As a person who fought waves of depression most of her life, I can safely say I have no idea how to define this state of mind. Not only that, I could never claim to be stuck in any specific level of depression, because during the toughest times, I cared less about the size of that wave, and more about my balance on that surfing board.
This is a mindset of a person that made peace with an inevitable long time ago and spent a lot of time thinking about how to counteract the feelings that will always come and go. Now I decided to share my methods with you, with this disclaimer attached – I’m not by any means an expert in the human mind, psychiatrist, or psychologist. In terms of depression, in the best-case scenario, I have street smarts.
How others see me
A driven and energetic person with a restless brain that never switches off – this is how I am described by many of my friends. I can understand where this description is coming from, but if you look deep enough, one could say that the reason for me being me is somewhat sad. Sad, as much as necessary.
In reality, what everyone is witnessing is a product of a “staying alive” method that changed forms over the years – from a survival hobby to a survival full-time job. You can even say I went overboard, but I figured if you are going to go crazy with something, it’s not so bad if the occupation of choice is driving my very being to and through various life milestones. The salary is worthwhile, and if I do the job well, the pension fund is pretty much guaranteed. Not to mention the medical care.
So how do I deal with everything?
Imagine being a kid with a beloved toy in front of you, an item that you don’t necessarily use all the time, but that is in arms reach and presents comfort nevertheless. Now imagine you losing your toy for some amount of time. Even though you know it will at some point be returned, you are sad because you lost your immediate and on-demand source of peace and happiness. To make things worse, you are not the one deciding when the item will be returned to you.
Now think about a scenario where you have few more toys around you. Even though they don’t necessarily hold the same value, suddenly you can afford to lose that important grip. Just like that, you no longer depend on one single thing, and before everything settles back into its place, you substitute desperation with replacement fun.
Sounds better, doesn’t it? Well, this is, in a nutshell, me
A long time ago, when I was writing articles from home, I pulled for 3 people and worked days and nights thinking about how I will, one day, be a recognizable name in the industry. Just to be safe, I found another job with which I filled the rest of the day and worked just as hard so both of my employers would consider me irreplaceable.
When I lost my mother, in the next two years I moved to Zagreb and finished two different 135-hour paid evening classes. During that time, I got promoted in one of the jobs mentioned before. I did not stop there, because as I was leaving some of the old goals behind, I looked for new ones, and I handpicked moving to another apartment and writing my own book.
That book is now on its way to being published in UK-based independent publishing house Pegasus Elliot Mackenzie Publishers, and I would have bought that apartment if I didn’t decide to move to Ireland. Unfortunately, my Irish dreams didn’t live up to my expectations and I returned, but when I felt bored, I was writing another book – and I finished it when I flew back to Croatia. Once I came here I opened my own sole trader business, just so I could be my own boss.
I didn’t write this to brag. My only objective is to briefly show what a periodically depressed person with only a high school degree managed to do – all because she didn’t want to be left with only one toy.
To make this clear – this is not avoidance, as I was face to face with my demons often enough in my life. This is only a method of ignoring these daemons while knowing they are there, because they stopped being worthy of my attention a long time ago.
To people who tell me to slow down, I respond: how many lives do you think we have? And I just move on.