Nabil Douq has been a Peer Mentor with The NAN Project since last spring, bringing their creativity and sense of humor to every presentation and coaching day. Social Media Coordinator Tom sat down with Nabil to catch up on almost a year as part of the team!

Thank you Nabil, for doing this interview for the Peer Mentor Spotlight!  Tell us a little bit about yourself. 

Hello Tom! Thank you for having me! My name is Nabil and I love video games and movies. I love helping out with The NAN Project and giving back in my own way.  I also have a crazy cat who is evil, but I love him, and I like to give him hugs. 

I know you’re really into video games and a big fan of movies and old films.  What made you have an interest in both video games and movies? And what are your favorite video games to play and favorite movie?

I’ve always loved stories when I was little and I would read all the time. I like to see video games and movies as a way to tell a story.  When it comes to movies and video games, I don’t like things that are all violence.  I like things that prioritize storytelling, character growth, and that you would get from reading, but in a different medium.  For example, one of my favorite movies is Psycho by Alfred Hitchcock. I could watch it whenever! I love it.  For video games, there is one that really stands out to me – Final Fantasy 9. It’s a classic game, but it’s great!

What a great reason as to why you love movies and video games so much! What made you want to become a Peer Mentor for The NAN Project and how long have you worked for us?

I have been with The NAN Project since June of 2019. Even before my recovery process started, I had always wanted to help people by sharing my story, but I was never in a place where I could do it.  This last year was when I was approaching three years in the recovery process, and I was thinking that it was finally the right time. I felt like I was in a place where I could share my story and do what The NAN Project does. I also had some friends that have gone through The NAN Project training and have gone out into schools and I thought that this would be my time to try it and it’s been great.

What has your experience as a Peer Mentor for the NAN Project been like?

It’s been pretty good! When I was a lot younger, I did theater so I am used to sharing, not stuff as personal as this, but going in front of people and speaking. I have never been embarrassed that I have mental health issues and I believe in sharing experiences with people, being open about it and not hiding it.  These were two aspects being combined: being in front of people but also being honest and sharing. I’ve really enjoyed it so far.

Can you tell us one experience that really stood out to you while working with The NAN Project?

Yeah, I really enjoyed the Senior Peer Mentor Training we had in the summer of 2019. It was basic activities, but we a mix of different things to do each week. We did a lot of art stuff, DBT, story telling, yoga, and it was really cool to just get a ton of information. It also was a lot of fun!

What are some of your coping strategies that you use to maintain your own wellness?

A big one for me is writing. I write poetry and I write about how I feel.  It’s different for me than journaling, but it gets thoughts out and even if I never show it to someone it’s out now and it’s not bottled up.  I also really enjoy talking with people. It doesn’t always have to be “therapeutic talk,” but talking about video games and movies it distracts me and that can be helpful too. Movies and books and grounding skills that help me out as well.

Lastly, what are your hopes and aspirations for the future both personally and with The NAN Project?

Well, in terms of The NAN Project, I want to start expanding my work outside of this organization. I don’t want to go away from The NAN Project, I still want to help out in schools and stay connected with them because it’s a great place to work.  A personal goal I have is to learn how to drive soon! That’s a big personal goal I have! I want to do it and feel like I’m in a place where I can, because I used to be so afraid of driving.  Another goal I have is to just keep continuing in the recovery process. I have learned that being kind to myself and moving forward everyday can be my goal.  

Thanks for chatting with us, Nabil!

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