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I needed help; admitting it was the first step - Moussa Hammoud


"I decided to shut my brain and induce myself in sleep. I escaped the reality, I thought, but my fears haunted my dreams in the most scary nightmares I could ever have. I woke up at night sweating or screaming or breathless. But I wanted to sleep more and more."


Everyone who sees me in person or sees my photos on social media, assume ideas about my personality ranging from cheerful, positive, helpful, strong, proud, free, educated, fashionable... to diva, snob, arrogant, any many other adjectives or traits. Few are those whom I ever let to see the whole me. There has always been a part hidden. As if the lead player is in the backstage with all his anxiety, thoughts, hesitation, fears, pains, illness, weaknesses, impatience, and burdens. You would never find a photo of this lead character sad or suffering, you only saw and see the glory that he nourishes upon.


I have always wished to be that man who can cry in public, who can skip being in charge (or in control) and move on but that was not an option so it was never a choice.


In the past month I felt my defensive mechanisms falling one after the other and with each one i was losing control on an aspect of my life. My anxiety started to show on my daily behavior in an uncontrollable manner. My fears of the unexpected took control over me to an extent that i started to have panic attacks. I couldn’t stay alone at home but i didn’t want to see anyone too. I went to work hoping that i find shelter in my responsibilities but those in turns added to my burdens which I wanted to run from. I decided to shut my brain and induce myself in sleep. I escaped the reality, I thought, but my fears haunted my dreams in the most scary nightmares I could ever have. I woke up at night sweating or screaming or breathless. But I wanted to sleep more and more.


One morning i woke up after a terrifying nightmare, I couldn’t take the situation longer so I called the therapist and asked for an appointment. I had her number for more than a week but i didn’t dare to make the call. She asked me what are you suffering from and without thinking i attached my hopes to the strings of her voice and told her « i need help, am scared »


The feeling after that call made me feel better. Even it was not a therapy session but I felt relieved that my lead character in the backstage has took away a heavy chain blocking me from doing the step forward and it is admitting that I NEED HELP. I accepted the fact that it is OK NOT TO BE OK. Now I do therapy session and in parallel I do theatre once a week and believe it or not i employed my depression episodes in some scenes and my fellows reacted to it.


Therapy doesn’t do magic, and takes time, but you should never estimate the power of admitting the need for help, and then the relief when finding one. Never keep your thoughts only to you, speak to friends and to a professional, occupy yourself with something you love to do and bring the best in you whatever it is and whatever others think of it, just make use of your talents. Slowly your anxiety and/or depression start to disappear and recovery process starts to happen


Moussa Hammoud

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