I’ve been suffering from depression for about two and a half years now. At least that’s how long I remember being conscious of it.
At the time I was living in New Zealand. I had a good job, lived in a lovely flat with my boyfriend Dom and spent my weekends doing road trips or vineyard-hopping. I seemingly had a pretty amazing life.
But behind the scenes I was falling apart. I was having regular panic attacks, felt constantly angry and would struggle to get through the days.
At the time I decided that I must be suffering from anxiety, with the depression arising as a direct result of that. A fair assumption given the panic attacks. I have since been told by a therapist that it is actually the other way round but hey, who knows.
I took matters into my own hands. We both quit our jobs, left New Zealand and moved to Thailand for 6 months to start our own web design business.
You’re probably thinking now that moving countries and starting a business are both pretty stressful things by themselves, let alone together. And that it surely can’t have been a good move for my mental health. And you would be exactly right.
Whilst we did have an absolutely amazing time, my depression continued to deteriorate and the symptoms I had been experiencing in New Zealand intensified.
So we left Thailand and went home.
Fast forward a few months and I was spending the vast majority of my days in bed. I would swing between angry outbursts and feelings of pure hopelessness. Our web design business, as you can probably imagine, ground to a complete halt.
That was 18 months ago now. Since then I have had ups and downs. Periods when I felt as though my depression had pretty much disappeared and periods when I felt as though the World was caving in on me. We lived in New York and China before finally deciding to settle down in the UK where we have been living and working for the past 8 months.
With a combination of antidepressants and CBT therapy, I am slowly starting to rebuild my life and have started to return to the things that I love, this blog included.
I’ve been thinking long and hard about where I want this blog to go. My lifestyle has changed significantly since I first started this travel blog and travel is no longer the foremost thing in my life.
I still love to travel but it’s a bit differently. A weekend away here, a weekend away there and one or two big trips a year. And I’ve realised that that is what is best for my mental health.
My main passion now is working on my mental health and creating a life that I love. Instead of the crazy ups and downs of travel, I now take as much pleasure in spending a cosy evening at home as I do flying off to some far flung place.
And I am slowly starting to feel genuinely happy with myself and with my life, something I’m not sure I have ever felt.
Its taken me a long, loooong time to get to this point and I still have even further to go, but I want to start sharing what I learn and hopefully help others along the way too.
So from now on, I’ll be posting about twice a week about mental health, self-care, stress-management and anything else related to creating a happier life. Sometimes I’ll be sharing tips on what helps me and sometimes it might be a bit more of a personal post. We shall see.
So until next time…goodbye, and thank you for reading!