Why Share Your Crises?
How Pens and Keys Bring Life To Virtual Friends
It wasn’t until I read Sai’s post that I grasped what was wrong with me. It wasn’t until she laid out all the words I didn’t find, the emotions I couldn’t articulate, that I looked myself in the mirror and admitted that this…thing, this feeling I’d been carrying around, hiding with hyperactivity, intense focus during limited periods had a name.
A quarter-life crisis.
With the help of my fiancé, I’ve built a system to identify, communicate and waddle safely through my depression. For over 7 months now, I’ve been able to work, write, and have a healthy relationship with my family and close friends.
This was the highlight of 2017:
Accepting that I was depressive, that I had triggers, and I needed to take action to limit the effects of autopilot when the dark times kicked in.
By the end of the year, I got myself fired. I learned to find shows that brought me joy. I learned to exercise. I learned to check-in with someone who knew me well every day. I lost friends — handled it better than before — and even started posting poetry again. I took a chance to speak with my parents about it. For typical Cameroonian parents, they took it really well.
I learned how to hit publish and feel okay about my fear of not being good enough.
Although I wish all this auto diagnosis was false, that the feelings and thought patterns were just figments of my imagination, I have too much evidence to safely purport that I am depressive and I need professional help. I really look forward to meeting a therapist.
Most of my peers would probably think this as madness. We don’t talk much about Mental Health where I come from. We don’t talk much about a lot of things.
Most times, we don’t talk. Period.
Books, Medium, and podcasts have been the place where I got more help than anywhere else. People like James Altucher and Srinivas Rao have been very instrumental to my health. Writers like Anthony Moore have brought me closer to accepting all I was, weaknesses and glory.
For two months, I’d been feeling off. This often manifested in a desire to ‘quit everything’. I’d tell my friend I feel tired and exhausted. The next minute, I’d feel energy to work into the night. One day I’d wake energized, ready to take on the world, the next morning I’d choose to stay in bed ‘because I deserve rest’. The mood swings were too brief and inconsistent. I couldn’t identify any triggers.
I was working on things I loved, I was reading every day, I was taking courses online on subjects I was interested in.
Sai’s piece cleared my haze.
I’m grateful to Tom for the work he does. Especially, for sending this out in the Newsletter. I would probably not have come across it given the amount of quality content on Medium. The PGSG is more than a publication for me.
I’ve found another home.
Reading the post, her corresponding words of encouragement and support, made me crystalize a few thoughts I’d had about the power of writing and sharing.
1. Although you may write for you, ultimately, you write for the reader.
2. I don’t need to know you to feel your pain. I just need to love you.
3. I need to be more vulnerable. I only connected with Sai because I could feel that she was speaking from her heart.
4. Mental Health, in the African community, needs more voices. Who else could find joy in this dark maze I’d been walking through the past month?
Sai, I’m really grateful for your piece. Now, I know I am not mad. Or alone. Better still, I know there’s a way to win this.
This too shall pass.
Hi! I’m Tchassa Kamga.