I wrote a book to help those with mental illness. Similar to what I try and get across during this blog, it represents the lessons I have learned the last twenty years and what I believe will help to mitigate the damage done by this disease. If we are perfectly honest there can’t be one book that cures anything, especially those with mental illness. We are each too different. Our brains, our diseases, our everyday lives are too different from the person sitting right beside us.
I submitted it to some agents and am now watching the rejection letters come in one at a time. I imagine that there is something rather strange to watch me in my normal mentally ill way accept these rejections and move on. Truthfully, if we look at my personal history, I really should be locked in a dark room crushed at the fact that I have been rejected more than once.
Maybe the in-depth research I have done about authors being rejected has helped. I mean there isn’t one great author including Anne Frank and J.K. Rowling that hasn’t been rejected and rejected more than once (more than twice too). Maybe deep inside of me the knowledge that getting rejected over and over has helped me accept what is truly the norm.
Maybe the fact that I actually wrote a book, a full length book, has sustained me. It has always been a dream of mine and I am currently starting the next book even though the first one hasn’t been published. Maybe the act of writing a book – something I didn’t know if I could do – has become more important to my personal accomplishments than actually getting published.
While all those may be a factor, the probable truth is that I simply know that what I wrote and what I am asking to give to the world is more important than the rejection I have to go through. This book, whether it will ever be a best seller or not, means something to me. It means that not only I accomplished something but that I fulfilled a destiny that I think is truly mine – to help those who may not be able to help themselves.
I know in the depth of my heart that this book was meant to be the thing I did. Not because I could do it better than anyone else, but because the idea doesn’t exist anywhere else. Maybe I know in the depth of my heart the importance of this book because for the first time my soul, my brain and my heart are lined up like the planets in the sky. For the first time what I have done makes me fulfilled, makes me happy, means that I have accomplished a task the universe always wanted me to do.
I have had many different jobs. I have been everything from a waitress to a CFO in a company. I have worked in a job that required a security clearance and I have worked in a job that required me to literally hold thousands of dollars in my hands. I have reached the pinnacle of my career ladder and I have done so with the best of me. I have found ways to help, something incredibly important to me, and I have found joy in the people that I have worked with. But one thing has always remained true through each and every job and each and every day, a feeling that no matter what I did it wasn’t the right thing for me. Nothing that I did gave me the satisfaction, the belief in myself, the knowledge that I was fulfilling the destiny this universe had given me. And given the many different jobs this is saying something incredibly profane.
Does our destiny, our fate, our Gods, the universe, or even just our own souls create the path that we are supposed to be on? I couldn’t have written this book ten years ago, I wouldn’t have had the courage or even enough perspective to truly help. It was something I could only do in this period of my life. Despite the sheer numbers of people on this earth are we each given a job, a purpose that we have to either follow or ignore in our own ways? Does this universe know our true soul’s desire and simply waiting for us to find our way to it?
I don’t know. I don’t know if my purpose was destined or if this feeling that I have finally found the one thing I need to do is real. I don’t know if I am making in my head a determination for my future based on fear or hurt or desire; or if this feeling comes from the perfect knowledge that what I am doing is right. How can we tell? Should we even ask?
I love my children. I love my husband and my family. I have certain characteristics that lead me to believe that helping others in need is essential to what each of us should do. But none of those things balances the absolute knowledge and conviction that I have that this book was meant to be.
So rather than being upset after each rejection letter, rather than taking my usual route of sadness and depression every time I get a rejection letter, I have been for the most part taking it in stride. Part of me wants to question who this person is. Part of me is a little wary of the fact that none of the darker emotions are presenting themselves in my mind because there is such a distinct purpose that I know I am bringing to life. Part of me questions deeply the idea that I can be okay with what is essentially a personal rejection of all that I am. But I seem to be okay.
I wish for all persons to find this purpose. Despite the fact I know that sentence means that people are going to convince themselves that their purpose is not good but dark and dangerous to the world in which they live, I still want you to find this feeling. It is amazing freeing because for one moment in your life the pressure to be simply doesn’t exist. The pressure to be great isn’t there. The pressure to prove something to someone isn’t there. The unshakable knowledge brings amazing freedom.
I don’t write everyday. In fact there are weeks that I can’t put a sentence together if a gun was held to my head. But I can believe in this book. I can believe in this book’s purpose to the point that I can see beyond the rejection letters to the universe’s belief that what I am doing is right. It is a solid and unmovable truth deep in my psyche. And with my knowledge of mental illness and the strange workings of the brains we are given, I know that this truth is mine to easily hold; and not even the form letters saying I am not good enough can change my mind.