Nathan Shaw

  • May 20, 2016 | Author: Nathan Shaw | Category: general

    How my friends supported me with my mental health

    professional psychologist

    My mental health journey probably isn’t as unique as I would like to think it is. I imagine there are a million people out there with a story similar to mine. I never expected mental health to ever be an issue and I have to meet a clinical psychologist. I thought I would live a “normal” life and that everything would always be fine. Unfortunately, life had other plans.

    My anxiety and depression felt like it snuck up on me overnight. Life seemed fine and then all of the sudden it wasn’t. I thought I had some sort of serious illness. I stressed that maybe I had cancer or something else life threatening. I knew I needed to find a right psychologist but I was terrified of contacting one. I was afraid of the thought that if something wrong with my mental health. I called in sick to work and figured that maybe whatever it was would pass in a few days. Two weeks later and I was still calling in. I couldn’t eat. I felt dizzy walking around my house. All I wanted to do was lie in bed and sleep. I didn’t know what was wrong with me and it was terrifying.

    I did finally make it to the therapist because of work pressure. If I didn’t go and get some sort of note I would be fired. I did my best to struggle to the psychologist’s office and explained all of my symptoms which related to anxiety disorder.

    I couldn’t believe that anxiety had produced the type of symptoms I had been suffering from. To me anxiety was a racing heart and sweaty palms. This was not the anxiety I had known in the past. The psychologist would only write me a note for missing work a couple more days but the thought of returning was daunting. I was petrified of returning and to make things worse my boss had decided the day I returned was the day of my yearly review. To get myself back to work I had to turn to the comfort, reassurance, and understanding of my friends.

    My friends helped me in numerous ways. The most important was showing me their support. They showed me daily how they understood my concerns and went out of their way to show me sympathy even when I know they didn’t quite get what I was going through. Whenever I needed them they would lend me a helping hand or an ear. They assured me that no matter what was bothering me that I could go to them and could speak openly without judgement. That was one of the hardest parts about returning to work, knowing people would wonder where I had been and what they would think if they knew. My friends helped me to realize no one would judge me and that everyone goes through rough patches.

    My friends didn’t try to push me or persuade me, they just listened and nodded their heads as I tried my best to explain my frustration and worries. When I needed them they would take me out to lunch or let me come spend time with them. They felt almost like my safety blanket when everywhere else seemed scary and concerning. The best part was that they didn’t try to give me advice or to act like they know exactly how I feel. Certainly they related when they’ve had trouble but mostly they were just there for me.

    Occasionally they would go out of their way to check in on me on their own. They would double check that I was still getting treatment and would ask how it was going. Sometimes they would ask if there was anything else they could do. It was incredibly helpful to know that my friends were there for me no matter what. There was never any judgement and they treated me the same as they always had. We could still talk like before and they didn’t handle me with kid gloves. I didn’t need someone to baby me, I just needed a regular friend to talk to and they gave me that.

    If I didn’t feel like talking about my mental health they were ok with that to and we could go out, or stay in, and have a normal time just like we did before the anxiety hit me. It was nice when they would comment that they could tell how much better I was doing. I knew they were looking out for me when they would mention how much brighter my eyes seemed and how much less tense I had been lately. The more confident I became the more I returned to my regular self and my friends were integral to that. Returning to work was tough but the more days that passed the more comfortable I became again and continuing to go to work became like second nature just like it had been before I came down ill.

    Mental illness can be such a terrifying debilitation. Many out there know nothing about mental illness and assume that it means a person is crazy. Knowing my friends didn’t have these same notions was extremely important and helpful. I normally wouldn’t tell anyone at work about what I was suffering but I had to tell my boss. Even knowing she had to keep my secret I was still afraid of what she would think. It can be hard to struggle with these worries alone and to have my friends to bounce my thoughts off of helped me to come to terms with the fact that even if she did think something bad it wasn’t the end of the world. I wouldn’t lose my job and I had always been a great worker. My mental illness was just another stepping stone to work on and my friends let me know they always had my back.

