From Lockdown to Liberation: How writing columns saved my life

Dr. Rahim Said.

by Dr Rahim Said

As 2021 drew to a close, I found myself in the depths of depression, a casualty of the two-year-long Covid-19 lockdown.

The isolation, joblessness, and despair had transformed me into a shadow of my former self.

For years, I had been engrossed in a fast-paced life, consulting, training, and mentoring executives around the world, but the pandemic brought everything to a screeching halt.

The world became gloomy, monotonous, and devoid of the challenges I craved. The vibrant interactions and meaningful endeavours I had cherished were replaced by an eerie silence. No one sought my expertise, no one wanted to gather in training rooms, and travel was a distant memory.

Zoom calls attempted to bridge the gap, but they were a poor substitute for face-to-face interactions. The initial excitement faded, leaving me in a deeper funk.

With no regular income, we had to part with our beloved home of two decades, a painful decision that weighed heavily on my family and me.

Lockdown measures made it impossible to even step outside for a walk, with hefty fines awaiting those who dared. I was not willing to part with my hard-earned money for a mere stroll. As days turned into an endless cycle of reading, chatting on the phone, and watching movies, my depression deepened.

Moving to a rented house offered no respite. I found myself in a seemingly endless loop of hopelessness, no job, no home, and no freedom. I was trapped indoors, surrounded by the ever-present police officers ensuring compliance.

Social media became a haven for venting frustrations, but it was a temporary escape. The world was gripped by the pandemic, and even those close to me succumbed to its merciless grasp. The fear of a lonely, unceremonious burial plagued my thoughts.

This despair led me to seek solace and guidance online, where I stumbled upon self-help resources. I realised that many had found their way out of the darkness through self-therapy. I refused to empty my savings into professional therapy, the thought of which sickened me.

In October 2021, a lifeline appeared in the form of an advertisement from a relatively obscure social media news platform when it called for creators to contribute to their online news aggregator.

Little did I know that this opportunity would become my long-sought therapy, a lifeline of hope in a world scarred by Covid-19.

Allow me to share how the news platform gave me a renewed sense of purpose and a chance to rise from the depths of depression.

Embrace the Power of Words to Overcome Depression

Let me take you on a journey of transformation, a path that led me from the darkest depths of depression to a life filled with purpose and joy.

It all began with the simple act of putting pen to paper, pouring out my emotions and inner turmoil onto the pages of my daily journal.

In those depressive moments, I bared my soul to the blank pages, expressing my frustrations and anxieties. Most importantly, I meticulously chronicled the problems that haunted me. It started as just a single page, but as the days passed, my journal expanded to a hundred pages.

The magic happened when I began categorising these problems. The chaos in my mind became organised, and I could see my challenges clearly. I no longer felt suffocated by the weight of my issues.

Weeks turned into months, and I embarked on the therapeutic journey of solving each problem, one by one. As I conquered them, a glimmer of hope started to emerge in my life.

Amid this transformation, a bright opportunity came knocking. It was an invitation from the news platform, urging me to write.

Writing had always been my dream, and now, it was within my grasp. The editors there were not just encouraging but also generous. They allowed writers to explore any topic, and all they asked for was three columns of 500 words per article every week, offering RM100 per column.

It was exhilarating! I could write about subjects close to my heart, and in return, I’d be rewarded for my work. Life suddenly took on new meaning, and I found myself bursting with enthusiasm.

The experience of getting published and receiving payment for my columns was a beacon of light in the midst of the pandemic.

The weight of depression was lifted, and I transformed from a manic depressive into a prolific writer, churning out daily columns that astonished everyone at the news platform.

The power of words, the catharsis of writing, and the sense of purpose that came from pursuing my passion turned my life around. It’s a journey I embarked on, and you can too.

So, dear reader, pick up that pen, open that journal, and let your words be the bridge to your own transformation. Your story awaits, and it’s filled with promise, just as mine was.

Dr Rahim Said, also known by the pseudonym Mihar Dias, derived from his own name, is a human behaviourist and regular contributor on social media news  commentary platforms. With a varied professional history, he has a wealth of experience in being an academician, management consultant, mentor, corporate trainer and executive coach. His expertise lies in guiding senior executives and individual entrepreneurs, both locally and internationally, to modify their behaviour in alignment with their cherished missions.