Discontinuing Therapy and Education Updates

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About two weeks ago, my therapist informed me that he was going to be leaving his practice and transferring his patients to other providers. But since I’ve made so much progress, we agreed that it was time to discontinue my therapy altogether. When I started therapy, I struggled with circular, repetitive anxious thoughts, especially related to finances and career. But since I got diagnosed with ADHD and started medication for it, I’ve had a lot less anxiety.

Apparently anxiety can be a symptom of ADHD, which I believe is mostly the case in my situation. My medication has quieted my anxious thoughts significantly, which has made it much easier to manage my stress levels. I’ve experienced other positive changes like increased follow-through. For example, I never used to be able to stick to an exercise routine, but I’ve been able to work out almost every day since starting medication. Forming new habits and routines, working toward goals, and maintaining focus is all much easier now that my inattentive ADHD is being treated.

Since I’m no longer in therapy, I’ll save $40 per month in co-pays, which is a nice bonus. Of course, that will be getting funneled to savings.

What’s Next?

In the past I’ve talked about going back to school, but getting proper treatment for my ADHD and anxiety has made me reevaluate that idea. I’m so glad that I decided to wait to enroll until after dialing in my medication dosage, because now I’ve realized college is not necessary based on my career goals. Thanks to everyone who pointed that out when I made the posts about continuing my education, because you were right! I just couldn’t see it then.

I think my anxiety was making me feel directionless, so I was very drawn to the idea of getting back on a more “traditional” path. Now I don’t feel like I need the external validation and accountability of being in school. Since getting treated, it’s much easier to set goals and make progress on my own. So I don’t feel like I need the structure of a college degree program to motivate me anymore.

Exploring Cheaper Certification Options

However, education still plays a part in my next steps. I’m just going to downgrade my learning to cheaper courses to acquire the skills I want to gain. I’m still interested in exploring photography as another income stream, so I’ve been playing around with my old DSLR camera and watching video tutorials online to get comfortable with all the settings. I’ve also started going out during the weekend to take nature photos.

Once I get comfortable with that, I hope to graduate to photographing people by offering some free portrait sessions in my area. That way I can get some experience under my belt and figure out whether or not I like portrait photography. I was definitely putting the cart before the horse by considering a photography program. It just doesn’t make sense to go back to school for photography before you’ve even gained enough experience to know whether or not you like the profession!

Other Possible Avenues If Photography Is a Flop 

If I don’t end up enjoying portrait photography, other possible avenues may be gaining more marketing skills and expanding my service offerings beyond writing. I’d love to be able to edit videos or manage social media accounts for clients and provide more of a full-service marketing solution. Hopefully gaining more skills will help me stay relevant as AI advances.

I’m also interested in expanding my financial knowledge by picking up a certification. You need a bachelor’s degree to become a full-fledged Certified Financial Planner, but there are other designations that don’t require one. Getting a certification would enable me to write better personal finance content and stay competitive. And certificate courses are all much cheaper than going back to school, so they’re a better fit for my current financial plans and debt payoff goals.

When I was struggling more with my anxiety, I was sure AI was going to immediately wipe out the content marketing industry. However, I’m still gainfully self-employed all these months later, so I think that was an overreaction on my part! I believe AI will change the profession to some degree, but I don’t think it will eliminate all marketing positions—that was my anxiety talking. I’m still looking for new income streams and trying to expand my skills and grow in my career. But I’m not feeling panicked about it like I was before.

How are you feeling about your career and professional development? Are you doing any certificate courses or continuing education? Let me know in the comments. 

Read More 

Dealing With Financial Anxiety

Side Hustles to Try?

Career Opportunities

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