A model child and a good student, Daniel always did just fine in an environment with clearly defined limits. With less structure in high school, Daniel started to lose his bearings. At the same time, he faced discrimination and harassment from several classmates. Daniel’s confidence was shaken, and he no longer knew who he was. Thus began his search for identity. He would start big projects, but was not always able to complete them. He looked for challenges, not only to prove to himself that he could handle them, but also to attract attention from others. During this period, Daniel also began to question his sexual orientation. The disappointments and frustrations piled up. At age 40, Daniel experienced his first bout of depression, and thought he could pull himself out of it on his own. So he threw himself wholeheartedly into a major project with his partner, which allowed him to regain his self-confidence and temporarily suppress the symptoms of his depression. A few years went by, and Daniel felt he was doing better, but his malaise resurfaced. This time, he sought the help he needed to begin a new chapter in his life.
Daniel attended group meetings to help him better cope with his anxiety. He became aware of his issues, but more importantly, of his considerable capabilities. Daniel made a quick recovery and emerged with a strong desire to educate people about mental health. He serves on a number of committees at the Primary Health Care and Social Services University Institute (PHCSSUI) as a resource person for mental health researchers. He also acts as a training mentor for future expert trainers. In September 2020, he was to join other new students working towards a bachelor’s degree in social work. This was to be his birthday present to himself! Unfortunately, due to COVID-19, he has had to postpone his training until September 2021.
In the meantime, he moved to the countryside, where nature has given him a sense of peace. From March to October during this period, he worked in a long-term care facility, providing support to the staff by assisting the elderly there.
Through his commitment to others, he has finally found his place in life. Daniel now has a sense of inner peace because he is living in harmony with who he truly is, ready to lend a helping hand in any sphere of mental health.