I had always been a cheerful fellow, full of smiles and throaty laughter. Many that knew me then said my laughter was infectious. They believed my smile was charming. They loved having me in their company. And, on my side, I never shy away from the public. I enjoyed travelling, meeting people and making friends that really went beyond the mere exchange of names for the sake of proprieties. With these qualities, I was very popular in school and in my neighbourhood. At work, it was the same story… until I started taking life too seriously.
Did you say ‘but life is to be taken seriously’?
There is no doubt about that, if it falls within a moderate range. But when this is taken too far, it may wreak havoc. And that was exactly what was about to happen. Obviously, I was expecting from life more than life was ready to give me.
I can’t really remember how it started because most of the events that culminated in the shredding of my psyche crept in stealthily. What I can remember now is losing the appetite for my job. Then I was a teacher and I really loved teaching, or so I thought. I was working with a private school. But definitely, I wasn’t satisfied with my salary and the conditions of service where I was working. In a consistently waxing pattern, I began to grow weary, and pathologically reluctant to go to work. I started having confrontations with my direct bosses without showing any signs of remorse even days after. That was particularly unlike me. Before you know it, I’d been recommended for sack.
Then fear set in. I mean the kind of trepidation that disguises in a treacherous cloak so well that you can’t tell what exactly you’re worrying about yet you can’t stop it from taking over your mind, your whole self. You know when you’re unconsciously fretting about nothing. When you feel sadness trickling down your throat yet you can’t stop it or refuse to swallow it. I was totally helpless.
I stopped meeting people, partly because I blamed them for my ordeal. I was yawning for something I didn’t know, let alone knew how to get. This left a big emptiness in my being. It was very mentally disturbing and tormenting.
The situation continued degenerating by the seconds; my productivity at work was grounded at ground zero, my social life sucked but I wasn’t ready to submit to defeat easily.
But I identified that there was a problem; I have lost the control of my own life to some force, some power. And I must get it back.
Meeting a psychologist was a ready response to the situation. He was the first to give my situation a name: depression. Over the next fourteen months, I was bent on pulling out of this depression and going back to being my old self. I wanted my friends back and my esteemed position in my place of work. I concluded, even if I would die, I must die a happy fellow.
With that resolution, I rescheduled my daily routines smuggling in exercise, yoga and reading.
It was while reading a dietician’s write-up that I stumbled on a piece of information which I found, and still find, so very useful: what you eat or don’t eat can ameliorate or aggravate your depression symptoms. And you can augment needed vitamins through other means other than food if that becomes necessary.
With the help of my therapist, the impacts of the various physical activities I engaged in, and the special foods I ate, I got back my life. And today, I live life within my means.