Since the age of 21, more specifically on my 21st birthday. I've had waves of anxiety and depression that come from feeling like I'm running out of time, fearful of feeling stuck.
When I was 15 I picked up a camera for the first time and ever since that moment, filmmaking has been my career. It's the only thing I've absorbed with my soul and have fallen in love with. The life of being an artist can bring on enough anxiety as it is. It isn't a field that allows for a clear scope of what the future holds. I can't see a progress bar that clear as someone who works in a corporate field. I am mine own progress bar.
A lot of filmmakers I look up too found success when they were in their early 20's. I'm now 26 but when I was 22 or 23 I would constantly compare myself to them. Comparing my progress bar to theirs even though I knew we all started at different places and had our own path to travel on. With this insecurity of not knowing if I was progressing based on others success it started to eat away at me. I started to question if I was even meant to be a creative. I was making projects I cared about but I wasn't fulfilled because I kept comparing what others were doing to what I was doing. I was climbing up a ladder that had a roof that kept getting higher and higher.
When you love something so much and there is nothing else you see yourself doing, this fear of not being good enough will eat you up. Being a human and a creative is a single person sport. Yes, you have others around you supporting you but you must be the one who wakes up everyday and is ready to conquer whatever fear or anxiety you have. With all of my worth put into my film work and feeling like I wasn't good enough, this brought on the depression. I would wake up and lay in bed all day crying and wondering why I was even trying. Why should I keep going? Why am I putting myself through all of this? What's the point?
I started therapy last year and it has been incredible. I've learned that being a creative doesn't make up my pie of life, it's just a slice. My heart, my family, my friends..,those are major slices as well.
I found ADAA while looking online for organizations that focused on mental health and suicide awareness to help support my suicide awareness film ‘Be Here Now’. The outlet they are creating for humans to open up and tell their stories is the exact direction we need to be heading in -making vulnerability a comfortable and therapeutic way of expressing how we feel.
I've now focused on working on projects that fulfill me and brings something to others. My progress bar has now become my fulfilment inside and not what others are doing.
Allowing myself to open up to a professional really helped flush out everything I felt inside. For a while I thought sulking in my own thoughts would be healthy but you end up drowning. You need to give yourself to someone who can help correct the way you look at the world. All of that can make a difference in how you look at yourself. We all have a purpose, it just takes some time to figure out what that is.