It boggles the mind. How could something that took so long to spiral out of my control be fixed in a few short months? And where do I go from here – after all of the battles with my own brain, free at last, for now at least?
It all started two years ago in Zipolite in Mexico, my favourite place on earth. It was, however, my first visit there. To make a long story short, I met a boy, and he broke my heart.
That’s when the spiralling began. Where before I travelled from place to place with an idea of where I was going – a reason, a something – I began moving, moving, moving just for the sake of movement. If only I could reach the next far off place, everything would be better. For a while I stagnated in Florida, dusting myself off after having been played by the guy who I thought was my perfect man. After a couple months I felt ready, and hit the road for Europe.
And it was good for a while, albeit with loneliness consuming me. Prior to meeting said asshole, I had been travelling with my ex, so my days of travelling solo were far in the past at this point. After a good run of Europe, reuniting with various friends I’d met along my travels, I hopped on the plane to Asia.
Things started to deteriorate rapidly.
Where I would normally be social at a hostel, making friends with everyone in sight, I instead hid in my hut in Pai, Thailand. At nighttime I didn’t go out to the bars to make friends, but watched Netflix instead. Already something was obviously wrong, but I didn’t see how bad it was getting. I was lonely, with no desire to socialize. I didn’t feel particularly bad, nor did I feel good, on the right path, or anything of the sort while in Thailand.
It was around this time I met a dear friend to me, who has become pretty much my soul sister, for lack of a better word. I found one of the few people out there who understands and experiences the woes of being a nomad, moving from place to place, never quite finding home. She was a god send. And for a couple short weeks, a group of us celebrated Christmas and tubed down a river and had weed pizzas, and everything was amazing.
Until it wasn’t.
As the group dissipated, each going our separate ways, I started feeling low again. I had to fly back to Florida. I simply had to, and it had to be now. So I spent all my money on an insanely expensive flight, and back in Florida I found myself. It wasn’t long before I’d bounce back over the Mexico, never able to stay put for long.
From Florida to Mexico to Canada to Mexico to Canada… I was out of control. Finally I had to face my demons: I was depressed, and I was finding no joy – not even in my paradise. I had to go back to the place I hated most in the entire world: the land from whence I came. Edmonton, Canada. As I write this it is -30C outside. A beach lover myself, you can see why I detest this concrete jungle of freezingness.
Even here I could not stay; after a month I decided to go over to Vancouver Island and get help there instead. A week in, I changed my mind, and returned.
Always unsure, but unable to stop moving. Filled to the brim with ideas, none of which excited me.
So I came back to Edmonton and really started to try. I got on the proper meds, and started trying to see old friends more and more. At first it was a push; I would feel bored at home, but going out seemed daunting and, at times, terrifying. I could only see people for a short amount of time before I felt emotionally exhausted and had to go home.
But in the last few weeks, something has changed. I’ve been excited to see friends, and to go out in the world. I’ve been open about my depression from the beginning, so I know I don’t need to hide what I’m going through.
And one day I opened my eyes, and I didn’t dread the world ahead.
I woke up excited for a day where nothing was planned.
My dragon – my depression – had stopped blowing fire into my brain, and begun to come back round to my side. He always does, eventually. My dragon is my biggest enemy, and my best friend. He pulls me down, knocks me around, tells me I’m worthless… he pushes me to be my best, to follow my dreams, to be the powerful creature I am. If only he’d calm his shit and just stick to being buddies always.
But for now, we’re pals again. So back off to Mexico I go, to that very same paradise where it all started spinning out of control. Time to get back to being the glorious creature I am, fire breathing and all.