Being a Multipotentialite: The Intimidation Factor

Recently, I came across a TEDx Talk called “Why Some of us Don’t Have One True Calling.” In it, Emilie Wapnick discusses the notion that there are individuals out there who bounce from one interest to another, and why doing that is not necessarily a bad thing.

She calls them “multipotentialites,” aka people with many interests and creative pursuits. I fall under the multipotentialite category. In fact, I am specifically a “mixed-style multipotentialite,” meaning I fall more into the right-brain side, and am happiest when I have a few different projects on my plate, but I get overwhelmed when I have too much variety. Sometimes I go through periods where I am working on many different projects, and others where I am deeply invested in one single thing.

I enjoy being a multipotentialite, even though some people don’t fully understand it. Some think I’m just being indecisive, or that I’m impressionable. Emilie taught me that being a multipod actually means I have superpowers that others don’t have. Some of those include the ability to wear many hats, fast skill acquisition, and idea synthesis. My love of many different things has provided me with an exploratory mind; one that I have used to my advantage when applying for jobs or getting projects done at work.

Now, I get to the tough part. There are many things that interest me, and there are things that I want to learn how to do, such as playing the bass, writing poetry, or doing portrait photography. I also am an activist who wants to get involved (usually in some creative way) in many different issues; mental health awareness, anti-rape and sexual assault advocacy, domestic violence prevention, ending human trafficking, eating disorder education, and more.

The reason all of these things is so tough to have rolling around in my head, is because my social anxiety tells me that I shouldn’t try new things because I won’t be good at them and I’ll just embarrass myself. I get intimidated because there are always people who will be better at playing the bass, have more poetry books published, know more about the efforts to end human trafficking, etc. etc. and I wonder why I should try if I’m only going to make a fool of myself?

My anxiety challenges the multipod in me. I have the desire to explore so much of what the world has to offer, and yet I feel hindered in doing so.

My depression also limits me as a multipotentialite. I have a very difficult time focusing, my memory is not very good, and it’s hard for me to stay motivated on the projects that excite me. And, of course, depression’s number one symptom is the lack of enjoyment in things you once enjoyed. So, when I have a number of projects that I had started that suddenly become uninteresting to me, it drags my motivation down further.

I hesitated writing this for a long time. I didn’t want to out myself as an unproductive multipotentialite. But I wouldn’t be staying true to the blog if I didn’t write about my experience with my mental health and how it affects me day-to-day.

I am still exploring how to fight this depression and anxiety, through various therapy modalities and medications. My meds were helping for a time, but now I’m back in the funk I have been in all my life. Unmotivated, unwilling, hopeless.

However, I am not completely without hope! I have been exploring Emilie’s website, Puttylike, and I’m seeing a new psychiatrist soon who will hopefully get me on meds that will make me feel like more of a functioning human. I want to be the full-blown multipotentialite that I know is lying dormant inside of me. I want to be the most productive bass-playing, photograph-taking, poetic activist that ever was! I know I can get there. I just can’t allow myself to get discouraged by the journey my anxiety and depression take me on every once in a while.

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Demi Lovato: Not Just Another Overdose

I just learned of Demi Lovato’s overdose.

For those who are unaware, this is very personal and upsetting news to hear; not long ago, I almost lost a friend to an overdose. I saw the immediate effects of substance abuse when I was with them in the hospital. I watched them have seizure after seizure until they had to be so heavily medicated they couldn’t breathe on their own. Witnessing that is one of the scariest things that has ever happened to me. I can’t imagine what it must have been like for their family.

I first heard of Demi’s overdose as the punchline of a joke. I thought it was fake, just someone trying to be funny in poor taste. But then I saw stories of her in magazines and knew it had to be true. My heart broke for her and her friends and family.

I just want to say, mental illness is no joke. I’m sure most of you reading this post have been affected at one point or another by substances, and maybe you don’t understand addiction. I can tell you that my friend did not want to die. But the substances made them think they did. Overdosing is not a joke. I’m actually surprised I just typed that sentence out…

If you are struggling with an addiction, please know there is no shame in reaching out. I know it’s hard. My eating disorder was an addiction in and of itself, and it took me a long time to admit that I wasn’t just going to get better on my own. My disorder prevented me from living the best life I could. I know in the moment it doesn’t feel like there’s hope for recovery, but I promise you there is. My friend is living proof.

If you or someone you know is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, call the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s 24-hour treatment referral hotline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357) or visit Findtreatment.samhsa.gov for free and confidential help. In the case of a medical emergency, call 9-1-1.

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there are still monsters hiding under the bed of my body
under my skin, between my legs, in my hair
there are cobwebs that i won’t let anyone sweep away
for fear of awakening the creatures down below
you tell me to reach in and pull the monsters out
to be brave and go inside, claws first, and rip them from me
but you don’t understand how sharp their teeth are
how strong they’ve gotten while existing in me
i am not brave enough to reach in on my own