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I can't and don't want to spend the next 13 years playing catch up

Community Member



I grew up in a difficult childhood.

I never had social experiences and I never had an education due to running out of the classroom from all the bullying.

I never knew what I wanted and most of the time I still don't.


But deep down when I can think clearly I want to do nursing, to be a registered general practice nurse because that is what comes naturally.

The thing is though I would need to get my eyes fixed and get my teeth fixed etc and that would cost lots of money.

I would need to get a job, save up and get the surgeries along with paying for regular everyday life and work my way upto getting into a bachelor of nursing by doing a diploma first.


But here's the problem

I've done the calculations and all the planning and it would from today take me 13 years to get all of that together.

And I don't want to spend that long on doing all of that.

I am 23 years old I should already be there I should've got the education I should have the job.


But the real serious problem is

I have three mental health conditions

I have autism, schizophrenia and depression 

I can barely move because I am so weighed down by everything and I've tried lots of meds, none of them have worked and I'm still trying more with my psych team.

So I barely shower, I eat the wrong food, I don't sleep very well at all and I dream of a better life.

I can't focus or concentrate and so I can't even watch a movie even writing this is exhausting.

So I cannot even try to pursue my dream of being a nurse and helping people, being in the health field and just do something worthwhile.


So I'm saying all of that to ask you guys whoever is reading


Have you heard of a situation like this? Are you in a situation like this? Am I alone? Has anyone pushed forward with so many problems and built a life for themselves?

Is there any hope that something anything might work out?

Do you have any advice for me?


Thank you for spending this moment in time reading my post and I hope all of your dreams come true.



1 Reply 1

Eagle Ray
Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Dear TheKingOfHearts,


Welcome and thank you for sharing your experiences. It is great you reached out even though it’s exhausting. It takes courage to reach out.


First I would say many people start studying a degree such as nursing much later in life. Also, a lot of people are still figuring out what to do at age 23, so please don’t feel you have failed because you haven’t done a degree yet.


One thing that came to mind while reading your post was a TED Talk by Eleanor Longden. She was diagnosed with schizophrenia while at university and so began a very tumultuous time in the mental health system. But she found her way through and has become a leading psychologist and researcher looking at the experiences of psychosis and schizophrenia. I just thought it may give you some encouragement and inspiration.


I have struggled myself with both mental and physical health issues since childhood. I did do a degree and I’ve worked in a range of different jobs but have only been able to work part time. I did have a calling to be a teacher assistant at one stage and followed that and became one and it was meaningful work. I often worked with kids with special needs which is still the most rewarding work I’ve done. I’m now applying for the disability pension aged 49 because of ongoing and increased health issues/conditions. But even if I’m granted the DSP I will still be looking at doing some kind of work within my limitations to supplement it. So I guess what I’m trying to say is that even within limitations dreams can still be followed. You may be able to achieve the dreams you hoped for, or you may have to modify them a bit based on your circumstances. But there is always hope that you can do something fulfilling and meaningful.


 I really admire your care and compassion and that you want to help people. Kind, dedicated nurses make a profound difference in the lives of others. Because of your own struggles I know you would have a lot of empathy for people. So I would say don’t give up on your dreams but talk it through with various people. It may be possible or you may be able to do something in a similar care role that fits in with the challenges you have. Doing some form of voluntary work at some stage may help too, maybe somewhere like a hospital that could give you a sense of the kinds of environments nurses work in and what it might be like in that field.


I’m so sorry you were bullied as a child and that you’ve had all the other challenges too. I think people like yourself have sensitivity and compassion because of what you’ve been through. That makes you an asset to this world that needs more kindness. I really feel from what you have written that you have something to offer and it will just be a case of finding your path over time.


 I am really moved by your courage and caring nature and I wish you all the best going forward.


Kind regards,

Eagle Ray