Need A Deload From Life

Need A Deload From Life Sketch

CW: s**cidal ideation

It's been one whole year since I graduated from university. And nobody told me that adulting was THIS hard. From dealing with being a newbie in the workforce to the weight of the rest of my life resting on my shoulders, there have been many times where I felt like life was too much. How am I supposed to keep going when I can't even imagine where I'll be in the next few years? I've wanted to give up a handful of times.

No one tells you how your experience with suicidal ideation changes in intensity between childhood-university age and adulthood. In the past, you had more structure around your life. You knew you had to go to school so that was more or less your only purpose in life at that stage. And if you were like me, you dove head-first into it and made the academics your entire world. But when you're done with schooling and you get a job (or don't), it really feels like you're just floating in society, not tethered to anything in particular... maybe except for powerlifting.

That's kind of how I've been this past year since graduating. There's been highs and lows... and low lows. Lots of crying, lots of questioning my existence, and lots of keep on keeping on with the help of powerlifting.

If I had to name a silver lining from the past year, it's definitely re-recognizing that we need to be talking about the role powerlifting plays in supporting mental health. It's easy to take lifting for granted when you're cruisin' and groovin' through life happily, so this experience reminded me of why powerlifting is so important to me.

When you're deeply depressed and you feel as though the world is moving forward and leaving you behind, it's so important to have something you can cling tightly to that gives you a sense of "it's ok, I'm still making progress." And if you're up for it, you can also get on track with your nutrition to help with making strength gains. These aspects of powerlifting help with stacking small victories so you can build the stepping stones you need to move forward with the other aspects of your life.

Need A Deload From Life

This design was inspired by the lows I went through. There were times when I wished some random force of nature would wipe me out so that I could take a break from adulting... kind of like the mass extinction of dinosaurs 65 million years ago. The meteorites in the scene represent the random force of nature. And of course, we know what happens to the dinosaurs, which lends the darker undertone of the design.

Full transparency, at first, I wasn't sure if I wanted to release this design because I worried that it was too dark. But I reminded myself of what No Restrictions is about. NR acknowledges and isn't afraid of the deep, dark and ugly side of mental health. And so, I don't want our apparel catalogue to consist of only positive and optimistic designs. 

Now you know the story behind Need A Deload From Life! Thank you for reading!

- Karen


Bonus: Sketches pre-graphic designer

Need A Deload From Life Sketch 2Need A Deload From Life Sketch 1

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