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Disclaimer:

This text is not meant to make you feel sorry for me. Quite the contrary. I hope you can seek professional help if you find some of the symptoms I’m about to share with you

2019 marks 6 years since I first stepped in Odense as a resident.

Since I got here I never had a job, and it looks crazy when I share that with other people.

I created one for me, instead.

When I look at my professional accomplishments, I can tell you: 

I’m really proud of myself, and yes, I’m freaking good at what I do.

In my six years here I refused to do what most foreigners do:

  • Learn Danish ( at lær Dansk),
  • (perhaps) go to university ( to study all over again….)
  • So only and eventually, find a ( low level) entry job, that could or would grant me ” safety”.

To be clear: If you’ve followed the path I just described, you should know I have an immense amount of respect for you. It simply wasn’t for me.

I could never see myself complying with those unwritten “rules” since I thought I already possessed a very decent degree from an excellent university in Brazil and I did not arrive here green, meaning without any work experience. The fact was that I carried quite a decent work baggage with me.

But there are a few cracks in the picture

So, during these SIX years in Denmark this is what happened ( on the professional side):

  • Received an offer ( 1.5 million USD) from Brazilian multinational to be bought out of the company that I started out of a blog;
  • Received four ( insane) job offers,
  • Built incredible relationships with people I’d never conceived it would be possible.

Without moving here, I can tell you for sure.: None of the above would’ve happened. I will say it again — none of it! Moving here has forced me to get out of my comfort zone.

But it is not all flowers. I always find it a challenge saying no to new projects. I also tend to have several spinning plates with me at all times. Recently I’ve been struggling quite a bit with my feeling and it started to take a toll on my family.

Smartphone Swings

Over the last two years, I’ve noticed a few things:

Firstly, I use my smartphone frequently. It is fair to say I have a smartphone addiction.

On top of it, I began waking up every day at 4 am. At first, I thought it was because I needed to take a leak. Later, I began questioning that hypothesis. I’ve also noticed that whenever I woke up, I’d check my phone, first thing in the morning. A big “no-no”, according to several mental health specialists. 

My mood, due to my lack of sleep, and my anxious behavior started to change. I became short-tempered and prone to sudden outbursts.

The picture, all of sudden, was no longer so pretty.

Cathrine, my wife was (rightfully so) upset with me. The children also felt it. My mind seemed to be tricking me at times at work, and I wasn’t feeling so motivated to work. It’s like my mind and thoughts would get foggy and for some reason, I’d get tired and would feel my eyes getting heavy, drowsy.

Time OUT

So why do I write this post?

Well, I’ve been in Brazil for roughly 45 days. The reason was to seek out for professional help, so I could start a journey to take back my mental health back in order.

  • I’ve been undergoing cognitive-behavioral therapy, learned how to practice transcendental meditation, relaxation techniques and visited a psychiatrist. All of that in just 45 days.

All I wanted was to avoid was medication. I promised myself that I would do whatever it took to avoid it.

In the end, my psychiatrist thought it was best not to give any sort of controlled medication, BUT I really need to start following routines we built together

He basically said that my nature is to be a wired person. People like me can have a tendency to suffer from anxiety, which can then lead to depression.

What is really important?

I’m at the beginning of a long journey. I can tell you, however, that I’m already ALOT better from when I left Denmark, more than a month ago.

In case you feel like you haven’t been sleeping much or you have weird/sudden mood swings, or you also feel you have thoughts that are awkward ( feeling sad, tired, demotivated)

Perhaps it is time you sought professional help.

We are living in an age where things seem to go faster than ever. Slowing down and paying attention to your mental health is a powerful exercise.

No work or money substitutes a healthy relationship with the people you love and who are close to your heart.

#mentalhealth #meaning #purpose #lifeReport this

Published by Carlos Monteiro

You can find me on Linkedin In

This story first appeared on The Copenhagen Post where I have a column and write for.