2016: A Roller Coaster

Let me start off by apologising for my long hiatus. A lot has been happening that I couldn’t get myself to reflect and collate my thoughts together.

This year started off nicely; things weren’t rosy but I was supposedly on course towards reaching the dreams I envisioned for myself. Suddenly, just like Game of Thrones, there was a plot twist and 2016 ended up being a tough gloomy one and a real downer for me physically, mentally, financially, emotionally and otherwise. This made me question my capabilities and skills.

My itinerary this year also meant that I had to take a lot of trips round the country hence I was stressed out most of the time. I choked in desolation and succumbed to depression as a result, stoppped writing and eventually lost resigned from my job. I sought solace in solitude but this excerbated the situation. I knew I needed help but couldn’t talk about it because it took time for me to really accept that I was depressed. I am usually the strong one; the one people run to for help but here I was, wallowing in misery. 

Humans have different defense mechanisms against all the negatives life throws at us, however, once in a while these negatives infiltrate our system, engulf our thoughts and cause a huge shift in our emotions. According to psychologists, one in every four people will experience depression or anxiety sometime in their life. So I guess mine came pretty early.

Depression creeps into every aspect of your life.It affects how you feel, think and handle daily activities. I lost people who genuinely cared about me; appearing needy and pathetic to the opposite sex. I was constantly looking for a gateaway drug or someone to lean on to take my mind off the numerous problems I had. Depression makes you turn to self-medication via sleep, sad songs, sex, drugs, alcohol etc to try and numb the pain of depression. As a friend aptly said one time, “the price of beer is cheaper than the price of drugs for hypertension.” 

However, as I found out, these can only have a brief positive impact on your mood but compound the problem in the long term. My brother always says that every problem has an expiry date. Alcohol etc only end up prolonging the expiry dates of your problems. Eventually, I realised that the only way to bring this date closer was to face my fears and tackle my problems head on. 

Talking to a loved one or professional also helps. Owning up to your shit says a lot about your self-confidence so be bold enough to confide in someone you trust. Family and friends are always willing to offer support and love if/when you do. Opening up led me to a book that had the greatest effect on me – The No Complaining Rule: Positive Ways to Deal With Negativity by Jon Gordon.

It is hard to implement this rule but experience has shown me time after time that great things such as wisdom, opportunities and most importantly lessons about oneself are hidden in challenges. These lessons may end up being a springboard to something far greater than we ever imagined. Oscar Wilde once said, “behind every exquisite thing that existed, there was something tragic”  And he was right, my year is ending is on a very good note so I am excitedly looking forward to 2017 and what the future holds.

How did your year go? Did you experience tough moments? If yes, what lessons did you learn about yourself?

Advertisements