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What Do You Really Want Out of Life?

dartFor the longest time I’ve been hustling, trying to find work in the hopes that one day I’ll eventually make enough money to afford a house in the mountains.

That’s been my overarching goal for years.

The thing is, making money as a person with a disability is hard.

I could stretch myself and do something else like get a real job in an office somewhere but stress is an issue.

When I get stressed I start a downward spiral first it’s depression then it’s paranoia, then depression about the paranoia and finally I fall into delusional thinking which is not good.

That’s why being a freelance writer seems to be the perfect job for me. It’s flexible, I can do as much or as little work as I like and I have the freedom to use my days how I want to use them. It’s great, but like I said, money can be an issue which causes even more stress and causes me to try to work harder and find other avenues which causes still more stress.

Lately though, I’ve been trying to come to terms with the fact that my life is actually pretty comfortable.

I don’t need a house in the mountains to be happy.

The realization hit me last night as I was housesitting for my parents that being alone in a big house miles from town can actually be lonely and I don’t want that either.

The point of it all is that for the first time, I had to actually ask myself what I really wanted out of life and through some introspection and analysis it came down to two things.

I want comfort and I want stability.

Comfort being not having to worry about money, relationships, work, friends, really anything. Essentially I want to be able to sit still for extended periods of time and not work myself up into an anxious mess.

The second thing, stability, is a little harder. I want to be well mentally. I want to be able to stand on my own two feet and not be blindsided by paranoia or delusions, I want to feel strong in my head, not sensitive, not worrying about the implications of a certain interaction or paranoid about what the people around me think of me.

I can be content with my life as long as I have those two things and I’m very close to that mark. I have a comfortable apartment, I have a few dollars to my name and I take my meds faithfully every single day. I haven’t had a major psychotic episode in nine years, I haven’t had a strong wave of paranoia in several months and I’m holding things together the best way I know how.

I guess what I’m saying is that I should be thankful for the things that I have and not cause myself undue stress over some superfluous goal. I don’t need a house in the mountains to be happy, it would be nice but it’s not necessary.

I think it’s important to evaluate what you really want out of life in order to find a relative stability and a relative contentedness.

If it’s some material object I can’t guarantee that you’ll be happy once you get it but if it’s something deep like comfort or stability or love it might be the only thing you need and it might be at the base level of why you’ve been trying so hard.

What would make you happy?

What Do You Really Want Out of Life?

Michael Hedrick

Michael Hedrick is a writer and photographer who has lived with schizophrenia since he was 20. His work has been featured in Salon, The Week, Scientific American and The New York Times. You can purchase his book 'Connections' here or Follow his blog on Living with Schizophrenia here.

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APA Reference
Hedrick, M. (2015). What Do You Really Want Out of Life?. Psych Central. Retrieved on June 4, 2020, from


Last updated: 11 Apr 2015
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