slowing down wasn't an option

I used to love life. I was optimistic, happy, a little crazy and always up to something.

I was always making my dreams come true, I pet a tiger, rode an elephant, skydived, surfed in California and became a certified diver. I was a sailor. I had a successful career in IT and a great job that allowed me to travel.

Life was freakin’ fantastic!

I was managing a team of 70 people and I found I didn’t have time to talk to anyone at work anymore. Hell, I didn’t even know some of the people on my team – they were just numbers.

I was always saying I don’t have time for anything. I was always on the run and extinguishing fires, without time to properly plan improvements.

I thought I was indestructible.

I was a vice president of a canine search and rescue organization, devoting 30 hours a week to that, and I also had my demanding job.

I was fine.

Even though my back suddenly went out and I had to be on sick leave for 2 weeks.

When I was taking bathroom breaks, it seemed like such a waste of time!

I was fine.

But then I started having memory loss.

I couldn’t remember meetings, decisions, people.

I felt so unprofessional! I figured I’d reached my limits, I was not a good manager, others were just better than me. But if I just go on, I will learn, get better and catch up with them.

I started doubting my career path, I didn’t want to do what I was doing anymore, but I never thought of quitting. I wanted to slow down, but I couldn’t – I had to work work work.

They wouldn’t be able to cope without me, so many things depended on me. I was indispensable, so I had to work work work.

I never had the time to stop and think about my future – I just went on. Besides, what else was there? I was an IT engineer and a manager – so I would have to work in IT forever, right?

And then one Monday I simply didn’t get up from bed. I suddenly realized it was 2 pm, I was still in my pajamas under the cover and I had no intention and no strength to go to work.

The next day I was diagnosed with depression.

What followed were 18 months of pajamas, sweat pants, no social gatherings, no travels, loneliness, 20 extra pounds and a couple of very difficult questions.

Suddenly my biggest success was to get out of bed.

Suddenly I had no idea who I was anymore.

Suddenly I couldn’t plan anything. I couldn’t trust myself. I lost all my power.

Long story short (:D) – I got back on my feet. I quit my job. I started a new career and my own business. I moved back closer to my family and friends.

I appreciate life on a completely different level. I’m stronger, wiser, calmer, more confident, successful, happy, adventurous.

I was extremely lucky to end up where I am today. To get out of the black hole of depression and be reborn.

I experienced it all to share it with the world and warn you, brilliant souls. You don’t have to go down that path. There’s always a way out and it doesn’t have to lead through hell.

STOP. Think. Live.