Can passion really fight depression? I faced this question last week while conducting a virtual workshop with few of my friends on yoga and fitness. Depression has once again gained search momentum post the shocking news of Actor Sushant Singh Rajput committing suicide allegedly due to depression.
The question drove me back to the London memories when I was also going through a depression phase, and then how my passion helped me fight depression. I felt like sharing the story with you all, as I believe the first step to deal with depression is self-treatment.
“The key to self-treatment is to open, accepting and loving towards yourself and what you are going through”
The Story – City of dreams
Year 2017, I got married to the girl of my life which followed by a job offer in London. It was one of those times when you experience the perfect happiness phase of your life. Everything around you feel good. I was very excited and have planned a well to-do-list in London for the next one year, one of which was participating in the London Marathon.
Running being my passion, I have always fantasized about running London marathon, someday. And with the next few years in London, I almost have my dream in place. But then, I guess, fate has planned something else for me.
Work Life Balance
I was a little anxious before leaving India. The job role which I had signed up for was completely different from what I had earlier worked. My boss had set his expectation bar really high.
It took me some time to adjust with the place, weather, and the work environment. I started feeling homesick, though I expected that but the feeling of being so away from friends and family were unsettling me.
Coming back to the workplace, it was far from the good work culture we have heard back in India. It was not at all encouraging and cooperative. I was expected to do everything on my own. Eventually my line manager started giving tough times to me.
I was reprimanded regularly & sometimes even in front of the entire office. There was never an appreciation for whatever good I did. Sitting late nights in the office became a usual practice.
The feeling of demotivation started to sink in, and I got totally bogged down. I was not speaking to my colleagues and hardly going out for office parties. In fact, I had stopped enjoying myself. I was not myself anymore.
It’s really difficult to define the exact moment when I felt I was under depression. And even more difficult to write down exactly or explain what I was going through. The memory of my friends and friends back in India made my life even harder. I was so depressed with the work that I used to go and cry in the office washroom.
When Depression declares war on your Passion
Passion drives people. It’s what leads the human heart and mind to great heights of success, love, beauty and fulfillment. I was always passionate, until the day I was introduced to the destructive voice of depression; the voice that has been following me consistently for the past several months.
It is an irony that the person, who has motivated many of his friends and brought them out from depression, is now surrounded by the same negativity and finding it difficult to talk about.
The depression was so bad that it even took away my passion. I had almost stopped running. The person who use to run 15 km every week did not run even 10 km for an entire year!!
Overcoming the phase
I wanted to talk about it, Damn it. I also wanted to scream & yell about it. But all I could do was whisper, ‘’I am fine’’.
Not sure why but I was finding it hard to share the feelings with my closed ones. Even, I was not able to share this with my wife. Though she knew and tried her best to pull me out of this, but the daily battle made me feel isolated and like there is something wrong with me.
“Depression can tempt you to isolate yourself and withdraw from your friends and family”
Fighting Depression with Passion
I started to believe life is meaningless and I was good for nothing and eventually finding myself waking up every morning with no reason to do anything, no reason to be passionate, no reason to be happy.
And that is, until I declared the war back. Until I began to battle the voice of despair and fought for passion. It was a learning that whenever you are down, you need to redirect your mind to something which you love to do.
I started practicing meditation and gradually started running initially for 5kms. I got a bicycle and started travelling to work on bicycle.
The cycling and running picked up gradually. River Thames became my friend with whom I can vent out my anger & frustration. I used to scream aloud beside the river Thames when there was no one watching. It helped and took pressure out of me.
Signing up my first International Marathon
Though I had many half marathons and full marathons before, however the feeling was like signing for the first and starting everything from scratch. Strange, it took me so long to sign up for something which I am passionate about.
Unknowing I had inspired one of my neighbours to run his first half marathon. It was just a casual talk that day and the next day he was with me, practicing. I was happy. Finally, I had a friend in London. I helped him with a training calendar and trained along with him.
Finally, the race day, and the feeling of running a marathon after a gap of a year was really a relief and more so because I was feeling myself, after a long time. My first International marathon and crossing the finish line was the defining moment that took me out from my depression.
“Getting into Depression was not a choice I made but choosing to fight back and coming out of it, was my decision”
Depression affects millions of people every year. It’s an intense feeling of deep sadness and despair that can last for days, weeks, or even months. And as I said, Depression is not a choice. So, next time if you feel the same way, learn to fight depression.
Fight depression with your passion. Get up, get out and do what you love. It can be anything. May be writing a poem, reading a book, donating your blood, calling an old friend or running a marathon. But, just do something.
And remember, some days will be harder than others, and it is OK to fall down every once in a while.
Just do not give up!
Thank You for reading it through. Hope, my story would inspire you to come out of your shell. And if you have a relatable story to share, do let us know in our comment box.
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