“…shows great courage…”

From MasterChef last night:

To change your career at 27 takes great courage.

Sorry, Marco Pierre White, I beg to differ.

This isn’t because I think the young man you were talking to isn’t an outstanding individual. It’s not because I’m well over 27, and have changed career a number of times.

It’s because I seen even greater courage daily among the mental health community.

You think it’s hard to change your career, Mr White? What about adapting to a completely new way of being in the world? What about suddenly realizing that what you’ve done all your life isn’t going to work for you any more – and may, in fact, be the end of you?

These are the questions mental health patients come up against, at precisely the time in their life when they’re least equipped to deal with them.

I enjoyed a long “phone date” with one of my best friends yesterday afternoon. Her schedule is busy, and we don’t get to talk often these days, but I always enjoy our chats. It was really great to be able to say that – finally! – I’m beginning to feel different,  to feel better again, to be able to think differently and constructively about my future. I haven’t been able to tell her that in a long time.

She asked me what I thought was the biggest factor in overcoming my mental illnesses. I gave her an honest answer: “My attitude.”

I believe that I will lead a happier, smoother, healthier and more hopeful life again, and I work hard towards that goal, even when it’s difficult. I still have a way to go, but I’m fortunate to be inspired and supported by those who walk alongside me.

Byron (the young man Mr. White was addressing) did leave the show last night. Among his parting comments were this:

Being 27 and finding out what you want to do in life – it seems so late.

I’m truly happy for you, Byron, I really am; it is a wonderful thing to discover what you want to do in life: but imagine what it must be like, at any age, to try and re-learn what you have to be in life, in order to survive.

That’s courage.

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12 Comments

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12 responses to ““…shows great courage…”

  1. Sugar Free Mountain Biking

    First article I read on checking WordPress and it’s perfect. Just facing up to changes I need to do at 44 for my well being and it’s a bit terrifying.

    Got some good friends and an understanding GP practice so should be OK. It’s still reassuring to read it though, thank you.

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  2. Agreed.
    But I can’t help feeling a sense of hopelessness in young Byron’s reply. Considering I am almost 50 and am in the process of changing direction in my life. At 27 you still have your whole life ahead of you.

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    • Yes! Indeed. Still, at 27 you don’t realize your whole life lies ahead – I remember everything feeling so absolute, so … final. 30 is looming, young professional friends are getting established; if you’re feeling at all lost, it seems terrifying.

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  3. Lady K

    Needing to change your whole way of thinking is certainly difficult and definitely requires courage to work towards it.

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  4. I’m struggling with that same question right now. Thinking it’s college again, to at least see if I’m capable of doing what I want to be doing and see if I can handle constant human interaction.

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  5. As someone that age, and quitting my 5-year job to START my career up again…. I can back what you said 100%. Overcoming mental illness is harder. My decision wasn’t hard, I knew it deep inside me. What was hard was working through anxiety and depression to get myself to even do anything about.

    Great post as always. So true.

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  6. jimstump22

    DB

    I have tried to post ‘responses’ to a few of your posts but the software keeps telling me that my password is wrong. I swear that the password is correct. LOL.

    Anyway, I enjoy your posts and your interactions.

    Be well; be Loved.

    Many Blessings to you.

    Jim

    On Mon, Jun 16, 2014 at 2:22 PM, In & Out, Up & Down: Dysthymia Bree’s

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    • Thank you so much, Jim! I’m sorry you’re having password issues – that sort of thing really bugs me. Strangely, the date stamp on this comment is approximately 48 hours before it appeared on my blog! Definitely something odd going on there. However, all’s well that ends well, right?

      I hope all’s well in your world, too.

      cheers,
      DB

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