Courage is grace under pressure.
– Ernest Hemingway
For the past three days, I felt like I reverted back to my old depressed self (Don’t take “depressed” too lightly. I mean it with every gravitas of my being). The culprit, me. External stressors instigated it, but I allowed it to flow through. It wasn’t a good sight. So what happened? In my previous post, I talked about the JET Programme and how this would make or break me. I didn’t mean this in the career make or break but more of my mental faculties.
I did some searching online about previous JET experiences from other people then I stumbled upon a Reddit page called /r/JETProgramme. I was happy that I happen to chance upon this since I’ve been looking for a community of JET participants. That happiness was immediately extinguished when I saw the thread “2018 APPLICATION RESULTS / INTERVIEW ADVICE MEGATHREAD.”
I thought to myself, “This can’t be happening. People are starting to talk about the interviews, yet I haven’t heard a word from them. Does that mean I failed?”
This happened on a Friday night, so I had to wait until Monday morning to know what was really happening. Then on Saturday morning, the landlady passed by and handed over the rental contracts. It was only for six months. She explained that we needed to find a new place by then because they were going to fix all the houses at the compound.
You might be thinking that six months is more than enough time to find a new place. But my mother and I have had a bad experience with our previous house. We were evicted rather unfairly back then. Plus, we took in over 10 cats. We gave them a home here, and I don’t know what we’re going to do with them. Will the new place have enough room for them? Do we just leave them here?
Thinking about the JET Programme, the contract, and the cats just brought me down. I noticed myself slouching, which I never do. I noticed that I kept my eyes on the floor, which I never do. I noticed that I didn’t have the drive to face the day, which I always do. I felt myself slip. I unknowingly let this in and wash over me.
Today, I made my way to the Japanese Embassy. I never felt so choked up. It was like someone had grabbed my heart and started squeezing down on it. It hurt so bad. God, it really hurt.
Then out of nowhere, my mantra in life just started to repeat itself in my head. Courage is grace under pressure. I kept repeating this to myself for hours and hours. I calmed myself significantly to the point when I was face-to-face with the JICC, I was able to deliver my question without stuttering. (For those wondering, on the day of this publication, there have been no results for the first screening yet)
After hearing that there hasn’t been a decision made yet, I felt disappointed in myself. I couldn’t believe that, of all the people, I let myself be drawn in by something that didn’t exist. For those who don’t know, I may have General Anxiety Disorder. I don’t wanna talk about it here, so just watch this video if you’re curious to know what it is.
So why am I mad at myself? Because I kinda know my condition. I studied it, and I know how to prevent my “episodes”. Yet I let it happen to me. I let myself be dysfunctional for two days. I couldn’t eat or sleep properly. I couldn’t even interact properly with people because I let my guard down.
Because of Ernest Hemingway, I feel back to my normal self. I still feel nervous, but that’s only natural. Not knowing what’s going to happen should make me nervous, but trying to predict the worst possible outcome (which is a part of anxiety disorders) is unhealthy. I forgot that I should only face the things that exist.