My mom and her three young kids fled their country out of fear to be murdered by their government. We lived in refugee camps for five years before we finally were allowed to stay in the Netherlands.
I developed anxiety on a very young age, which I still suffer from. Growing up in the years after, I had three different (illegal) jobs while I was still in high-school. We needed that extra money. during my entire bachelor’s and first year of my masters, I was working part time on a permanent contract in hospitality business. We still needed that extra money.
During those times, a severe depression was added to the list of my mental health disorders. I finished my studies without any delay. I don’t know how I did it but I know I won’t be able to do it again. It was a terrible time.
In university, I’ve heard so many times that I wouldn’t make it, I’ve never failed for a course but my teacher told me I should focus on myself instead of aiming for career that I probably will never get. No one really understood that my goal was the only reason I was still standing. It still causes me anxiety when my superiors tell me to work on a plan B.
I still don’t know why everyone keeps telling me to give up on my goal and I actually don’t want to know. I keep going, with all my mental health issues, to become a clinical chemist one day.
Call me delusional, but the first big steps are already made. I’m a 3rd year PhD-student going through another challenge that affects my mental health, a toxic supervisor that is now under investigation by an external part because of the many complaints the department has got. My supervisor also has a big affect on my mental health but I need to be strong and go through this. I have a goal, and that goal is the light at the end of the tunnel for me.
During my time at university, my mom got diagnosed with cancer. That contributed to the depression. She passed away 2 months ago.