you only live once but die multiple times
They say YOLO or You Only Live Once. I agree. But I also agree that you die multiple times and that is exactly what this article is about. This article delves deep into the concept of living and dying multiple times within a single lifetime, exploring the philosophical dimensions of this paradox.
For me, I started counting these multiple deaths right after graduating from university. The very first job as a fresh graduate was one that was toxic and introduced me to the term of anxiety and depression. I distinctly remember once, in lieu of giving feedback, my director told me: “You’re like a painting on a wall, a good painting, but one that is not adding any value to the entire wall”. A part of me died.
After dragging myself to work after several sleepless nights, I just couldn’t take it any longer. I came to the conclusion to resign without having any other work lined up for me. When I was handing over the company laptop and getting clearance from accounts department, one of the employees commented: “You’re fucking stupid for resigning, you should rather waited for the company to kick you out if they found you were underperforming”. A part of me died that day.
Fast forward to my third job which introduced me to the concept of imposter syndrome. My mind tricked me into believing that I somehow fluked the interviews to make it into the company. And it was only a matter of time when the Human Resources department finds out that I am a fraud. Each time my mind plays a new trick which leads me into believing something which is not true at all. It would repeat it over and over again till it actually becomes a reality.
The conclusion has always been the same, I ended up quitting this job as well. Wasted another great opportunity at a great company, thanks to my mind games. Post this experience, I went into complete withdrawal from friends, hangouts, conversations, entertainment and anything that involved my participation altogether. A part of me died that day.
Adding to this story, my mind now started believing that corporate was just not for me. I started laying out my options. This time I thought I should try working at a non-profit organization, maybe that’s something that I will enjoy. A new trick was cooking up in this beautiful mind of mine but to my surprise this time, I couldn’t even last for a month.
Perhaps, I was overqualified for this work and could do much better in life. This was the thought process and since I’ve already mentioned, the conclusion was quitting once again. It’s like a cycle repeating itself over and over again, where I am losing control each and every time. Naturally, the withdrawal followed and a part of me died.
However this time I was down and out for about 6 months. Each day waking up to questioning my existence and wondering if the vicious cycle would ever end? I didn’t even want to make an effort to get better because what’s the point? What’s the point in getting up only to fall down again? Days and nights pass by, the world keeps moving, it’s only me who has come to a stop.
“It’s OK if you fall down and lose your spark. Just make sure that when you get back up, you rise as the whole damn fire.” — a great quote by Colette Werden. The fascinating thing about depression is it always runs out of its energy. It’s fascinating because it doesn’t matter if you have experienced the same multiple times, each time it gives you a surprise visit you think it will last forever. I decided to put action to the quote and slowly but surely rise once again.
This time I started small and the first thing I did was manage to get a job (Not one I would make a career out of) but one which would give me a routine and keep me going. It was one of the toughest jobs that I have ever held. But I knew one thing, quitting is not an option this time.
You need some sort of motivation to keep going in life, it is also a famous term used by Gen-Z these days which roughly translates to: Being delusional is the solution. The thing that motivated me at that time was to save up enough to travel to Cappadocia in Turkey, I even posted about it on my blog: https://reasonstolivefor.com/cappadocia-in-turkey/
I remember I used to pray for a miracle because I couldn’t see myself working beyond 5 months at this specific job. A miracle did happen actually and this time a friend came to the rescue. She referred me to the company that she was working for and I got hired. This was the company I would end up working for about 2 years (longest I have worked anywhere). Life had started making sense and I had regained my confidence. I was working here throughout the pandemic as well and managed to keep my mental health in check when the entire world was struggling with Covid-19.
Post pandemic I was starting to feel like I had learned everything that I could have from this organization and it was time to move elsewhere. I was so happy that I was moving on my own terms, not because of quitting this time around. It was a major shift from the healthcare industry to the IT industry. Worked a full complete year at this IT company and then moved to a Telecommunications company with an insanely attractive salary bump! So much so that this move was became a no brainer. I was glad once again to move with a happy state of mind as opposed to switching in desperation.
It took me 4 long years to pick myself up from a bottomless pit to put myself in a valuable position in this world. At my prime I even managed to move countries and immigrate to Canada- which is honestly the bravest thing that I have ever done in my life. Looking back I wouldn’t even believe that I had the potential to do so much had I not experienced it for myself.
Been employed in Canada for about 10 months while navigating the challenges of being in an absolutely place. Up and until the black dog aka depression showed up. I even forgot how life was when living without a purpose because there had been a good 4 years. I am miserable once again with not much to look forward and God knows how much time it will take around this time before I go back to normal.
Back to not picking up my friends’ calls, not responding to messages while finding myself out of work. Welcome again to the sweet world of isolation and complete withdrawal. A major part of me has died!