This was supposed to be done on World Mental Health Day, but ironically I only learned about it the night before. So it has taken me some time.
Every single day while I’m trying to get more work, I face a straightforward question: “Do you have an updated showreel?”
And as much as it’s a simple question, the answer is very complicated.
It’s tough to open about that, especially when it’s a trend more than a real problem, but here we go.
It’s now two and a half years since I was first diagnosed with mild depression and anxiety, and I can guarantee that this has been the biggest change in my life.
Before this diagnosis, I felt lonely, suffering from panic attacks regularly, feeling fear and anger for no obvious reason.
I’ve limited my relationships with almost everyone I know, turning from the guy who was socialising a lot and full of energy, to the introvert who doesn’t want to deal with people.
I was involved in many powerful projects, but they seemed meaningless at the time.
With medication, I was eventually able to handle the day to day tasks, but I’ve never been cured. I gained weight, a lot of weight, and I was feeling better for a while.
But after a year and a half, I found myself going back to the start, lonely, angry, anxious and depressed, even though my work was going perfectly. I was involved in many powerful projects, but they seemed meaningless at the time.
I decided to stop taking my medicines, which was a few weeks before the pandemic hit. Just perfect timing.
Once the lockdown was announced in the UK, I got two big projects canceled and deductions from other ones. I went from working 25 days per month to 5 or 6 only. The worst part is that I know this will not end soon. Even worse: I’m out of batteries.
I’m better than thousands or maybe millions of other people, I know that. Actually, I feel shame for complaining, at least I still have jobs coming in and projects to work on, but I’m really done with trying to handle things, faking the smile whilst doing these day-to-day tasks, or trying to get more work.
I couldn’t find any other way to express myself other than doing this short anime.
So…I’m Hossam. I have been diagnosed with mild depression and anxiety, and yes, I think I’m the one in four that the pandemic has fucked up.
Oh, I almost forgot, my answer to the question about my showreel: it’s complicated, I mean it.