I can totally relate. a couple of years back I decided to flush my military career as an aircraft mechanic and be an artist full time. I went to school to learn 3D and then got a job in the gaming industry.
It was a huge step to shit-can my career of 14 years, with a family of 4. I can tell you that if you DO decide to do it, don't do it half assed. You gotta go in full bore and don't expect it to be cheap. But so far I have no regrets at all.
As far as keepng drive and motivation, I had 110% support from my better half (wife), and the dream of doing this was enough to pull me over those rough times. plus I can credit pros in the industry that helped me out when they didn't have to, replied to my desperate emails and they didn't have to, and take time out of their busy schedules to show me some things.
There was much rejoicing in the realm of the Harvest Gods when man created the beer, light could not penetrate.