There has seemingly been a theme to my recent posts lately, a theme of sadness … a lack of motivation within me… a sort of difficulty adjusting to the changes in my life. (which thank you to all the the people who have reached out to me and told me it’s okay, you’ve really helped me feel like less of a loon and made this whole process a lot more tolerable and so much easier to deal with)… Returning to my life here at home from my life abroad, has quite honestly not been the smoothest of transitions.
Most of that has to do with the fact adjusting to life after living abroad is ROUGH. There’s so many things both little and small that follow you day-to- day that are just hard to let go of. I mean seriously not even to be over dramatic or anything it’s just difficult .. There’s so much I miss, so many reminders in everyday life that take me back, that make me feel not quite ready to let go of that life I left behind there.
The other difficulties of adjusting are also in part due to the fact that I have a long struggle with depression.
Now as some people know, anxiety and depression tend to go hand-in-hand, and if you read my blog you might know that I suffer from bad anxiety. But I’ve learned to manage that, and I’ve also continuously managed my depression as well *though admittedly not nearly as well* (read more about my anxiety here: Living (abroad) with anxiety ) .. I wanted to share again my story about my *current* battle with depression (although it’s not that strong right now)… because really what I use this blog for is just to express everything going on in this crazy and wild brain of mine.
It’s hard living with a disease such as anxiety, depression, or both. It’s hard because these are things that people don’t like to always openly talk about.. .even though they are actually incredibly common. We as a society don’t talk about it nearly enough leading to some sort of stigma that comes along with the words “depression” and “anxiety”. If people hear those words, immediately they change the way they treat you. Now it’s true, these things may make you different but they don’t make you any LESS. I feel that my anxiety and depression help me to be the person that I am.
To steal a quote … from myself… “Everyone has some level of anxiety (and depression)…. admitting your problems, (however big or small) does not make you weak, it does not make you any less of a person, it’s normal. Besides if someone is going to judge you for being who you are, I am learning, that is not the type of person who deserves to be in your life.” And it’s so true, the people who really and truly matter.. .are the ones who are there for you, are supporting you. The people who you don’t feel as if you need to hide away these pieces of yourself from, those who you can truly 100% be yourself with.
So these past few weeks at home, adjusting to life, the uncertainty of the future…. trying to determine which way is up; at first was very exciting, in the beginning it was like a new adventure. And then it wasn’t. Then it was overwhelming, it became too much. I started having panic attacks again at the uncertainty of it all. I started sleeping for 12, 13, 14 hours at a time. I started pushing people away… thinking that all I wanted was to be locked in my room alone in the darkness. Everything I needed to do, no matter how big or small felt like climbing a mountain. I started feeling as if the weight of the world was pushing down on me and there was absolutely no way I was going to be able to hold it up much more.
Now this may sound silly to some, because I know I’m lucky with the life that I have. I know that the fact that I had the opportunity to live abroad for 2 years and travel through Europe is great. I have a family who loves me, I have a boyfriend who loves me, and I have a place to call home. I know there are some people who are not nearly as fortunate as I am, and i do feel incredibly lucky. But just because I feel lucky and have all these wonderful things in my life, doesn’t mean I still don’t get depressed sometimes.
That’s the thing with chronic depression, sometimes it just happens. And you feel helpless… because you know you should be happy… but you’re just not. And that’s where I’m at right now. I burst into random tears multiple times a day, wanting to crawl into a hole. Things are not that bad. The problems I have right now, are pretty small… they’re not earth shattering deathly problems. They’re small… but to someone suffering from depression like me, it’s catastrophic.
Depression didn’t just come because I’m home, it came while I was abroad too. Now that might be shocking… your living abroad, shouldn’t it be all sunshine, rainbows and airplanes? Well it wasn’t, the thing with living abroad is it’s not simply just a vacation. You have to deal with life realities, finding a job, paying rent, paying bills, relationships, doctors, ect… Then there becomes an added layer of difficulty because you’re now dealing with all these problems in another country, another culture and another language. Problems are still problems, it doesn’t matter where you are. Sometimes these struggles can be even harder to handle when abroad, not having the support system you usually have when you’re back home, you have no family, close friends or comforts to help you through. But you find a way and you make it work. I found my ways to get through my depression abroad, I actually feel like I found more ways to make it work while abroad. (but it could be just because I’m feeling rather down right now)
I know in due time I’ll feel better, I know I need to look on the bright side of things, keep reminding myself of all the good in my life. And I am dealing with this, I am getting through it. But I guess I just wanted to share my story and to write a bit about my depression, the fact that depression comes in all shapes and sizes. If you suffer from anxiety and depression, know that you are not alone. You can get through it, you can survive and you can live your best life.
while i know this post was rather broad, and quite vague… it’s all i have the energy to talk about right now. i do hope to share more about it soon though… thank you to all you lovely people for all your encouragement and support through this- xxx Sam
also- if anyone wants to talk about it (their struggles or mine) I’m here : firstname.lastname@example.org