Ambition When You Have Depression

ambition and depression, having depression, mental health, mental illness, how depression affects work, this stuff is golden,

One of my favourite movies is Forgetting Sarah Marshall. What I love about it is Peter (played by Jason Segel, who also wrote the movie). It wasn’t the break-up between himself and Sarah that made me empathise or connect with the character, but instead it was his behaviours. His mental health.

In the movie, Sarah and Peter have an honest discussion about why Sarah cheated on him and ended up leaving him. It was all because of how he wasn’t trying to help himself in his life, and potentially couldn’t see that he was actually depressed. There is a montage of Peter wearing the same pyjama bottoms for five days in a row, sitting on the same sofa, eating the same huge bowl of cereal, being somewhat oblivious to his depression. I can relate.

A passive approach to life—where you depend on outside forces instead of your own resources—is often correlated with depression.
– Devorah Blanchor via Motherwell

Like Peter, I am a creative individual (in the movie he is a musician/composer, who ends up writing a Dracula musical with puppets, which is awesome by the way). I have a desire to become an entrepreneur/self-employed goddess, but each time I have an idea for something I could do, after a few days I will give up. Not only is this because of my impatience but also, mainly, because of my depression and lack of self-belief.

I begin to believe that because nothing has happened in those few days, because no money has come my way or things haven’t come to fruition as quickly as I thought they would, I’m not cut out for whatever it is that I am trying to achieve and I should just quit. So I do.

I am my own worst enemy, as is true with many people, old and young.

When I’m having a good day, I believe that maybe I could do something. Maybe I could have a little Etsy shop, maybe I could make my own zine, maybe I could sell my articles or writing services. It’s nice whilst it lasts.

Even on those good days, I’m too scared to get started. I daydream about running this little creative side-hustle alongside looking after my soon-to-be-born daughter, and maybe I’ll write in my notebook to do something that’ll make those daydreams come true. But then those negative thoughts come crashing down, shitting all over those daydreams, all over my confidence, all over any ambition that I had for a fleeting moment.

I really admire a lot of people, a lot of different writers that I have come across. I just want to grab them by the shoulders and ask them how they do it – how do they make money? How do they get through self-doubt and come out the other side? How do they rely on themselves? How have they become successful?

I suppose what it is that they do differently is that they don’t give up. They work through their imposter syndrome to get what they want, or at least, try their hardest.

I’m not sure if I’m ready to push through imposter syndrome just yet, and to be honest – giving birth is my main focus at the moment. Heck, it’s my only focus.

But maybe one day.

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