Depression is boring! And i for one am probably the most bored of it! It’s the main reason I’ve struggled to write a blog post in the six weeks that I’ve been in Hong Kong. Because the only thing I can think to write about is the one thing I’m most scared to admit! I should probably start a blog about gardening or knitting instead of one that pours my heart out but unfortunately I don’t have the millions of dollars required to own a garden in Hong Kong and I’m really bad at knitting so here we are! …..(Actually if truth be known when I did have a garden (small concrete yard) in London, I hired a gardener to clear the weeds after I discovered just how many spiders can live in the undergrowth!)
I’ve been in Hong Kong for six weeks and at a time when I should have been brimming with excitement, the depression that has plagued me for well over half my life reared its ugly head and threatened to take a hold! When I arrived here I wanted to be happy, I wanted to be excited, I wanted to breathe in everything the city had to offer! I knew the skyscrapers were amazing, I knew the beaches were beautiful! Yet the pain in my heart cast them all behind a fog that I struggled to see through! And I couldn’t understand why, after years of wanting to move abroad, it hurt so damn much to be here! Yes I knew I’d be homesick but this was something more! I had to admit that the depression, that black dog was definitely here in Hong Kong! It snuck up on me before I left and was probably the reason my case weighed so much as I headed to the airport! Ok it’s also possible that the amount of clothes i’d crammed in took me over my weight limit, but Depression definitely took up way too much of my baggage! It brought with it fear, self doubt and self loathing; three things I definitely didn’t want to pack, not least because my measly 20Kg already meant I’ve had to leave many pairs of much loved shoes behind (I miss them daily)!
So there, I said it! I’ve had depression for over half of my life! And I think even those close to me might be surprised to read that! Because it’s not something I talk about, it’s not something I dwell on and it’s not something I like to admit! Even now I’m scared that I shouldn’t be writing about it! I’m scared it will make me seem pathetic, miserable and weak! That people will read this, roll their eyes and tell me to cheer up! That people will think I’m a weirdo, a freak and not someone they would want to be around! (And yes I am a bit of a weirdo as one person likes to point out…but only in a weirdo chic way…. Like geek chic but without the need for fake glasses)
I think those insecurities probably go hand in hand with the depression but it doesn’t make them any less real!
Trust me when I say, it’s not that easy to just cheer up! And that’s what makes it so damn boring! There are only so many times you can admit you’re not really ok when you’re asked, without sounding miserable, without sounding ungrateful for your blessings or without sounding like you just need a good kick up the ass! And I hate that! I hate that depression takes away part of who I am and replaces it with someone I don’t like or recognise! I hate that in the past few weeks I’ve felt lost! I hate that I haven’t felt like me! Because without depression I’m fun (some would even say funny), happy and ridiculously cool to be around 😉
I’ve spent most of this year talking about and trying to ‘feel the fear and do it anyway’ and so I finally decided that maybe this post had to be written! If for no other reason than for me to be confident in who I am and to face it head on! Yes I’ve suffered with depression, yes it still causes me a problem but no I’m not miserable, or boring or pathetic! As someone who’ll always like a post on Facebook if it supports mental health, as someone who’ll share posts that talk about removing the stigma and raising awareness I think it’s about time I raised some awareness by being honest! I shouldn’t be ashamed of something on the one hand whilst claiming to support it on the other!
In a lot of ways I hope I’m stronger because of this! Before I moved to Hong Kong I spent well over a year weaning myself off the anti depressants id been on for 16 years! Physically, it was a horrible process! The withdrawal made me sick and dizzy as my body struggled to adapt without the medication. Finally being able to go a day without a tablet and not feel sick was an incredible feeling! So much so that I failed to recognise the emotional impact it was going to have. For weeks I was incredibly teary ( even more so than normal) and feelings of insecurity plagued me! This probably wasn’t the best time to be moving to the other side of the world! But, despite the timing and the impact of going without medication I’m determined to stay off them if I can! Being physically dependant on tablets is not something I ever want to experience again!
And despite the fear, I think I’ve put my all into my first few weeks here! Ive battled to ignore the feelings of misery and instead I’ve gone out and got involved! And I’m starting to feel better; At least for now…I’m still definitely scared of those feelings! I know that sounds ridiculous; feelings can’t hurt me… But then again some would argue that neither can the cockroaches I found in my bathroom, yet that didn’t stop me screaming the place down and squirting them with the shower head when I discovered them! And I still tread tentatively when I enter…. Note to all…. Check your shower curtains before you get in the shower!! (Shudder shudder)!
But I’m determined not to let the fear win…. After all I still need a shower at least once in a while!
I know I’m blessed, I know I’m fortunate, I know I’m having some amazing experiences right now and Hong Kong is an awesome place! I’m definitely starting to feel happy about my decision to move here despite the £10 average for prosecco (seriously it’s bordering on a violation of my human rights) and the lack of real dairy milk…. Australia what do you put in it?? Ruining dairy milk is an actual crime!
I’m still scared of being forgotten, I’m still scared of losing my friends at home but I think this might be just what I need! After all if I can get in a netball court for the first time in twenty years and live without false nails (I know I’m achieving so much right now) I can pretty much do anything!