Photo: Jonathan Rados
One step forward, three steps backwards. Sometimes that’s just how life be like.
I eat healthy. I exercise. I’ve found a full-time job. I seem to have everything I need. Yet something just seems wrong.
I keep looking back to see if there’s a particular event I can put the blame on, but this dark cloud hovering over my head seems to have followed me for as long as I can remember.
We all grow out of things like these, don’t we? Isn’t angst supposed to be like asthma? Something debilitating at the moment that you forget once enough time passes?
Photo: Maria Teneva
Let me take you back to somewhere in 2006 when I had to lead a two-hour class, totally hungover, while having to yell above the pitter-patter of rain on the zinc roof of our hairdressing academy.
Wait, did I throw you too deep into the action? Need some context? Perhaps I could take you back a few hours earlier, to when I walked into the academy smelling like a distillery, and throwing up into the first wastepaper basket I saw.
Photo: Noah Busch
Sometimes you try and you try, but all you get for your troubles is falling face-first into the dirt. I remember the first time I had felt hopeless. I was six years into my hairdressing career when I realised I didn’t want to have six-day workweeks anymore.
But change didn’t come easy. I had no other skills, and back then, job-search portals were few and far in between, seeing as to how the first iPhone hadn’t even launched yet.
Photo: Priscilla Du Preez
My earliest memories of involve lots of books strewn around the house. I suspect that it was my parents’ way of getting me to read. If it was, it definitely worked, and it’s probably the reason why I write for a living today.
Of course, after graduating from Enid Blyton and R.L. Stine, I found myself flipping through the Zig Ziglars, Dale Carnegies, and Napoleon Hills. As a sixteen-year-old, I never could relate to the lessons in those books, so for me, self-improvement was only something I’d read for fun.
But when I found myself alone and crying in Thailand more than a decade later, a snippet from How To Stop Worrying And Start Living popped right up from the recesses of my mind, like a piece of turd that refuses to be flushed down the toilet. It was a father’s letter to his son, and it went something like this:
Photo: Anthony Tran
All right I’m going to start this off my saying that I may or may not have depression. Let me explain.
I’ve never been a particularly happy person as far as I can remember. In fact, the last time I’d felt true joy was probably at the age of twelve. Then secondary school came and swept me off into the world of angst and darkness.