Why "Dreams Create Reality"?

 

Dreams Create Reality has become a personal motto in my life. 

Throughout my entire life I've struggled with depression, anxiety, and self-acceptance. I was eleven years old the first time I thought about killing myself. I was thirteen the first time I overdosed and began cutting myself. My teenage years were all a blur of self-mutilation and self-hatred. I was in and out of hospitals and therapist offices. I lost count of how many different prescription medications I was put on. I dropped out of school. Around eighteen years old I quickly lost 100lbs, healthfully at first, but it soon developed into an eating disorder. I had gotten my GED and was attending a community college while working part time, but I couldn't keep up with my vision of perfection that I felt I had to achieve. It was during intensive outpatient therapy for my eating disorder when I made a little illustration saying "Thoughts create reality."

I was 22 when I hit a turning point in my life. I was going to school for my BFA in the fall and felt pretty okay about life. One day I got a bad review on a paper I had written. I crumbled. It's strange how something so small can set off series of events that will change your life forever. I woke up in the hospital and was put on medical leave from my college. I moved back home, but things continued to get worse. I spent that New Years in another hospital.

The following year was a roller coaster of self-discovery. I refused all medication, realizing that my body just did not cope well with the side-effects. I did everything I could to gain a healthy perspective on life. I spent hours hiking with my dog. I discovered my love for kayaking. I grew sunflowers and new friendships. I went skydiving and cliff jumping. I finished up my A.A.S. in Visual Communications and put more energy toward creating art. I wanted to consume as much of life as I could.

I realized that all this energy I was putting into suicide ideation and self-hatred only created negative situations. I realized it's up to me to create the life I want to live. I didn't really want to die. I just didn't know how to live.

I started challenging my fears. When I was twenty-five, I

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Copyright Stephanie Eichelberger 2020