Through the Darkest Hours

There is an adage by Ernest Agyemang Yeboah that says, “Do not be sad that all odds are against you; be happy that your real purpose is by you.” When I look back and see my life’s journey, this maxim resonates with me.

A few years back, restlessness and anxiety started bothering me. It wasn’t so serious at first but when the panic attacks kept taunting me, I decided to visit a doctor with my dad in January, 2016. That was when I was diagnosed with Depression and Anxiety (Anticipatory anxiety). My life felt normal like everyone else’s until the doctor told me about my mental illness, which hit me hard and disturbed my everyday life.

Whenever you get sick, you go see the doctor. After seeing the doctor, they recommend certain types of meds or pills and they did the same for me. I was prescribed antidepressant pills and for the past 7 months I’ve been taking them every day. Now it has become a routine in my life, like going to bed and waking up. Let me tell you – taking pills every single day is no fun at all. Anyone who has gone through a similar experience as mine knows what I’m talking about. However, I’m used to it now. Besides meds, I also receive personal counseling from my psychiatrist. After I found out about my depression, my life has never been the same in terms of facing everyday challenges and learning to overcome them.

Depression makes life hard and that’s for certain, but sometimes struggling allows us to see the world in a new way. When this incident happened to me, I started contemplating on things that are more important in life. I changed the way that I used to be. Nowadays, my daily chores are different than before and now include going to bed on time, waking up early, meditation, yoga and exercise. I also share my personal life and struggles with my family and friends. They’ve been a great support and willing to help if needed. Moreover, I try to keep myself away from the bad habits that I once was addicted to. One thing I’ve learnt during this course of time is to control my emotions, which has helped me immensely in my life. More importantly, I’ve not given up on god; I pray daily and visit temples more often.

On top of everything, one of the best decisions I feel like I made was the day when I decided to join CloudFactory in December, 2015. It wasn’t an easy decision at first, but later I realized that the decision was worthwhile. I’m working as a Cloud Worker, and after joining CloudFactory team meetings gave me a whole new perspective in life through different leadership sessions. The 3Cs (Competency, Character and Community) were very beneficial for my personal growth. It’s also been very good to see my other teammates grow. I’m thankful to have colleagues and mentors who are the epitome of a good leader.

If I look back and describe myself, I’d say that I was this sad and lonely guy who had no plans for my future. I used to be aloof and confined myself in a room. I was very sensitive and used to be swayed away by the worries and emotions of life. Overthinking and fears had crippled my life and they had a strong grip on me, which I thought that I’d never escape. Now, I feel so proud of myself for being able to break that bondage of fears and worries. I’ve started living a new chapter of my life and my work has not only supported me financially but helped me a lot in my recovery process as well.

The reason I’m sharing my story is not because now I know all the mantras to overcome every hindrance of life, but I believe that my story can help others who have travelled a similar road as mine. I am still under treatment in Patan Mental Hospital and have been regularly taking anti-depressant pills. I’m not fully recovered yet, and I also don’t know when I will be or if I ever will be. Although, there’s one thing that I know and that is not to give up hope no matter what. That’s something that I hold onto. I feel like my struggle has taught me how to be strong in life. I’d like to tell everyone to never ignore your mental health because it’s as important as your physical and spiritual health. People can go through depression but with the right attitude, supportive family and a good community, one can overcome the hurdles that are on the way, which I’ve personally experienced. I’m very much grateful to my family and friends who always supported me through the thick and thin of my life.

Good and bad situations are part of life and we are bound to meet both. When we go through the darkest hours, we must remember there will always be light at the end of the tunnel. Life is full of surprises, and I believe everyone needs to train themselves to handle every situation. Instead of worrying, we must make the most of every moment and learn to live our life to the fullest. I’m Sagar Thapa and this is my story.

Written by Sagar Thapa

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