Hey everyone - some of the longer-term members may remember me from a few years back as Emperor_Matej_I. Due to a number of factors, I haven't been online much lately and certainly haven't visited At0mic for a few years.
Those of you who know me may be aware that I was practising as a solicitor in Canberra. Although I initially loved the work, a number of stressors arose last year which put me off the job. The crux of my job dissatisfaction is that lawyering involves dealing with a lot of negative emotions and negative people. Most of my work involved dealing with people who were going through difficult circumstances - they didn't call or visit when things were going well, but rather when there was a big legal mess for me to clean up. This took a significant toll on my mental health - I became very depressed and my anxiety levels were worse than when I was going through university exams.
My situation was not helped by the fact that I separated from my partner of 5.5 years. I had invested heavily in this relationship and not just financially. I looked after my partner and supported us both when he was diagnosed with cancer - this included spending about a month in Sydney whilst he was in hospital after major surgery and being the sole breadwinner for about two years whilst he recovered sufficiently to be able to work again. This relationship ended somewhat acrimoniously and my partner told me that he didn't love me for about the last three years of the relationship and that rather, he stayed with me because he needed a place to stay. Not only did this make me very angry, but it crushed my self-esteem and made me even more depressed. After the breakup, I realised that my ex had been even more manipulative and emotionally abusive during our relationship - I only knew about the tip of the iceberg due to his deceitfulness. I broke up with him on 13 February 2015 and I haven't really looked back since. I'm still single and will happily remain thus until I find someone that I can fully trust and that won't abuse me.
I started my own business (as a solicitor practising alone) late last year, mostly for lifestyle reasons so that I could have more control over my working hours. Although things started picking up earlier this year, I nevertheless became disillusioned with the law and the legal system generally. I saw first-hand the effect that the legal system had on many people who participated in it and just how much the law often destroyed lives. Furthermore, through my time in practice, I realised just how stupid many of our laws were and just how fundamentally flawed the entire system was. Running my own practice was a bit of a rollercoaster ride that brought me into contact with the good, the bad and the ugly throughout Canberra. It was a great learning experience, but it ultimately showed me that litigious legal practice is not for me. It is far too negative and far too dirty for my liking.
Furthermore, due to my mental health issues, my well-being spiralled downwards from last year onwards. I battled with depression, anxiety, psychotic episodes, paranoia, addiction and severe trust issues. I have been lied to, robbed and used too many times to count and as a result, I am very much down-and-out at the moment financially and materially. I basically have to start over from zero to rebuild my life. Nonetheless, I'm definitely on the mend and feeling a million times better than a few months ago. I recently read a book on mindfulness and living in the present which greatly helped my mental health recovery. I've also found God and have been re-reading the Bible. Many of you would remember me as a demon child that hated religion, but reading the Bible again after having the life experiences that I have now caused me to reconnect with the faith that I'd lost throughout my life.
Finally, I've decided to change careers and move into something a little bit more constructive. As such, I've enrolled in an IT certificate and am hoping to get into programming and software development. This has always been an interest in mine, but it's one that I neglected whilst I was with my ex because of the teasing I would cop when I did anything fun involving computers. That's why I've decided to create a new At0mic account and get back onto the forums. I've noticed a number of names that I remember and I'm glad to see that many of the old-timers in the community are still around. I hope you've all been doing well and that I'll be in touch more now that I've started getting my life back on track!