living my best life (with depression)

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 : theconfessionsofawanderer@gmail.com

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35 thoughts on “living my best life (with depression)

  1. Thanks for sharing this, Sam. I think after 2 years away it would be a big challenge to anyone to fit back into home and worse if you’re susceptible to depression. A friend of mine was away travelling for just 3 months last year and found adjustment difficult when she got back. It’s great you’re willing to share your feelings and let people know depression isn’t a case of ‘pulling yourself together’; it’s a disease with its own form. I hope you feel lots better soon 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you so much for reading my post and being so supportive. I try and be as honest as possible here, living abroad is great…. the adjustment not so much (regardless of depression or not) but with the depression it’s been like an added struggle. I am starting to get better day by day and the awesome support of you & everyone else has been both overwhelming and incredible.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks for sharing. I also suffer from chronic depression and anxiety and I take medication for it. It makes such an enormous difference for me, I’d definitely recommend trying! Otherwise, I completely understand where you come from, I struggle every day, but most days I make it without crying. 😉

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  3. Thanks for sharing this and for being so open and honest about what you’ve been going through. As someone who has lived with long term depression, anxiety and panic attacks I can really relate to everything you wrote and thought you expressed the experience of living with these struggles very well. I also lived abroad for a few years and found readjusting to life at home very difficult. I’m settled back now a few years but continue to have ups and downs. Yes one of the most difficult parts of depression/anxiety is knowing that things aren’t that bad, so many people are much worse off but still feeling down and feeling guilty about it. Thanks for sharing, it always helps to know other people experience similar struggles and I’m not alone in it, I hope you come out of this bad patch soon and can start enjoying being back home after your travels.

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  4. Hey! Keep at it, even the thought of going back to a normal life terrifies me, and ive only been away a month! Also I know what you said at the end about reminding yourself of the good in your life, but that can also make it worse, cause then you feel bad for not appreciating what you have? And you wonder why you can’t be happy when you have so much good. Instead you gotta kick the shit out of it, understand that it is a problem, but it’s your problem and you have the power to change the way you think, even though at time it can seem like a mountain, that’s okay. Always remember you’re never alone!

    Stay awesome, and keep writing 🙂

    P.S. Thanks for reading my blog posts!

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  5. Absolutely agree with Travel Gourmet – such a massive change is bound to throw up overwhelming feelings in anyone. I have dealt with this stuff a lot in my life also – it sounds like you are dealing with it perfectly, but several things helped me. For 1, learning mindfulness meditation; https://www.amazon.co.uk/Mindfulness-Dummies-Book-Shamash-Alidina/dp/0470660864
    also this book; https://www.amazon.co.uk/Overcoming-Depression-Cognitive-Behavioural-Techniques/dp/1849010668
    plus something I found really helpful was hypnotherapy.
    Big love x

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  6. Thank you for this post. It lets me know I am not alone or weird. Sometimes it feels like the world is crumbling down on me, and everything feels so heavy and hard to do. At times I wonder if I’m sane because my life looks good and I should be happy but you know…it’s not like I wanted to feel depressed, it’s just there out of the blue and it’s so hard to fight it. Now as one way to deal with it, I run a blog to get me searching and thinking of positivity more frequently and I hope the black clouds in my brain will be gradually replaced with sunshine:)
    Let’s be strong.

    x
    daydreamkingdom.wordpress.com

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  7. Hi, thank you so much for sharing this! It is absolutely normal and don’t think about “i should be happy, I have everything”. I used to have everything as well and still suffered from anxiety on occasions. It is very tough when the future is unpredictable and it is crucial that you are not hard on yourself. We all have our own pace in life, adapting to changes and life situations. I know how living abroad and coming back home is stressful and a huge change. I also know that living abroad is very very tough and requires loads of patience, adjustments and even sacrifice. I’ve tried it all! Stay strong and just keep on going. Dig and dig for your inner power because you have it. You will find it! Just today I wrote about my story and it was the first time I shared it – it wasn’t easy putting it out there. you can read it on my blog if you wish to do so (:

    I know you have the strength to get better and to enjoy in your life – be gentle to yourself and take baby steps.

    With lots of love and compassion,
    Tina @ WorldNaturelle on http://www.worldnaturelle.wordpress.com

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  8. B vitamins can help as well. Try a complete B complex. I’m not sure why, but they seem to balance out the emotions. Also, you may also be grieving your last adventure. If you’ve ever suffered from a heartache, for example, you know that it can really knock you out. Even your stomach can be doing flips throughout the process. Let yourself grieve, even doing something to honor the passing of that phase and moving into another phase of your life, a small gathering with your friends with food from where you have just been, for example. This would be a great way to share your stories and celebrate your experiences on your travels.

