Hi, this New year has prompted me to start a campaign on something I have been thinking for some time.
about mental health, which I'm sure everybody goes through them at some
stage in their life. It could be related to career, family, money,
education, relationship, or even genetics. Some are lucky because they
have people who care about them, dependents to remind them of their
place in the world, friends to remind them of their worth or are
resourceful enough to form a support group themselves. But not everybody
knows how to reach out for help.
Late last year (2016), I
have witnessed friends, relatives, young and old parents losing their
jobs and fretting about putting bread on the table and taking care of
their dependents. In a single moment where they were retrenched/quit
their jobs, their whole world crashed and their mental health started
taking a hit.
It reminded me of the anguish I went through when I lost my job in 2014, and I would like to share my feelings of helplessness and feeling worthless during the 10 months where I was unemployed.
I believe I am considered the "guai/nerdy" and "goondo" type of person, you know, come to office on time, stay back late to settle stuffs, work during the public holidays, willing to volunteer with menial tasks that others cannot manage. At first, my willingness to help people gain me some friendships, but overtime, I could see that the friendship was not sustainable and my colleagues were using me.
Also, I do not have much friends at work as I am quiet and I suffer from low self esteem and cannot hold a conversation. I am not interesting, nor visible.
I dared not clarify on tasks I was assigned to, and eventually had trouble producing quality work and meeting deadlines. My bosses and superiors yelled at me a few times and the first time it happened, I was shocked and anxious. It was humiliating and i felt certain that I was stupid. I withdrew. Over time, I grew numb and become accepting of my status. My posture was horrible and confidence was very low. I sensed that colleagues were badmouthing me and shunning me and no one wanted to speak up for me. I was the black sheep. Negative thoughts ruled over me. I often felt lonely and work was a chore.
And then, I was asked to leave the company. Everyone else had secured their jobs and I alone was asked to leave the organisation, due to lack of performance. For months up to almost a year, I was jobless. I spammed 200 over companies during the months of being jobless but few called me up for interviews, and even then, there was no good news. Mild depression turned more serious, and I stopped applying for jobs. It was fruitless and I was always reminded of the reason why I was asked to leave my company.
I believed i was truly worthless and had no place in the society. I felt that having a job defines a person and their place in the society and being somebody useful, and that I was a bummer living off my parents and being a burden to them. My parents were thinking of retiring, but after I lost my job, they decided to continue working an extra few years and that made me worst. My sibling did not understand what I was going through and nagged at me why I wasn't doing anything to improve the situation nor to find a job. I was hurting inside and I was an all time low and not being able to vent, I took to writing journals. My journal become my logic and reading back, I could see how depressed I was.
My career had defined me. But I was lucky to have observant parents who did not push me over the edge. I suspect they read my journal and reached out to me at the time I had contemplated death, giving me pep talks and sharing with me words of wisdom. I clutched at the help rendered and found a job through relatives. I learnt to be more assertive at work and not to be easily agreeable to everything. I now understand that there is more to a person than their jobs, and there's more to a job that provides just enough for the family.
This journey out of my tunnel is not easy; not everybody has the support system, or even the right ones, and some lose the battle against depression. Everybody goes through it at some point in time, whether is it losing their loved ones, their jobs or falling out with family.
SAMH and the depression meetup group which I am part of, organises various activities and support groups to reach out to these people. Some of these activities cost money. I want to raise money (any amount is fine) to donate to their causes and so that people will not need to pay anything when they join our meetups and support groups.
Your money will be useful to somebody who is thinking of joining the groups to make new friends who are like them, tide them over for their medicines, and bringing them to a road of recovery. And depression is a ongoing battle. Your donation will go a long way.
I intend to donate 60% of the money to organisations
like SAMH, IMH and social anxiety groups. Some money (maybe about
20-40%) will be given to the various meetup groups and activities.
Happy New Year, and thanks for listening to me and my story.