Today? I haven’t felt great.
I don’t mean just feeling sad, I actually don’t feel the need to cry or talk to anyone. I am numb, I feel EXHAUSTED and I can feel the need to stare down a wall. One thing that I hate about feeling this way is that yesterday? I was okay. In fact, I was fine, minus the fact I had a tiny little niggle in the back of my mind. It’s been three days since I finished my hike where I felt positive, empowered and energetic despite 6am starts and yesterday I had two really nice phone calls, read my book and relaxed. Maybe it’s down the fact my face still looks red from the sunburn so I’m keeping out of the sun? The fact that despite going to bed at 10.30pm for the last two nights, allowing myself to sleep in has made me EXHAUSTED. The fact that some selfish people in my room woke me at 5am with their phone alarms constantly ringing whilst they did their hair and makeup for their Machu Picchu hike in their knee high heels – I know this because they kept the toilet light on, even after they’d left. Or perhaps it’s because I’ve let myself do nothing, and when I do nothing I start to get bored and think about really horrible things. Or MAYBE it’s because, and especially when I’m feeling like this, I have no patience for cooking and so despite me buying food to cook (although the bare minimum because now I’ve set myself the goal of not spending money, I’ve been obsessing over it only to go and have a binge food buy the day after), having rice and meat every day is not appealing. Nor is sitting down in the dining room of the hostel eating by myself, looking and feeling terrible after chatting to a slightly up himself guy a few days ago, who hadn’t had a clue about mental illness and travelling, but definitely thought he DID have a clue and then disappeared from the table without even saying goodbye. Maybe I’m due on my period? Maybe I’m missing structure – aka the structure of “free breakfast” in the hostel which gives you a reason to get up. Or maybe it’s because despite writing and writing, in a bid to share, to feel rather than hide my emotions, I am still completely in disbelief that I even have these moods. Ashamed, embarrassed and annoyed I have to deal with these episodes. If there was just a magic pill to make it all go away then that would be great, but I do not want to embark on the journey of A class drugs for that to happen and I know it’s lazy Emily, wanting to stay in bed Emily, that’s talking. So instead I’m writing about it – instead of deleting all my apps that I communicate with people with and disappearing for a few days. Plus I have friends coming tomorrow, so that will hopefully be a great time, and a time I can talk properly.
Today, whilst taking my Anti Depressants, the room cleaner who’ve I have befriended asked me what tablets I was taking and I replied “tablets for Depression” and she said “you have Depression??”, as have SO many people I’ve encountered on this trip. And yet even when I silently nod and say yes, I cannot BELIEVE what I’m saying. I mean, surely that just happens to other people. Surely I don’t have a mental illness, it must be just tiredness. I’m friendly, and sometimes funny and witty and chatty, how can I possibly have a Generalised Anxiety Disorder and Depression? How the hell has this happened?! It’s embarrassing, it’s embarrassing that I’m clearly such a different person on the outside that it comes as such a shock. But then again, I must remember that actually sometimes, some of the most depressed people seem the happiest, take Robin Williams for example. Even so, today was not a good day. So forgetting the fact I’ve spent £90 on postage, £60 on presents and over £150 for more medication, and the fact I told myself I would save money and therefore be Gordon Ramsay in the kitchen for a little bit, I have cooked rice for two dinners and one lunch with a bit of meat and I’ve hated it. The buzzing, elated thoughts of JUST a few days have disappeared down the rabbit hole and I’m trying to run and grab onto them, despite the fact that I’m actually more tempted to go back to bed then running metaphorically right now.
Here’s how I’ve spent my last two days of relaxing which any normal person would probably spend enjoying doing nada.
1. I have had to actively stop myself from going to the restaurant downstairs and getting tempted to buy food and coffee so have stayed upstairs in the “sitting room areas”, out of the sun.
2. My “I must save money” flare of genius until Saturday meant that I bought as little as possible in the supermarket, and ended up buying Tea that smelt like feet so I gave it away, and Coffee that wasn’t actually Coffee but Barley so I gave that away too. Oh, and rice. LOTS of rice. Which down to the little tiny twats in the back of my mind, are convincing me that all da rice is making me fat when in reality I’ve probably not eaten enough for the last two days, and that all so familiar glow of happiness I used to feel when I saw my hipbone show is trying to break through the high fence I started building when I embarked on a short lived, confidence building, new relationship some months ago.
3. I watched Demi Lovato’s online documentary “Simply Complicated” which was brilliant and didn’t make me feel so utterly alone and crazy and then it got to 11am and I spent my day doing nothing.
Also, hilariously, despite the fact I have so far saved money for one day, I felt like such rubbish I went to a really expensive cafe and ordered everything from the menu, including cookies because clearly the “fat twats” in the back of my head want me to feel worse. So really, my shopping trip was completely pointless and I should add rice and meat to my list of available food Emily buys and doesn’t use.
This is SO not to say I’ve felt like this throughout the majority of my travels. But as Bryony Gordon so fantastically writes in her books, the days you are okay you forget what being depressed feels like and then when you’re in the midst of a tidal wave of it, you can’t imagine a day where you actually enjoyed life. And hello, I’m in Cusco, a bustling, gorgeous city, but perhaps it’s the waiting around for my friends that’s contributing to this mood. I need to start making plans to get moving forward otherwise I’ll let myself be carried by the wave and they’ll find me surrounded by crisp packets in bed tomorrow.
There’s not much else to say in this post, other than I guess if anyone has any advice for what to do in these particular situations I would be welcome to hear it. I would be welcome to not feel as alone as I do in this particular moment. Strangely enough, minus Sophie and Shayna who bear the brunt of these outbursts, I don’t particularly want to directly and personally message anyone else. Probably because I’m scared you’ll think I’m a drama queen who should just “cheer up” when damn, it’s just impossible to just “cheer up” when you can’t get through the cloud, the wave, whatever metaphor you want to call it, to “cheer up” in the first place. I know that tomorrow, surrounded by friends I’ve not seen in a year and two other friends I had incredibly, honest chats with a week ago, I’ll feel a ton better. In the meantime, all I can do I guess is write, write, write, try to engage, keep my head high and find another book to read (I’ve just solidly finished a book that took me a year to get through in one hour) and wait for this to pass. As it always does, eventually.
Books to download, tips and advice to offer. Appreciated.
And just because I feel I have to prove to myself that I CAN get back on it, here’s a picture where I felt like I was on top of the world, physically (literally) and emotionally, having pushed myself through something tough and achieved something I was SO happy and proud of.
2 Replies to “My Second Month: Travel VS Depression”
Ems, never feel that you are alone with anxiety and depression. unfortunately they are a sign of the times we live in, and we’ve all felt that. As Scarlett O;Hara said in “Gone with the Wind”, – Tomorrow is another day. Love Dxxxx
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Love you xxxxx