Life has been difficult over the last few years. Whenever I could catch a breath, devastating news would follow.
In January of 2018, my father passed away. My mother was sick as well and I fell into a deep depression. I didn’t leave my house, went on a sick leave from work and spent most of my days sleeping.
In the fall of 2018, I lost my oldest brother to suicide. I couldn’t come to terms that he was gone. I was suicidal and my family pressured me to get help. I went to a walk-in clinic and I was referred to Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences (Ontario Shores).
I’ve felt firsthand the negative effects of the pandemic.
I am 49, from Oshawa, Ontario and work as a sales representative at PepsiCo Foods Canada. Although much of my role focuses on managing the business, I spend a lot of my time in stores working with the public.
Working the front lines during a pandemic creates a roller coaster of emotions. Every day there is a new procedure to follow.
As a kid I played a lot of sports and mental toughness was the world I knew. Growing up in world where everyone wants you to be tough, I began to experience anxiety as a teenager.
During university I worked at a grocery store. Often we were understaffed, leading me to be thrown into roles I wasn’t trained in. A buzzer would go off and I would get a constricting feeling in my stomach and my teeth would chatter. I didn’t understand these feelings but looking back I was triggered by the thought of going into work.
I began to experience anxiety again and found it difficult to leave my bed.