A Dream that May Define My Future

I had a strange dream last night. I was revisiting an old dream where I was still in high school that took place in my middle school. The first time I had this dream I remember struggling to find my trig class on the second floor of the building but having no trouble finding the rest of them. I can’t remember how long ago that dream was, but it was quite a while a go.  Last night, I revisited the same world. It had been so long since I’d been to classes I had to visit the office to get a copy of my schedule. That was just the start of the embarrassment. The hardest part, for me, was returning to classes I hadn’t been in for a long time. Truth be told, I had this same problem in college–in real college. At this point in my life, I’m able to voice why, and I did so in my dream.

“I’m sorry I’ve been away for so long,” I said. “I suffer from a rare form of bipolar disorder and I can have periods of extreme depression for extended periods of time.”

“I understand,” my English professor responded. “If I remember correctly, you’ve been writing these types of feelings down on paper. I’ve always found you very gifted with the written word (side note: I had a conversation with a couple of colleagues at work who said this to me yesterday–as someone with low self esteem it made my heart happy), but sometimes we can’t really understand and cope with our feelings until we are able to speak them out loud.”

I thought on that for a minute before responding.

“I actually just launched a podcast this week that gives voice to my feelings and is trying to help others around us discuss their own experiences managing their mental health.”

My teacher just smiled before he responded.

“And now, here you are–out of bed and back in class.”

That simple conversation said a lot to me about this podcast. It doesn’t just have the potential to impact its listeners, but it has the potential to change my life and the lives of everyone who voices their own experiences. All I can do for now is hope that is the case and keep plowing forward through as many conversations and episodes as I can.

Anyway, that’s all for today. Looking forward to record our next episode tomorrow where we will discuss anxiety for publishing first thing Monday morning. I hope you’ll listen, we hope you enjoy and I hope you’ll let us know how we’re doing. Until then, I hope you’ll remember one thing. No one, and no illness, has the power to define you unless you allow it to happen. You get to define yourself.




  1. Liz says:

    Beautifully written Jeff. Looking forward to listening to your podcast.

    1. Jeff Renoe says:

      Thanks Liz! Glad to have you as a listener. I may try to hunt you down for feedback on of these days on our episodes.

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