The Triple A: My Formula For Living
The Triple A: My Formula For Living
By: Joseph Amande / Qatar
(2nd Prize Speech Delivered at the CommuniQ 2015, International Speech Contest, Division Q, District 20, Toastmasters International, Qatar)
While you were clapping for me, someone out there has taken his/her life due to depression. That someone could be a friend, a relative or a co-worker.
Contest Chair, ladies and gentlemen, depression is real. If you disagree, then you must be depressed. We are humans. We are imperfect. Our human life goes through joys of elations & miseries of depressions. We cannot escape from depression. It haunts us. It runs after us. But we can face it, manage it & win over it!
Depression is not just being sad. Depression is like finding yourself alone in the vast ocean of life, buffeted by waves of isolation and dejection.
When I left my home country, Philippines, to seek a better life here in Qatar, depression became my companion. Homesickness, loneliness and insecurity made it easy for depression to drive my life. As if all this was not enough, depression reared its ugly head when I had a big bad wolf for a boss. He was a snarling bully. He would snap at me for the lightest reason. He called me names and was delighted in humiliating me in front of my colleagues. My self-esteem dived to its lowest level and depression became my tormentor. I could not sleep. I could not eat. I was on the verge of losing myself. I was at the edge of the cliff when I felt an invisible hand holding me back. I heard an inner voice asking me, “why?” That inner voice reminded me that life is precious, that going over the cliff was not the answer. With the help of that inner voice, I found the winning formula in the triple A: Accept, Address and Act.
1. Accept. There are things in life we cannot control like the big bad wolf, but there are more things that we can control. Before, as depression was about to consume me, I would run away from it. I realized, later on, the more I distance myself from depression, the more that it haunts me. So finally, I gave in and let depression enveloped me. I envisioned it as a yellow light that I inhale and talk to. “Depression, you cause dull pain in my stomach. You cause uncertainties in my mind. But depression, as soon as I breathe you out, you’re gone! “If not, I repeat the process until I become alright.
2. Address. What is causing your problem? Listen to the inner voice. Is it financial, emotional, physical, social or spiritual? For me, it was the big bad wolf, the bullying, the emotional turmoil. I addressed it by confronting my boss, although I took the risk of getting terminated. I did it for myself, for my own health. After the confrontation, I felt a huge relief. It was a feeling of a dagger being pulled out from my chest.
3. Lastly Act. When I say act – I mean exercise, eat healthy, join a community or a club where your passion is. That’s when I joined FILCOM Toastmasters where I discovered I could speak & I have a story to be shared. Exercise as we all know is the best way to fight stress. When you exercise, you burn the stress hormones. You release the toxins from your body. And when you’re physically fit, everything follows.
Ladies & gentlemen, if anything, depression is a gift. When you Accept, Address & Act on it, you become a stronger person. I remember what the inner voice told me when I was at the edge of the cliff: “My son, I put you in the valley only to see the peak; I drag you into the dark, only to see the light.” – (Joseph is an OFW based in Doha, Qatar, a trainer by profession; speaker by heart.)