You must have heard the phrase- ‘An empty mind is the devil’s workshop’. While I was growing up, my mother used this phrase a lot. She didn’t like the fact that I had little interest in academics and would try to keep me busy with activities. Over time, I became fairly adept at getting out of said planned projects, and would spend my time reading/watching TV.

By the time I got my first job, my mental health issues had finally caught up with me. Till that point I had been able to float, but now I had started to sink. I had little to no awareness regarding treatment and was hesitant to pursue it. I decided to drown myself in work rather than be overwhelmed by my issues. It worked really well for a while. I was motivated to get away from my problems and hence put all my time and energy into work. My bosses were happy with my performance and I started feeling better about myself. But this focus came at a very heavy cost. I started becoming dependent on substances, and when I tried to get away from everything, I wasn’t able to concentrate on work.

My plan had backfired. My problems had found a way to catch up with me, even when I was trying to keep myself as busy as possible. I had entered a self-destructive zone and decided to just run away from everything.

This idea of mine had the worst impact though. Now that I didn’t have work to distract myself, the devil’s workshop was in full force. Till this point, work had acted as an impetus to stay afloat. But now, I was drowning. No matter how I looked at it, there was a bleak future ahead of me. I had no hope and no idea as to how to get out of the hole I had dug myself into.

Luckily for me though, help came in from unexpected quarters. I was able to address my issues and get on with life. There’s no magic solution though, so I ended up in a long struggle with my problems. I try to keep myself reasonably busy now, I can’t afford to have an empty mind.