I have failed a thousand times or that’s how I feels. I’ve failed at copywriting, at teaching, as a father, as an ex-Buddhist and I suppose at life.
But I shouldn’t be heard on myself because after University at 42 I went through a series of mental health breakdowns. So each time I tried at something knew, because my mental health was failing I failed at the thing I was trying to achieve.
I went to University at the age of 42 a proud working class first generation. While at University my father passed away one year and the Buddhist teacher I followed was murdered the following year.
After finishing University with a lower 2:2 (Fuck You Bangor University!) I had my first panic attack which hospitalized me and put me on medication. This was the beginning of my psychosis journey but despite the beginnings of a mental health crisis I still packed my bags and headed to Beijing to try and make a success of my degree.
After Beijing I came back home and experienced my second breakdown an ‘existential crisis with elements of a psychosis.’ Again I was put on anti-psychotics and recovered after 6 months with psychotherapy.
This was my first experience of failing at things. I had gone to university to change a career and I was failing at that change but I had yet to give up.
After recovering from my psychosis I decided to head towards Prague and teach English there. I loved Prague and was able to build up a small list of clienteles to teach English. I was winning right?
I went home that Christmas and walked out of the front door into a full-on psychotic breakdown. After a month in a mental health ward, it took me 2 years to recover in which time I had to work as a care worker to make ends meet.
I consider this my second failing and I felt like I was failing myself but also failing my daughter as a crap Father who could not change a career and had no money to give to her when she reached 18.
While working as a care worker I couldn’t afford to go away so I took out a loan of 5k and made a second try at Prague. Maybe the life had been taken out of me but I had spent so much time in isolation as a live in care worker I couldn’t handle the noise of the course and again cut my ties and headed home.
I contemplated suicide and thought about cyanide from the internet but imagined MI5 crashing through the windows for ordering illegal poison of the internet. I carried on with care work feeling miserable, depressed, and suicidal.
My degree was a BA Hons in Creative Writing and since 2011 I have written about seven books. Short stories, memoir, young adult, several novellas and so far, I have not had a single story published. Recently I wrote 2 25k novellas which just gather dust. Another thing I have failed at but at least I have tried…
I wanted to write about failure and suicide and depression and how it can affect you because the world tells us to chase our dreams but not what to do when all those dreams crash and burn..
I am now 52 and 10 years through a journey and trying something knew and dealing with mental health struggles. I have decided to try one more time and travel to travel to Thailand to become a teacher of English. I am still chewing away at half-baked novels and I am happy with the person and life I have.
Life doesn’t always give you what you want but don’t go to soon and always hang on in there because great things are always just around the corner.