In the first two years after my first episode, I was deeply depressed. A significant source of my depression came from my recent withdrawal from graduate studies. I was upset and sad at the same time because I couldn’t finish my degree that I had spent four years of my life working on. Then, I had to figure out what I was going to do with my life. And I didn’t have a another career to fall back on.
At that time, writing was my only employable skill that I could use to make money. I started writing for an online writing company based in the US. We were paid for the views we got of our articles. However, the money was very little, in fact pennies for each view. I never made any money from my writing. Later, I was accepted by an online content company in the US. They sent out titles for writers to write short articles on. I was able to make about $30 per article. But I quickly found out that I was taking too long, a week, to produce one article. So in the end it wasn’t worth it.
One of my friends I knew from school got a job as a data analyst. She suggested that I follow her footsteps. She advised me to learn SAS, a statistical software, so that I was more attractive as an analyst. So I started learning SAS and also statistics. It was about this same time that Coursera and EdX came into the scene. Coursera offered a course on Data Analysis and I was very excited to take as it was highly relevant. It turned out to be quite good and useful. I managed to be become certified in SAS and completed the Data Analysis course in 2013. And at the end of that year, I found a volunteer Data Analyst position at a health clinic run by Queen’s.
It was also that year that I started getting into the arts. I would visit the Agnes Art Gallery on Queen’s Campus, and the Modern Fuel Gallery in downtown Kingston. I love them so much that I became a member of both galleries. In addition to visiting the galleries, I also posted well known works of Art Masters on social media. I even started doing some of my own art work using pastels.
These developments filled my life with accomplishment, joy and a new purpose in life. I now had a “job,” and meaningful interests and hobbies. I was no longer depressed. It took several years but I came out of my deep depression.