The following is an article from a man who writes about mental health issues on his own blog. His name is Patrick Bailey. Check out some of Patrick’s writings.
Below is an article he wrote coming from a girl he once met on a Spiritual Retreat. It rings close to home with my own Personal Story. Making other people happy despite the consequences of losing yourself, being afraid to even question “Who Am I”?
Reading Patrick’s articles makes me feel very honored to have him on Crammed Mind as a guest writer. Have a read and leave a comment below. Whether you are, have been or know of anyone that has felt so crippling of fear that you have no idea who you are.
The Never-Ending Expectations
My name is Melissa, and I used to be an addict.
I cannot remember when I started taking refuge in alcohol and drugs, but I do remember the feeling every time I drank and got high. Cliché as it may sound, but it still holds true, alcohol and drugs made me forget about every single thing that was bothering me.
I grew up in a very strict, traditional household. I’m the eldest of 3 children. My mother is a serial perfectionist. She wanted everything to be according to what she wants. There’s no room for argument or excuse because she had planned everything accordingly. When I started going to school, I was 4 years old then but still, I can vividly remember how my mother would want me to be on top of my class. She would not let me sleep until I could write and read properly.
Each year, it got worse. When I was in primary school and in middle school, she would wait outside my classroom and ask my classmates how I faired in class and in exams. To cope with her expectations, I would study hard until I memorised everything. I would not stop until I could understand my lessons. I did it not out of sincere want, but all out of fear.
When I went to college, it didn’t stop. My mother forced me to enroll in the best university in the state and even forced me to take up a pre-med course because she wanted me to be a doctor. She was expecting too much from me. I didn’t want it, but I was young, and I feel like I can’t stand up for myself. Of course, it would be a lie if I said that I was not afraid to go against my mother’s will. I cried that day I had to enroll. I cried because I knew I was already miserable. I felt like my life was not my own. I felt like I was doing everything just to survive my mother’s wrath and disappointment.
Fast forward, I did enroll in a pre-med course but since I’m not good with anything related to Science, I had to triple my efforts to get high grades. For two weeks, I was severely depressed. I was in a new environment, far from home but still unhappy, empty, and more miserable. I seldom slept because of the pressure. The longest number of hours of sleep I had when I was in college was 3 hours, and that was on weekends. My grades were good because of my diligent efforts.
My parents, especially my mother, were very proud of me. They would always boast about me whenever our relatives gathered or when their friends would ask how I was.
It made me happy to know that my mother was happy. For me, that was enough. To me, as long as she’s proud of me, I don’t care how it’ll damage me physically, emotionally, and psychologically.
I was in my junior year in college when I met Victoria. She’s carefree, strong-willed, and has an “I don’t care” kind of attitude. I was amazed by her personality, and I learned she just got out of holistic recovery center after treatment for substance abuse. I didn’t mind. I looked up to her as if she’s my knight in shining armor who came to rescue me from my misery. I started hanging out with her on weekends. She was using substances again and taught me how to party and how to drink. The first time I got drunk was at the time she invited me to her friend’s house party. Despite the hangover, I had fun. For the first time in the longest time, I felt free. This is how it feels just to do whatever you want.
From weekend parties and booze to daily clubbing and smoking weed. I didn’t know how dangerous it was because I was just having fun.
Unfortunately, my mother found out about my new friend and my new hobby. She was so furious that time and heaven knows how badly beaten I was physically and emotionally after our confrontation. I badly wanted to seek professional help by entering a holistic recovery center, but I was so ashamed. I don’t know how to tell people what I’ve been going through.
My whole family decided to move to the city where my university was, and I had to move out of the university dorm and stay with them. My mother wanted to monitor all my activities.
It was living hell, but my fear is greater than my need for liberty, so I succumbed to my mother’s decisions.
I graduated from college with highest honors that’s why my parents were very proud of what I have accomplished. They bought me a brand-new car as a gift, but the condition was I should only use it if I get into med school.
And so, just like how it used to, I obliged. I enrolled in med school against my will. There was never a single day I was happy with what I was doing. I did not mingle. I kept it all to myself. And then I learned to experiment with prescription drugs. They kept me afloat despite the chaos. They numbed the pain of endless, mindless expectations. They made me forget that my own parents imprisoned me in a life I never wanted.
It is a terrible life I’m leading, but I’m helpless. I want to get out, but I’m too weak to find a way. I want to know what it feels to be truly happy but I’m afraid it won’t ever come to me.
I just want anybody to hear my plea for help.
Just the other day, I met Joseph. We have the same demons, but I don’t know why I feel less insecure and unsafe now. I know we are both far from the ideal state and we still got a very long way to go to overcome our fears but with a reliable companion, I’m starting to see things getting better.
Phil’s Rambles on the above:
As good as it may feel to numb out the real world, Alcohol and Drugs are not the way to escape the reality of life. It does make everything seem petty and not important, until you wake up the next day, or start to lose yourself even more. I love that Melissa, has found a companion who has similar issues. People say that you can never heal with people who are the same. I don’t believe that, I believe they could be the biggest support system for each other. All they need is the fire in their belly to succeed and determination to find who they are. Regardless of the situations they are in.