While Part 1 has a mystery blogger quoted, with the kind of stuff that is never roses and unicorns… part 2 of this series is more of a guest post… “If you liked this article, please share it!” and so I am!
Note that the title below links to the original source where you are more than welcome to interact with the author himself. Some awesome confessional worthy sharing in this one and further inspiration for part 3 coming soon!
(I was going to quote just a section of this post, like part 1, however I couldn’t seem to pick out just one chunk on it’s own… )
Sometimes in tragedy we find our life’s purpose – the eye sheds a tear to find its focus. ~Robert Brault, www.robertbrault.com
3 years ago all was good in my world. My career was going places, I was living the American Dream in Southern California, and I was in a good place with friends and family.
In September 2008 it all changed. The first blow came when I learned that I was caught up in a significant layoff that was happening throughout the division that I worked in. The second blow came when I lost a second job 1 year later, and the final blow came when a series of chronic health problems caused me to lose yet another career opportunity. Deep depression set in and I found myself questioning the purpose of my life and seriously considering an exit plan from this world.
For over 6 months after the illness set in and I quit the final job, I literally did nothing but get up in the morning, watch TV or listen to talk radio and go to bed at night.
I completely cut myself from all friends and family, not wanting to talk to anyone and was so embarrassed about my situation. I was filled with so much self-hate that I just could not bring myself to connect with others. I had nothing to offer the world, did not want to drag anyone down into my despair, and did not want pity from anyone (there was a piece of me that was crying for attention, though). I had no goals, no strategy for getting back in the game, nothing left to live for: or so I thought.
I hit bottom and was at the point where my life could go in two directions. When I decided to go forward in a positive direction and chose life over the alternative it was because I felt I still had something within me that I could offer the world and was obliged to at least give it a shot.
I knew it was best for me and any potential employers to work from home. The chronic pain I was experiencing requires me to lay down or take a half hour break after several hours. Social media has always been fun, intriguing, and for me held lots of potential for a serious career. I figured if I was going to be at home anyway, there must be a way I could make connections, learn several social media platforms and go forward from there.
I had no idea of what lie ahead, nor if I would actually be able to do anything productive. However, I always had fun engaging with others on Twitter so I started there. Not yet ready to reconnect with friends and family, I set up a new Twitter account and began to tweet. Twitter chats seemed to be all the rage and a great way to meet people from diverse backgrounds so I began to participate in several that I really enjoyed. I also decided that I wanted to begin blogging so I set up an account on WordPress.com.
Quickly picking up on the nuances of the chats and having come up with some great ideas for leading one myself I soon started one of my own. I made some really great connections with “Thought Leaders,” movers and shakers on Twitter. I participated in a Twitter Chat where Guy Kawasaki was a guest. I had no clue who he was at the time, but he and I actually had a pleasant one on one discussion for a few minutes after the chat and he started to follow me on Twitter. I was on a mini high when I later found out he was actually an A-lister.
Then came Google Plus and my whole world began to turn upside down in a great way. I knew from the moment I heard about it that I had the opportunity of a lifetime to get in on a platform at the very beginning. I made it my mission to learn everything I could about Google Plus and gain as much expertise as I could with the ultimate goal being to help businesses use it as a tool to engage and gain additional customers. I would spend at least half the day, if not longer, on the site posting, engaging, and meeting some very cool people.
Google Plus opened up a lot of doors for me. I began to connect with people on many levels. I learned many of the technical aspects of the site as well as how easy it was to meet others on the site. By applying professional skills I have gained throughout my career to the opportunities that I encountered on the site I now had the new career opportunity I was seeking before. I had goals, a plan to reach those goals, and many great new friends that I would have never met were it not for Google Plus.
The engagement with others is certainly what brought me out of my despair and gave me hope that I did have plenty to offer others and a venue to do so (from home). The final piece for me that confirms that I have overcome depression was I have now joyfully re-connected with almost everyone from my past.
When I tell people about my story and the problems I have encountered in the last several years I get nothing but support and encouragement. My close friends and family know exactly what I was going through and are helping me to achieve success both on a personal and a professional level.
I am still in a lot of pain and due to the nature of the illness it is likely something I will always have to endure. But I now have a support group that is more than happy to prop me up and are there for me in spades when I am feeling a bit down.
I am telling my story to the world through this article, because if I can make it, given all that I have been through, others struggling with their issues can make it too. I cannot guarantee what tomorrow will bring for me, nor am I certified to make a clinical diagnosis, but I believe my depression is in complete remission. The proof to me is I now enjoy doing all the things I used to do except for the exercise (because it is too painful). I watch DVD’s all the time, I have re-connected with friends, I have friends and family visiting for an extended period of time this spring and the dark cloud is lifted. Social media played a significant role in my path to healing. Although I am probably more vulnerable to depression in the future as that is the nature of the disease, I don’t have time to worry about it now. I’m too busy living again.
Note: if you, or someone you know (or suspect) is suffering from depression it is vital to get help. The disease is still not well understood and I can tell you from my own personal experience, when you are in its clutches you do not think rationally. It is very easy to go into a dark place with thoughts that you would never entertain otherwise. For men it is especially difficult to reach out and the suicide rate is much higher for men versus women who suffer from the same. There are many professionals who are trained to deal with depression and its effects. If nothing else reach out to a trusted friend and share with them what is going on.
I live in sunny Southern California with my partner and our 4 Pomeranian Pooches. I am an avid fan of social media and my favorite platforms are Twitter and Google +. My background is Quality Engineering in Pharmaceutical and Medical Device but I have decided to take a complete U-turn and test the entrepreneurial waters and develop a niche market in the social media environs.
Follow me on twitter @Fierce_Living and @Fierce_Chat or on Google Plus at + James Fierce
My personal blog
Is there one segment you would pull as the essence of this blogger post?
Is there a piece of this story that resonates with you? Something you can relate to?