To my work, startup and many things that tag along has been edited by Vyom Desai.
To my work, startup and many things that tag along is a first person account of the author’s struggle with depression and life.
I was told that an ideal person always has a balance between their professional and personal life. They make sure that they give equal time to their family as well as their work. If one is not able to do so, they do not possess the art of balancing. I was always told that work cannot give you the happiness which you can get by spending time with your family.
For a moment, I believed them all. I started spending time with my family, meeting my friends and managed to work, all together. However, I was not able to balance all these things when done simultaneously. And even when I did, I was not entirely happy. It felt like I was doing this half-heartedly.
I rarely went to my start up’s office. Gradually, I began to miss out on my teaching sessions, where I always learnt something new from my students. To top it all, I started missing college. At times, I skipped the tea breaks and snacks to get to the office. Naturally then, I skipped my teaching sessions so that I could go home.
My entire schedule, that I followed so religiously became a mess. I did not even know where was all this leading me to. When I went home, I had nobody to talk to about my work and academics. When I met my friends, I had nothing to talk about because, unlike them, I had nothing exciting going on in my life. There were no funny instances or no struggles to find a job; I had nothing to talk about when it came to relationships. I felt like I was slipping into depression.
To manage things better, I started working from home, but my parents always interfered. They kept asking me if I was studying or working for my magazine. If I said magazine, they said that I should focus on my academics as I do not earn from my magazine. Gradually, I started feeling guilty about working so much but earning nothing. I felt like an absolute loser.
It made me feel like I was heading nowhere. I had no idea, where was all this leading me.
The worst thing? Every morning I wake up feeling positive, but at the end of the day, all I am left is with negativity. I have developed a fear now, of facing things that might not give me anything in return. I keep doubting my seriousness and ideologies. I kept asking myself, do people really know me for my work?
One fine day, I locked myself in my room. I switched off all the lights and sat down to think. I made the list of things that I am going through in my mind by asking my alter ego. He told me, these are the things you are facing:
- You feel you are not able to give justice to your work.
- You question yourself because of the ideal person theory told to you.
- You doubt yourself because you do not know the meaning of I. You search for that I from the ideology of being an ideal person.
- You think you need love, just like those you see who have it.
- You cannot think positively because you do not earn.
- You hate your academics, and you have forgotten your dream.
All these statements made me set off on a journey to find that I. On that journey, I realised the things I learned from my startup. I opened all my articles published on Lutalica’s website and read them again and again. And you know what? By doing that, I felt satisfied. Yes, I did give justice to my work. My work, my startup gave me an identity and that identity gave me the strength to face the depression which I am going through.
I somehow managed to take that theory of balancing my work life and personal life out of my mind. I wrote down all my priorities and gradually made a timetable. So, here the question arises—did it help? Yes, it did. Now, I do not skip my mess snacks or tea break, I do not skip the work that I can do from home. I was left with no friends due to work. However, I found a family in my startup. And I make sure I give most of my time to my new family, where no one asks me what I am doing.
They restored my lost faith and I started to face my depression with some strength. Yes, I am still known for my work, but it does not matter now. What I feel is that in your soul, you should be happy about your work. I could have never realised these things if I was not working for Lutalica.
My parents started showing faith in me because of the person my startup made me. When I am asked what I do at my startup, I say I breathe over there. I learn the secrets of my life.
When someone asks me about my academics, I tell them I do not like it much. However, I will make sure I start loving it before becoming a lecturer. When someone asks me about my personal life, I say I do not have one. I do feel bad about it. However, if that is the price you pay for working, I do not mind giving it a million times.
I am still on the journey of finding my identity. I lost someone who loves me, I lost to my alter ego, I lost to my guilt. Nevertheless, there is light at the end of the tunnel, I know, and will reach to it.
Someday. One day.
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