A while ago I shared a post about my depression while travelling from when I first got to Canada. I wanted to admit that this was a watered-down version of how bad I actually felt because although I wanted to share my experiences, I didn’t want to worry people back home. Here is a note that I wrote in my phone that I never had any intention of actually sharing:
“After last night’s post I’ve had so many people reach out to me and I appreciate them so much. I know they’re trying their best to help but being told everything will be OK soon isn’t helping. I don’t mean to be ungrateful. Not at all. I know they mean well and there isn’t much else they can do or say. But I can’t see how I can possibly be happy anytime soon when I feel so stuck. I’ve never ever felt like this before. In the hundreds of times I’ve experienced depression, I’ve always had a little bit of hope. But I don’t have that hope anymore. All I see in my future is me going through the motions feeling completely numb as I am now.
I usually bounce back from depression and am my old self soon enough but it doesn’t seem to be happening this time. I can only distract myself for so long before the feelings creep back again. I’ve had constant thoughts of dying which is absolutely terrifying- that’s something I’ve never experienced before. Luckily another part of me can still think logically and know that these thoughts are irrational. I feel like I’m being so ungrateful but I genuinely can’t control this. It’s extremely difficult to keep fighting the negativity. I’m trying so hard to feel better but everything is so exhausting.
I feel guilty for feeling sad. Like I’m being a self-centred brat and wasting my days in a city most people would love to be able to travel to. I’m scared, I feel lonely and I feel defeated. I regret my decision to come here and I don’t feel like doing anything other than sleeping- my thoughts are driving me crazy. I don’t know how to make it better. This is all so overwhelming and I don’t have anyone here to help me. I really don’t know what to do.”
Yup. That post is very different to the one I shared. But as I’m reflecting over the last few months and thinking about all the life-changing, amazing moments I’ve had, I wanted to show people that it will get better. No matter how helpless you might feel.
In my case it was a matter of taking control of my health and my life again. I’d had enough of feeling victim to my moods. A lot of people choose to go on antidepressants. Me? I did a lot of research and was able to mirror the same effects through a healthy diet and supplements. Once I had that sorted, I was able to think clearly and change how I thought about my situation. I had more motivation to take care of myself. To exercise and to go out and meet people in my new city. And as time went on I felt better and better.
I think the most important thing was that I focused only on each moment- not the next few days, weeks or even hours. Circumstances may make things easier/harder but ultimately it is mindset that will bring happiness. I never thought I’d experience depression while travelling but in March I was completely at rock bottom. I’m so glad to say that my life has changed for the better in the last few months and I never could’ve predicted any of it. I’m thankful for the fabulous people who helped me get through it. The new friends I made on my travels, and my friends and family who supported me from the other side of the world. I love you all.