I wish this was a story with a happy ending. It is not.
There really isn’t an ending. But, in time for #BellLetsTalk campaign, I do want to share it anyway in the hopes that aside from being able to let these thoughts and emotions out in the open, I may be able to reach out to someone going through similar struggles.
Mental illness such as depression, stress, anxiety… these things are very real. It can and it does affect us all, no matter who you are, the colour of your skin, your creed or your religion.
Recently, I had the good fortune of traveling to the Far East. Granted one of it was the very place I was born in and have been to many, many times before, there’s always something yet to be experienced. Whether it’s a place or a memory. This time too was of great honour as I was invited to provide an “Inspirational Speech” as the keynote speaker at my high school’s graduation ceremony (I’ll share that experience with you in the future). Perhaps the highest honour given to someone during such momentous occasion, next to the graduates of course.
It brought me great pride and joy. And then it was gone.
Not too long ago, something huge happened to me and this blog as well. It was a tremendous accomplishment and I still can’t believe I was handpicked amongst the many, many to represent an international brand.
It brought me incredible pride and excitement. And then it was gone.
I felt like someone ungrateful. Someone unable to fully appreciate the good things to make them last forever. My highs have been very high but my lows have been equally low. It has been like that for a long time.
Being away from here gave me a chance to look at things and made me realize something I didn’t want to admit for so long. It is such a pervasive mental illness (see #BellLetsTalk in social media for more inspiring stories) that I didn’t want to face in the mirror. Looking at the sunset go down peacefully and blissfully without any sense of hurry made me realize there is no such thing as separating your work and personal lives. In good times and bad, you cannot say, I’ll do my 9-to-5, my shift for the night and when I leave, I leave behind work problems at work. It doesn’t quite work that way. Whether you like it or not, a bad day affects you personally.
In the same way that you go home jubilant or celebratory because you received some good news at work, bad news travel with you as well. It can make you sad, irritated, mad, upset, helpless and it’s awful. Now imagine that multiplied over time. The long term effect is even more frightening.
When you’re in an environment that no matter how hard you work, deliver and excel, your efforts are not rewarded or at the very least, recognized… It’s a very defeating feeling. And it doesn’t matter how high you scale in a self confidence meter. Eventually, your self esteem takes such a blow you begin to question your self worth. Not that one shouldn’t be inquisitive as this is exactly the circumstance you should be reflecting upon deeply.
In this precise situation, I have to consider the fact that this non-recognition and the constant ‘passing over’ of opportunities to others may not have anything to do with what I’m doing right now but has mainly to do with what had happened in the past. Though I’ve never spoken about it here or anywhere else for that matter, something ugly and utterly vindictive happened to me many years ago. I had tried, no matter how hard, to accept it as a dark phase of my life and let it go, it seems like others have not.
Despite the fact that all is to be left behind and we should’ve started over by turning a new leaf, it seems that the ills of the past remains and continue to haunt the present. The past continues to grab a hold of me and choke me around the neck but this time, the pain and suffering in silence is taking its toll. I can no longer ignore the stomach pains, the nausea, the shortness of breath, the anxiety and panic attacks, the nervous energy and the depression brought by this. For the sake my well- being: physically, mentally, emotionally, psychologically and spiritually, I have to do something.
What is it? I don’t know.
I just know that people’s perceptions are biased. That when one has formed a solid opinion of someone else, whether this opinion is true or not, there isn’t much the other person can do to change that. They say you shouldn’t let the past affect the present. But what if you don’t but others do?
Let’s turn the table this time. What would you do in this situation? What are your proven techniques to alleviate low self esteem, stress and anxiety?
I would love to hear from you.
Image via. Originally published on: Apr 21, 2014.