Content warning: This article briefly mentions self-harm.

It has been a while since I sat and wrote anything. I was waiting for the right time, the right story. The moment where it just makes sense, and now it does.

In February, I began to work as a cleaner in ambulances stations. At around 6 am, my supervisor would come to pick me up and we’d drive around the northwest to clean the stations. For the first time in my life, I actually liked a job. I felt comfortable in this position, this company and around paramedics. My mental health lied down and rested. While I wasn’t understanding the exact moment, I sensed some type of intense happiness. It was all new, but I felt worthy.

In the back of my mind, I still had my ongoing art projects, however, the envy to work on these just left. In fact, the decision to take a break from them just rose and it was gladly grabbed. I have spent many, many years fixated on the fact that I must become a full-time artist, and there I was, satisfied with a cleaning job. The opinion of others didn’t matter, not one single thing did.

Compassion is the gleaming kernel found in adversity

It’s been over a year since I accepted that I live with Maladaptive Daydreaming. When the recovery started, I had no idea what I was getting into. My mental health became a first priority, it still is. The art I was making changed and it was decided that everything will turn around helping others on this matter. When I started working full time again, it was as if I had crossed a new victory line. I felt rested.

All the daydreams I chased didn’t make as much sense anymore, and after my position at work changed, I began contemplating a career as a mental health professional. I don’t possess any degree but studying for this purpose isn’t as terrifying as I thought it would be. I dropped out of high school because of my mental health and after this traumatic event, all I ever did was trying to fix this fork I have met on my path. Today I know that I’ll never be able to fix it, and these types of happenings build us, they make us who we are. Nor good, nor bad, just people.

What I learned from cleaning the stations, is that I like taking care of others, physically. So why wouldn’t I try? What if this is my moment? The moment where everything could change.

It’s a strange thing to have goals, for years, and at some point, forgetting what they’re really about. Changing directions without fear of failing because, at the centre of the new goal, the word passion is shining. To turn art, a medicine to me, into some kind of business, is just not attractive anymore. Plus, I see myself doing both.

This whole situation appears to be the moment where all of these ‘obstacles’ I encountered, could be used for good. Alongside MD, I lived with depression, anxiety, self-harm, and I challenged the people around me due to my behaviour. All of this stayed with me, it makes me more compassionate than ever today. I survived and now I want to give, it’s that simple. I survived and now I feel like I could do anything I put my mind to. What I learned is that I can show others, as a mental health worker or artist, that they can too.


If you need help with self-harm this page will help you begin the journey of getting help.