The Anxious Me: Story of my Battle to Survive
Years of self-inflicted depression and anxiety has lead me into a dark world that I am trying to step out of.
As I look back at 34 years of my existence on this planet, the chapters are filled with anxiety, depression, loneliness and stress all around with a glimpse of hope here and there.
The earliest memory of me is how I used to sit in classroom with my mind wandering everywhere except focusing on what was being taught in class. I remember growing up with inferiority complex, always looking at others and wanting to be like them because I never knew what my strengths were.
I lacked self-identity, was below average at studies, was an introvert who didn’t know how to talk to people and never expressed myself to people around me. This gave me a lowliness feeling which stayed with me like a shadow. I constantly told myself stories that I can’t do this; I can’t do that and am not good enough. And not being good enough is what I turned out to be all these years (as they say you are what you think you are).
I was also someone who used to keep things to myself without expressing or sharing my grief, stress and anxiety to anyone around me. And all this added up to my anxiety levels. Humans are social beings who ought to express themselves every now and then.
Below I look at some major phases in my life and how I approached them.
Life after College:
Real life begins after you graduate and step out to start your own journey. But life was standstill for me as a) I had no clarity on what to do; and b) I was too anxious to go out for job interviews and meet new people. So I spent substantial amount of time at home doing nothing while friends and other people around me were enrolled in jobs or were going abroad for higher studies.
After couple of years of being idle and doing random temporary jobs I decided to head to Scotland for higher studies as a friend of mine had gone there a year back. So the fact that I had a friend there made me feel comfortable and less anxious to take that step.
Life in Scotland:
Scotland seemed like a good place to live. Nice environment, friendly and humble people all around. I always felt comfortable when other person took the initiative to talk to me. And luckily I found good number of people who did so. Thus I managed to make some good friends and unforgettable memories.
I was always afraid that I might not get a part time job while studying in Scotland but the fact that I got a job and was promoted to the next level within 6 months of joining McDonald’s made me feel good for a change. New country, new culture, and here I was 6 months into the job training other staff.
Once my Masters was done and dusted, I continued to work in McDonald’s as I was not prepared to go out and attend job interviews again. Just the thought of doing so made me anxious and nervous.
Having shown no signs of applying for jobs, I thought the next best option for me was to head back to India and see what I can do from there. A decision taken in haste that turned out to be pretty damaging.
Lowest point of my Career:
Life in Scotland felt like bliss and I realized that only after coming back. Personally I liked that country for a good number of reasons and it somehow felt secure for the kind of guy I was. Back home, I took time to adjust myself and started working in a corporate environment (a job I got through reference). During this period I realized that 9-5 corporate jobs were not my kind so I wanted to do something of my interest and hence decided to pursue a career in sports management.
The idea behind this decision was to enjoy working in the field of my choice. So I thought, but after stepping into the sports management field I was greeted with a punch in my face and the reality that this industry demanded an innate ability to communicate with people with ease and travel around a lot, two things any introvert and an anxious guy would hate to do.
That’s it. Once I realized this, it felt like the world came to a halt for me. I was pretty disturbed that I couldn’t establish a career in the only thing I was interested i.e. sports management and this was very painful to take.
As everything looked gloomy, my friend introduced me to digital marketing and we both decided to work together. Suddenly something started to feel right. It was like I discovered what I really wanted to do and what I could be good at. And it wasn’t digital marketing to be precise but the thought of helping a company promote/market their products to their customers in a creative way is what excited me.
Being an introvert also meant I was a keen observer. A keen observer who understood the VALUE of a relationship. Similarly I understood the value of a relationship between a business and its customers. I understood what it takes for a business to succeed from a marketing perspective.
And here I am now passionate about trying to achieve something in life. Passionate about helping companies establish a meaningful relationship with their customers. A passion that has now given meaning for me in my life.