It’s been the wobbly ending of 2019 and beginning of 2020. Just before Christmas my head became very unstable. I wanted to run away, disappear, make the world to forget about me.
I didn’t feel suicidal, but I wanted to be gone. Strange feeling.
Depression is for me a mystery, but today I would like to share with you my journey inspired by The Minimalists.
18 months ago I hit the rock bottom, my head was gone. My process of recovery is still on, but on top of reaching out for help to health professionals, getting ahead with my therapy, I also got into minimalism. I chucked away all unwanted, unused, hidden away for the future possessions, I sold anything worth something, donated usable stuff, and thrown away anything which I did not use or really needed.
It took me a while to sort things out. I didn’t want to rush things, just chuck away everything. I wanted to do everything meaningfully and slowly. Donated majority of my clothes, also done some of cleaning with my kids.
But what was mostly therapeutic for me? I realised that I used to buy things, just after receiving a paycheck. Straightaway after money landed on my account, I was looking to buy something. New clothes, shoes, a gadget, or any item which I always wanted. I realised that shopping is filling a void, I didn’t know what was it, why, but I realised that after a day or two of feeling happy to be owning this thing I literally felt even more depressed and shit. It didn’t work.
I made the decision to stop buying things overall. Not a thing, not an object or single piece of clothing. On top of that, I decided that if I will need anything to wear, or if something which I have will get destroyed, I will first go and look for a replacement in the charity shop, before buying a new item. My girlfriend wasn’t impressed, she was worried that I will refuse to buy anything whatsoever and force her to go the same path as me.
I needed a few pieces of clothing after a few months, but I refused to buy absolutely anything. She was telling me – Niko, you need new T-shirts, I told her – no I got few, used ones and in the pretty banged-up state, but I will not buy anything til I will be absolutely sure that I can’t live without it. And I can.
I stopped buying dumb shit, stopped buying things I don’t need, I stopped buying everything – I focused on relationships, bettering my mental health, being present and spending time with my loved ones. I am still not buying things, my girlfriend does, when she has enough of me postponing my purchases forever – she just buys things – and sometimes she has to return them. She thought I needed shorts for holidays in Morocco – I had a different opinion. She got me one and I did use it but I would survive without them.
Coffee on your way to work? Get a travel press and make it at home – you will save money and environment. Reduce meat, I am vegetarian since November. Just try to eat less of it. Save our planet. Stop buying fast foods, pizza for 20 quid? No, thank you. Check your direct debits, cancel anything you don’t need or use. Call suppliers and get some loyalty discounts. We saved £300 only this year. Flip some things – sell your stuff which you not using for more than six months, sell old phones, old bikes, clear some space and be happy. Stop buying stuff. Stop wasting your time.
I can tell you, as Gary Vee – Stop spending money on dumb shit you don’t need. Period.
This is what’s wrong with this world, consumptionism in pure form. You don’t need new gadgets, new shoes, another pair of trousers. You don’t need this crap, you need to forget about latest fashion releases, new technologies. It’s not making you happy, it’s making you lost in this rat race.
Be kind to yourself.
Six months without buying dumb stuff, any stuff, just food and… time for my loved ones.