Think twice

Penses-y deux fois

“Are you correct? Are you in depression? ”

That's what my friend asked me when I told him that I went to see a psychologist earlier this week. It had been a few months since we last spoke and called to check on us. His question surprised me, because I wasn't at all depressed. I was going to see my psychologist for a simple follow-up.

My last few months were stressful. The classic college student years after all. Apartment life, extracurricular involvement, staying in shape, assignments, exams, more assignments and more exams… All that is usual in the lives of most students after all. I am normal.

However, my last few months have been filled with events that were unusual for me. I did something that I never thought I would. Or spoken in front of an audience. It was stressful and exhausting at first. Imagine the physical fatigue after an intense run, but transfer that fatigue inside your skull.

I got there, I performed well, I got better. Proud of me, yes! But quite stressed. I'm not talking about the stress, the adrenaline rush when you are on the stage in front of over 200 people for the first time. I'm telling you about the constant stress during preparation. This stress that lasts for days and days. This ball to drag and which will not let go.

Well that's why I went to see my psychologist this week. To follow up on what had happened in my last few months. What events I experienced, how I experienced them, why I experienced them, when I experienced them, etc. This was the logical move for me, as it is obvious that I will face not only other public speaking in my life, but other potentially stressful events as well. The solution is to become stronger, to get to know myself more, to learn to manage my stress, my emotions, in short. All those words that represent the signals my body sends to me every day.

The mind is strong and mysterious, you might as well understand it in its most difficult whims.

“Yes I'm fine, actually I don't remember feeling this good in the past year”

That’s what I told my friend. Me, who had just gone to see my psychologist. And that's when I put my finger on a paradigm in our society, which often waits far too long to act. That’s why I’m asking you the following questions:

Do you have to wait until you are in poor health to adopt a healthy lifestyle? No.

Do you have to get into debt before you stop spending unnecessarily? No.

Should we wait until we are seriously ill before seeing a doctor? No.

Should we wait until we are in a depression, “burnout”, before taking care of our mental health? No.

Think twice next time.

- Étienne Penelle

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