Updated: Jan 8, 2018

Depression is something that is a constant battle throughout my life. What I have learned about myself is that my depression always occurs when 1 of my 4 priorities seem to be out of my control in a detrimental way. My 4 priorities are Family (Close Friends/Relationships included), Business (Frontrvnners & Co-llective), Finances, and personal growth (spiritual, physical, knowledge).

During the times in which I have experienced depression my strongest coping mechanisms are both external and internal experiences. My depression forces me into a physical and mental state of yearning for isolation with a constant flow of pessimistic thoughts.

The external experiences that have helped me cope with my depression stem from my support system. I have a Mother and a Sister who battle depression as well, and during my darkest days I can discuss my faults with them. Aside from my Mother and Sister, I have a tight knit circle of friends who truly want the best for me. Whenever, I feel myself spiraling into a depression I communicate it to my best friends or my girlfriend. It is often that after I articulate my mental conflicts to them that I am able to look at the world in a realistic lens. Within the next day I am usually able to shift my perspective into a more optimistic approach which allows me to take productive action.

The external experiences of discussing my depression with my support system influences me to cope internally. How I cope internally is through self-reflection and then taking productive actions within my life. Once I shake off my pessimistic lens, I take control of my life, and identify the factors that are within my control that I can work on to re-align my mental state.

The external dialogue is so crucial because it grants me with a level headed perspective which grants me clarity. Once I have this clarity I am able to identify which of my priorities are not in an ideal state. Once I identify which priorities are not aligned in an ideal fashion, I then focus on practical actions to take to repair that priority’s state.

Despite my struggles I have achieved many things including:

  • Dean’s List Honor Roll

  • FCAT 2017 SFU Valedictorian

  • Coastal Capital Venture Connection 2017 Top Small Business Award

  • Athletic Scholarship to SFU

  • First and youngest in my family of 8 to graduate university

  • Entrepreneur, Business Owner at Frontrvnners & Co-llective (Self-Funded)

  • Helped launch other businesses with OpenSpot Parking, Korrvpt Apparel

  • Most importantly, I have healthy relationships amongst my close friends, girlfriend, and Family.

It is important to share my story to give people the sense that they are not alone. As human beings I truly believe we yearn for connections that we can feel. I want my experiences to connect with people and give them a sense of confidence that if I can achieve certain things even though I constantly battle depression, then they can too. When I am depressed, I feel hopeless, incompetent, and ashamed of myself based on what I have not done. It makes me feel like everything I’ve done is worthless and that I’m better off giving it all up. If I’ve felt that way, then I know others who experience similar things do as well.

I truly believe that through sharing my story and continuing to prosper even though I do battle depression, that I can be a positive example to somebody out there to overcome. This is immensely important to me, because I believe that specific “somebody” could possibly be one my closest friends, a person in my family, a peer, or even my future child. Depression does influence the thought of suicide, and I know that first hand. However, I know that if I were to take that route, I would hurt an immense amount of people, and for that person I inspired, they may follow my route of letting depression consume their life. I want that person to know, that no matter what, keep standing, vent your feelings, when your mind is clear reassess which one of your priorities are out of sync, and focus all of your energy on fixing that priority.

Author: Joshua Jackai

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