  • April 23, 2015 | Author: Nathan Shaw | Category: general

    Party Disaster

    It was a surprise party for my friend who is turning 50. I have no idea that the party planner that we hired was backing out. I mean, it was perfectly okay to back out but not a week before the actual event!

    How do NASA organize a party

    8 days before party

    I was having my usual cup of coffee on my porch; it was a beautiful Saturday morning. I was thinking of what to wear for the party when my phone rang. It was the party planner and she said that she had to cancel her contract because two of her sons had the chicken pox! I was about to scream when she told me that she had a perfectly good reason and then she gave due notice.

    Due notice? A week before the party? Was this woman kidding? What are we going to do now?

    Before my hand reached for her neck on the other line, my sister yanked me off the hook. She said not to bother and that we can do this on our own. I was starting to panic when she told me to remember how we handled her son’s birthday party through ordering party supplies on-line. I could not believe that this was happening? A week before and I had to rely on on-line service!

    7 days before party

    My sister and I created a plan. It consisted of all the things that we needed for the party. From the invitations to the souvenirs and from the plates to the nameplates, we came up with an almost complete plan. We were going to have the party here at home at our backyard. The only thing left was to order the cake and she said that it was also going to be done on-line.

    We were on our last hopes. We started clicking this and that and we eventually found an on-line party preparations site that had the designs that we wanted. The company was found locally and that was not too bad! Deliveries will only take about two days and that was fine by me and my sister.

    6 days before the party

    It was time to order the cake. We had a lot of fun doing this and I must agree that this was the best part of being a party planner since I had the chance to think of a wonderful décor for the cake! I had to come up with a dazzling idea to make the cake stand out and so I picked out a garden motif. My friend loved gardening and she was known to have the most amazing rose garden in the block. I specifically asked the cake decorator to put as many sugar candy roses on the cake and in every colour that she could think of. She said that this was indeed possible and she was going to get back to me with the finished design.

    To think that this was done on-line! I had the finished design in the evening and it was perfect! And then, as if on cue to spoil my day, the party planner called up. She was apologizing and said that she was ready to take the job again. I was fuming mad but I thought of all our efforts ordering on-line and the lovely cake that will make our friend happy… I hung up.

    5 days before the party

    The decorations arrived! I was very pleased and I kept on thanking my sister for saving the day! We opened up the large UPS box and it was full to the brim of all the things that we ordered. Everything was there; we used a list that we had made before to make sure that every little plate was there. The delivery was fast and every item was all accounted for

    4 days before the party

    I asked a contractor to clean and spruce up my backyard for the party. The hedges were trimmed, the patio umbrellas were set and all the party seats and tables I had in the garage were washed and dried under the sun. It was a great day to do a bit of yoga too and it made me relaxed and ready for the stress of the next few days before the party.

    3 days before the party

    I had to talk to the baker about the birthday cake and asked if there were no problems. The decorator sensed that it was my first time ordering on-line and she said that I had nothing to worry about. She assured me that she was going to deliver the cake herself in the morning of the party.

    I had the lights set and the sound system ready. I admit that it was early but I was simply making sure that everything went well.

    2 days before the party

    I had to check on the souvenirs that came with the decoration box to make sure that I had enough. I ordered a small porcelain mug that says “50 and Fabulous” and yeah, I forgot to mention that this was our theme. We were all fabulous and ready for the party!

    1 day before the party

    Nothing much happened today and I just simply stretched out my patio chaise lounge chair and admired all the things we have done so far. My sister did the same. We retired early so we can have an early day start.


    The cake arrived early and it was lovely. The party was lunch time and therefore the cake had to be placed in the fridge first. All the décor was set up and all the plates and nameplates were also set.

    The party went well and I must admit that it was all because of the on-line party décor site that we ordered from. It made everything a breeze and all we had to do was enjoy! I hope this inspiring story of mine helped you decide to use on-line party décor ordering but make sure that you order weeks or even months before to avoid the hassle.