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NVSN Journal Entry No. 2

October 17, 2016

Work. Why do we work? To make money, to buy cool things, to be successful in the eyes of your parents and friends, to afford living, etc... The list goes on. But what if working somewhere satisfies all these things but you're not feeling the way you think you should feel. Money's supposed to make you happy, no? Buying the latest Nike's are supposed to make you happy, no? If I was so happy, why did I lose interest in my favourite things? why did i lose interest in hanging out with my friends? why did i lose interest in having a girlfriend? why did i never want to do things with my family? why did i spend every moment not at work in my bed with the door closed? why did i feel anxious all the time and eat the worst possible food to make me forget about that feeling? If i was meeting all those criteria of a "good job", why was I in this state?I can't really explain the feeling. Seeing me smile was extremely uncommon and whenever i was asked about work, i shied away from the question because i didn't want to accidentally tell people the truth. The truth that i was slowly losing who i was. The guy who loved playing and watching sports, who loved the gym, who loved being around people was slowly dying away. At first i thought it was just a bad day which turned into a bad week and eventually I convinced myself it was just a shitty month - that stuff happens right? But that turned into 2, 4, 7 months and all I knew was waking up, driving to work, coming home, eating dinner in bed, then going to sleep - minimal contact with anyone around me. Nothing else. My drive was gone. Ambition? I didn't even know that word existed. Will to take care of myself? Meh. I didn't care what happened to me at this point, like at all. I tried different things. Taking sick days off work so i can stay home and hopefully hit the refresh button. I ate a bunch of processed food that really just made me forget all this other stuff existed. I tried to tell myself and the people close to me I was happy, hoping that hearing it out loud would convince me that I am. But nothing. Nothing worked. I think the worst part was that I didn't feel like I was allowed to just leave. I went to a great university, spent over $80k on tuition, got a great job right out of university - I was a trophy son in my parent's eyes. I was finally self sufficient - and there's no way I could disappoint them. On top of that, all the people I associated myself with had similar if not better jobs. I had to stay here, I had no choice. What would we talk about? How could I keep up with spending habits? How could be part of a group if I wasn't working in the field we all grew up in? At what cost though? I was never a person to think of myself first, it makes me feel so selfish. If everyone around me is happy with who I am, why would I be selfish to take that away from them? I told myself that I could get over it - "I'll figure it out" became my favourite saying whenever I had a chat with myself. So shit just started to add up. I cancelled my gym membership completely cause I hadn't gone in months. I broke up with a girl who I thought was "the one". I learned some things about her and the people closest to me that didn't sit right with me. I wrote in my journal (almost exactly a year ago in Oct. 2015) saying: "I'm not physically, emotionally or spiritually content with where I'm at". Looking back, this was very very very true. I wasn't "present", I didn't know what was going on with me. I needed a getaway, asap. I don't know how the timing worked so well but I ended up hopping on a plane to Vancouver. I was never a nature/ outdoor person but with some convincing, i went on hikes and walks - around 2 per day for the time i was there. Spending time with nature really let me clear my mind and finally admit to myself what this job/ stress was doing to me. I admitted to myself that i'm pushing myself deeper into this feeling that i may not be able to get out of. I admitted to myself this weight issue was a serious issue. I admitted this wasn't okay. I admitted that I needed to tell someone how i felt. I admitted to myself that I couldn't do this alone. I decided to slowly hint to a friend about what was happening. Keeping a job that was luring me into a hole of darkness just because it satisfied those criteria above, made no sense. They helped me decide that I'm allowed to move on despite the pressures surrounding me and find something that wont jeopardize my mental state. Most importantly, they reminded me I wasn't alone. I was finally honest with myself and it literally changed my life. I pray that you, and whoever else reads this, will not wait as long as I did to be honest with themselves. It may really suck to admit what's happening to you, but in the long run you'll thank yourself. Thanks for listening.  

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  • Zahra

    Oct 17, 2016

    Thanks so much for sharing your experience. I can relate to a lot of your thoughts and Vancouver has definitely been a game changer for me and my depression. Nature can be healing!

  • NVSN

    Oct 17, 2016

    Dear contributor,

    Thank you so much for sharing your story with the NVSN Community. We really commend you for your decision to take that time for yourself, be honest and make decisions that are best for you. It’s really great that you shared your story because others should also realize that as important as it is to be selfless, it’s just as important to take care of yourself. In order to be a kind, caring person you have to have something to give/offer. If you don’t look after yourself, it will be so much harder to help others and as you experienced, do the things you love most. Thank you for teaching us a very important lesson.

    Thank you for being you.

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