could work full-time at my business. “I don’t see it happening. I’m not making any money. Maybe when I finish my book.” I looked down at my feet in fuzzy slippers, eyes off the computer screen. “Maybe. Maybe not.”

“Do you ever feel like your mood improves?” 

I considered Dr. Lev’s question.  

“When I’m around people,” I finally answered. “Not necessarily Zoom. I’ve had enough of Zoom. When I’m with (my brother), Daniel up at his house or even at physical therapy because Amy, my PT, always makes me laugh. Even when she’s hurting me.

"Thank God I have (my rescue dog) Shelby. If it weren’t for her, there would be stretches of days where I wouldn’t get out of the apartment. But even she is stressful. I always have in the back of my mind I might fall when she gets so reactive towards other dogs. There’s always the chance of my feet getting tangled up in the leash and she likes to go behind me. I love her though. We were meant for each other.”

“What comes to mind?” She asked after a prolonged silence.

I’m not suicidal,” I told her, “but when I see articles written on them or hear a story or the news, it just seems to catch my attention more than usual.”

©  enricomantegazza | Pexels.
Source: © enricomantegazza | Pexels.

“Part of me wants to restrict,” I confessed. “Just to feel that super sense of control.” I’ve been wasting time watching YouTube videos of stories of anorexia and I see how thin the girls are and I think I could do that again. Then I remember how miserable I was, sitting in my nutritionist’s office crying. I don’t want to go back there. I have too much to lose.

Dr. Lev raised an eyebrow in quiet approval. We both realized this was a victory. It didn’t matter how many years out it was from my last hospitalization for anorexia. For me, the behaviors remain reticent, but the eating disorder mindset is loud and clear.

Forty-five minutes was almost up. I wanted to make the most of my time. My brain was straining for something to say. Nothing coherent was coming. Nothing that made sense.

Dr. Lev smiled. “You know where to find me,” she said as her hand moved to click the "Leave Session" button.

Thanks for reading.

 ©  Andrea Rosenhaft
Source: © Andrea Rosenhaft