Being a student with mental illness isn’t easy; especially when I am studying how to help people plagued with the very conditions I am. I often think to myself if they (my peers and professors) knew the truth would they accept me still? If they knew that I too suffered with suicidal ideations would they tell me to stop pursuing this career. If they knew that my mind was as broken as the patients I intended to help would they see me as unfit. I struggle with my own truths, my irrational belief that a therapist must have exceptional mental health and practice strict methods of self-care. Self-care is it exercise, is it limiting your caffeine, is it practicing meditation? Things I so much struggle with. Is it eating healthy and taking care of yourself? Things I have yet to incorporate in my life.

I am succeeding, I have A’s in my classes, but am I worthy of this career I am working so hard to build? Those are my racing thoughts, stemming from my irrational belief that I must be perfect to be a therapist. But, I still continue to do it. I still show up to class, read my books, do my assignments because nothing will stop me from accomplishing my dreams. I am driven, I am resilient. I have had to be in my life, with foster care, no parental guidance just me against the world.

Maybe I will never be “perfect” maybe I will a therapist who sees a therapist because I will always struggle with my mental health and that is okay with me. I will succeed! I will help so many people because I can relate to their struggles and still have found meaning in my life. I found a purpose and am living what feels like to be a dream. I am not just pursuing a masters degree but I am also raising some pretty amazing children. I have a life worth living with a man I love so much. I am living life with bipolar disorder and those that are struggling you can too.

“The sole purpose of human existence is to kindle a light in the darkness of mere being” (Carl Jung)”

Jessy Rodriguez

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