One night last week my husband came home from work, kissed me on the forehead, and listened patiently while I excitedly told him about contacting Dr. Romero in Puerto Rico and about the organizations who’ve expressed support for this blog. Then he took my hands and looked me right in the eyes and said, “Honey, your original goal was to start a freelance writing career. You were supposed to use this blog to generate samples of your work to show potential clients and employers. I don’t think writing about your mental illness is the best way to make a good impression on people you want to work for.”
See, my husband is a really wonderful person. He’s patient and supportive, and he provides for me while I take the time to pursue my dream of being a writer, which I only decided to do after my mental illness lost me yet another paying job back in December. But boy, does he know how to burst a bubble.
Because he’s right; I have a passion for helping people and bringing about positive change in the world, and this blog was a way for me to do that, but I also have an obligation to help my husband pay the bills. All my life I’ve had to cope with the crushing guilt of being a huge financial burden on other people, and I wouldn’t want to keep living with that guilt even if I wasn’t expected to work.
The biggest kick in the pants was having to accept that the very stigma I set out to help erase will likely interfere with my own ability to get hired. But since that is, in fact, the reality of the situation, I have no alternative but to spend some time producing samples of my writing that I can actually show to employers without the fear of never being called back. (Plus, I still haven’t heard back from any of the experts who agreed to contribute to my blog.)
This is not a goodbye letter. I haven’t run out of steam in my support of our cause, and I’m not abandoning this blog so early in its development. I put a lot of work into setting this blog up, and I haven’t yet accomplished the goals I set out to achieve with it.
All I’m saying is that I need to scale back for a while so I can focus more of my energy on finding a way to get paid. I still have big plans for this blog, and I still intend to update once a week at the very least. But I am going to stop posting due dates for my updates, because I don’t know that I will be able to meet them precisely anymore.
Please keep checking back; this blog will be up and running for as long as I’m able to write or as long as it takes the world to get over its fear and mistrust (and sometimes disbelief) in mental illness.
Thank you so much for your support so far, and I look forward to contributing once more to your well-being.