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Depression as Fuel for my Wanderlust

18.01.2016

 

Some days (not every day, not even most days, but some days) I wake up in the morning and listen to the sounds of life going on around me.

 

It could be my parent's making breakfast. It could be my roommates getting ready for class. It could be the hum of freeway traffic rushing by.

 

It doesn't matter.

 

I wake up absurdly early and I lay in my bed for hours and listen to it all, calculating over and over how late I can get out of bed and still manage to finish everything on my to-do list.

 

"If I give myself 10 more minutes, I won't have time to shower. But I can just shower tomorrow. Because tomorrow I will have the energy." On days like this, my mantra is always, "tomorrow I will have the energy."

 

Sometimes these funks last a couple hours. Or a couple days. Or a couple weeks. There's no knowing how long it will last until it is over.

 

I have tried everything short of medication.

 

I have tried making plans with friends. I have tried playing upbeat music in the morning. I have tried waking up earlier, waking up later, eating better, eating worse, eating more, eating less, taking longer showers, wearing cozier clothing, drinking herbal tea, drinking more wine, drinking less wine, fighting depression with all I've got, giving into the darkness completely, pretending I don't have depression, going to therapy, buying a crystal that is supposed to put off positive vibes, studying everything there is to know about the science of depression... I even tried eating chocolate at the start of every morning.

 

Some things helped, but never for very long. Except one. I found one thing that almost always works: planning an adventure.

 

Many of my adventures were born out of my darkest days where the only way to feel better was to dream about places I wasn't.

 

First I would escape virtually. Then I would escape physically.

 

After my first solo adventure, travel became a drug. Every trip became an opportunity to start fresh and go somewhere that my depression had never been.

 

Whenever I stand still for too long the weight of the world gather's on my shoulders, but if I keep moving the weight continues to fall behind me. So I keep moving.

 

The world is vibrant. When I am part of this vibrancy, my darkness disappears. When I am lost in a new city, I don't have time to get lost in my mind. When I am learning a foreign language, I forget the language of depression. When I travel, I am free.

 

Some might call my wanderlust escapism.

 

Others might call it coping.

 

I call it living.

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