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  9. Great post!
    Depression is a complicated disease and being able to speak up and say you suffer from it takes bravery. If you have the opportunity check out Andrew Solomon’s book “The Noonday Demon: An Atlas on Depression” or his TedTalk on depression (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-eBUcBfkVCo). It is illuminating, compelling, and compassionate; and it helped me better understand depression’s various causes, triggers, and treatments.
    “You cannot choose whether you get depressed and you cannot choose when or how you get better. But you can choose what you do with depression especially when you get out of it.” – a quote from The Noonday Demon
    Though it is scary, sharing your experiences with depression will help other people feel less isolated in their depression.
    Thank you for sharing your story.
    Best, Muriel

    Like

  10. You are courageous and honest Sam and your strength will be with you as you strive to live a healthy life. It is important to always talk about your feelings and I sincerely hope no one ever judges you or treats you differently. Best wishes – Margaret

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  11. Hey Sam! I studied and worked in America for three years and now I’m back in the Philippines, where I grew up, living with family. Not by choice, but by obligation. Your posts hit home with me, moving and trying to adjust back is SO difficult, and I did the same as you – looked at it as another adventure, but man, it is not easy. Not too long ago, I found this quote: “You will never be completely at home again, because a part of your heart will always be elsewhere. That is the price you pay for the richness of knowing and loving people in more than one place.” Thought you would appreciate it as much as I do. Know that you have someone across the world who gets you. Looking forward to reading more about your experiences!

    Only the best,
    Karina

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  12. Thank you for sharing this. I’ve been thinking lately about writing a blog post related to my depression and anxiety. I also lived abroad (just for 6 months this year) and since being back I don’t think I’ve been the same person. But then again, while I was abroad I did fall into depression at times. It doesn’t just go away. I want to increase awareness of the illness to my friends and family because some of them don’t quite understand what it’s like. I think if they read more about others’ experiences then they will understand it better. My husband still doesn’t so it’s frustrating at times.
    I totally get you and I really love your posts. I think the best way to conquer our depression is to just express ourselves and that’s what you and I both do. Glad we can share this in common. Not like that’s a good thing or anything.

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    1. For so long I kept it in, but for me this blog allows me to express my feelings and thoughts in my truest form. And actually being honest and open with my feelings and somehow “talking it out” via my posts really helps for me.

      I’m happy to share, but even happier with the support that I’m receiving from the lovely blogging community.

      stay strong, thanks for the love & support

      xxxx

      Like

  13. I wish to thank you for sharing your inner self. I don’t personally share the struggles you do, but rather live with trying to give my best to the person I love, who does have the same struggles as you. Perhaps you could share how someone could best support you. Many times I just feel so lost in knowing what to do to help…You have a deep inner beauty, and I hope you will continue sharing your struggles.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for your wonderful words. It’s so hard to even understand myself when I’m dealing with this inner struggles… let alone share them with others. But I find that just starting typing it all seemingly flows out easily. It’s nice to find that release, but it’s also nicer to have someone to support you, as you do for your loved one (I’m fortunate enough to have someone to support me as well)

      Thank you so much for appreciating my writing, I will continue to share it!

      xxxx

      Like

  14. Thank you for sharing this post. It resonates with me a lot especially reading these 2 paragraphs:

    “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.”

    Sorry, I had to quote you. I just wanted to be specific. Thank you.

    I’d really like to re-blog this and I’m asking you if I could do that. I understand it’s rather personal but you’ve captured something that I think some of us are not able to express – the depression despite the blessings. I’m still working on me…

    Much love and hugs xxx
    Anne

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks so much, Sam. I just feel so embarrassed at times because I’m supposed to be too old to still be battling with my issues but I guess that’s just how it is sometimes. Working on it now 🙂
        I love what I’ve read so far. I think you’re so brave having done what you’ve done so far.
        Hugs xxx

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I think that’s what inspired me to write about my depression. I was always embarrassed about it and felt the need to hide it. I began to realize it was in part due to the stigma that surrounds depression, I felt so sick and tired of it that I decided to write about it…

        It’s not easy, but we can both get through it ❤️️

        Liked by 1 person

  15. Reblogged this on I think, I say, I do and commented:
    An absolute great read! It’s a bonus that it resonates with me a lot.

    Thank you so much for writing this, Sam. And thank you for letting me re-blog.

    Here’s an excerpt:
    “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…”

    Liked by 1 person

  16. I don’t know how many times I crawl into holes and hit the rock bottom, I lost counts. You are right, we should be happy, but sometimes we just can’t do that, and it’s okay. Every time I wake up in the morning and I felt so helpless, I just remember my late my mom and dad, I know they want me to be happy, and I will try my best to be happy. Be happy for the people who love you, Sam 🙂 xo

    Like

  17. This post resonates with me because I periodically go (and currently am going) through depression. Kudos to you for being strong enough to talk about it so openly! I don’t know if or when I’ll ever get open enough to talk about it but I hope to get to this point. Love your blog btw! Look forward to reading more about your readjustment back home and future travels. Stay strong!

    Like

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