Have you ever felt like everything and everyone in the world was trying to discourage you from fulfilling your dreams? I feel like I’m fighting an uphill battle, getting stomped in the mud underfoot every “professional” with whom I speak. Everything I was working toward for the last 11 years of my life was just tossed under the bus today at my first vocational rehabilitation appointment — 11 years wiped away in less than an hour. I was told that starting my own business as a freelance artist would be too difficult, pretty much impossible given the high standards by which Vocational Rehabilitation expects its clients to perform. My business would have to be successful and profitable within the first year of start-up. That’s not even feasible for someone who is highly motivated and hyper-focused. I expect to be forced to accept menial labor for minimum wage (or less than). I expect to be told to appreciate the generous offer of said menial labor or sent packing. I spoke with my case manager after that appointment to get proof of my diagnoses for Vocational Rehabilitation so they can begin the process to determine my eligibility for services. Even she said I should just accept whatever job services they can offer me and keep looking for something better in the mean time. The goal is simply to have an income to be self-sufficient no matter how meaningless the job is. The problem with that approach, the problem I’ve had in the past with this approach, is that I become too overwhelmed, too over-stimulated, to the point of a complete mental breakdown. Too many demands on my time make everything feel out of control to the point where I no longer function because I can’t cope! I’m already there. I’ve been there for 3 months! I’ve never wanted to die as badly as I do tonight. And that’s saying a lot. I’m sick and tired of compromising my time for everyone else’s expectations of me. My TIME is my most valuable commodity. I can’t compromise on this anymore. I won’t. Either I “create” my own “creative” job opportunity for myself or I do nothing at all. I will happily starve to death, homeless, destitute, and completely alone if I have to just to prove a point. And if that’s insane, then so be it. I don’t care! I am a freelance artist/illustrator. Period. There is no compromise on this. I’ve compromised my entire adult life and remained miserable and suicidal all of those years. Let me reiterate: I do this or I do nothing at all. Do or DIE. I’ve got nothing left to lose, so either is fine by me.