PTSD Brain

Overcoming PTSD, Depression, Anxiety

Please also see my comments about this post in "Counting Blessings", as it is a continuation of my reflection here.

I'm an Entrepreneur if you didn't know. But why should you, I'm not successful (yet). I've had 2 "failed" ventures and they've both given me the lessons of a lifetime. After the second one (code-named "Voldemort" here because I'm not legally supposed to talk about it), I fell into a great depression. I was living in San Francisco and thought I'd never find myself and that I'd be condemned to a complacent, big-company whatever job due to the toll Voldemort took on my mental well being. He sucked my life's purpose from my soul and left me with PTSD towards the end of 2016 and for all of 2017. When I came home after my whatever job, I didn't know how to be creative or passionate towards anything anymore. It floored my confidence and willpower, and I would swear in anger at Voldemort in my own head on a daily basis. I hated Silicon Valley for all of its fake expectations and pompous startup ego.

On top of that, I kept a very unstable friendship/ relationship/ trials-of-getting-back-together-ship with my ex-girlfriend. She was the comfort I'd turn to when everything else felt meaningless. But being long distance, it often ended in painful emotions and trying to block each other off for months at a time.

Probably my 30th birthday (August 21, 2017) was my lowest point. I was basically fearful of life itself. Although, thanks to some close friends, I was still able to celebrate with a delightful, cozy dinner :)

I mean, all hope was not lost. I forced myself through cycles of being proactive -- not through the passion of creation I used to know so well -- but through physical health and fitness. I started bouldering and cycling, because the exercise would release happy molecules in my head. Instead of waking up eagerly to work on a personal project, I would mosey outside and walk or run a mile to wake myself up. I realized morning walks actually brought me a lot of peace, particularly near Rincon Park. Although, I also felt kinda old when I realized how strong my appreciation for nature and outdoors had become. That's kind of an old-people thing, right?.. ¯\(ツ)

Rincon Park and Cycling around San Francisco

As time went by, I grew stronger, or at least had peaks of happiness. I fell in love with cycling to Sausalito and Tiburon. Then I organized my activities into a meetup called CnC (Cycle and Climb), which grew to 100 members in a matter of weeks (...right before I closed it to go abroad :p). I also managed to acquire this 4-letter domain name, omid.com, for which I negotiated over many months with the broker. I eventually convinced myself it was worth the purchase (more than $20K USD), because it's not just a digital asset... It's my given name! And in Farsi, it translates to "hope". Huge morale boost, well worth it!

All the while, I was sitting on a new idea. Couldn't execute, too much PTSD still. But I sat on it, and little by little would put in some time to forge my plan. Then, Remote Year popped up in my facebook feed. After my first apps / games venture where I spent 3 years abroad as a digital nomad, I had developed mixed feelings about doing it again. I felt like I needed stability and consistency in my life more than before (again, like some old fart). But one interview and three phone call later from one of their sales reps, and I gave in. Like all good sales people, those f*ckers convinced me to sign up for something where my gut was all like, "uhhh- maybe?". Uncertainty is never a good feeling, especially after my previous startup where I promised myself to steer clear of uncertainty in life's pursuits.

Four months later I quit my job and embarked on the journey. The outcome so far: fucking amazing. When it comes to PTSD, I perscribe travel. None of the psycho therapy or councelling from friends and family helped in the right way. On the other hand, (my friend Molly helped a bit, but only on rare occasion ;-). I forced myself to do it, and praise Buddah it's working! On top of that, I've improved my productivity output to where I want it to be, keeping close to mind the 6 principles of high performance habits (article coming soon).

I'll put in a word here about Marijuana too. Being from San Francisco, I've come to know this drug well, and have gained several reservations about using it over time. In summary, I've forced myself to do away with it completely on the premise that it easily sabotages mental healing. The medicinal benefits of the drug are widely misunderstood, because they come from CBD, which I do supplement occasionally. But otherwise, the potentcy in THC is higher than ever before, it harms the brain's rewards system, creates emotional distress or any of the issues I've mentioned here, etc. Do it enough (evenings perhaps?) and you'll build a habit. Keep any habit for a while and neuroplasticity will take effect. Your preferred activities will slowly migrate towards mindless ones, and you won't want to do anything else. These are just observations for myself, and I've become a zombie because of it at certain stages of my life. If you're one to blame it on "addictive personality", you're kinda wrong. America is the perfect framework to built a culture that promotes it. Anyways, perhaps I'll save the topic for another post.