Yo! It’s a Mental Health Monday post and it’s Saturday today (not off to a great start…). Aside from a few old scheduled posts, this is the first blog I’ve written/posted since arriving back home…twenty days ago.
It’s been really rough.
I knew that after getting home, Lincoln and I would most likely suffer from post travel blues for a while. They’re a legitimate thing, there is lots of information online about having a lull in your emotions after returning home from an extended vacation. We were well prepared and talked about a plan for when we got back home. We talked about keeping busy and distracting ourselves – as well as being aware that we would feel down, as a means to not get too hung up on it. We had a LOT of things to look forward to when getting home too. Setting up the spare bedroom as an Airbnb and getting to see our family and friends again were on the list. I thought that all of this would make getting home easy. I was wrong (clearly).
When we got back home, we instantly caught up with our closest friends and family members that we hadn’t seen for 6 months – it was great to see them all, but something felt a little off. They all asked us the same question “did you have a good time?” – but how can you sum up 6 months of living in a foreign country with a simple yes/no answer? Our time away was stressful – we got stuck up a mountain with no phone reception, we drove through Miami traffic, we were apart for two and a half weeks when I went to Costa Rica on my own – not knowing whether or not I’d return, we stayed at some really dodgy places and interacted some people that were selfish. Our time away was hectic, tiring, expensive, hard…by the end, we were glad to be coming home. But when people ask “did you have a good time?”, they don’t want to hear about the stressful things that happened. They want and expect you to say “yes! It was great!” Don’t get me wrong, it was great, I had an awesome time away and it was a life changing experience. But no one really wants to hear about it. No one cares about your adventures and other successes as much as you do, that’s just a fact. After the initial conversations we had with our friends and family over the first week, the content changed to “so what are you doing now?” type chats. The novelty and joy seeing all these people for the first time in so long has worn off and everything is back to normal already. We’re no longer that interesting couple that left home for 6 months and people are now back to not really making an effort to see us. I feel dumb for not expecting this.
At the moment, I’m spending a lot of time sitting doing literally nothing – something I’ve really struggled with before. Before we went away I was always tinkering, crafting, colouring, watching, texting rarely able to sit still. Now I’ll just sit on the couch and stare at the wall, or have a bath or something else that’s as non-eventful. I’m not moping or miserable doing this, I’m just kinda checked out. I’m trying really hard to organise things with friends and family to keep busy and to have things to look forward to, but on the same hand – I’m finding it way too much effort and stressful to get anything done.
I started these Mental Health Monday blogs as a way to improve my mental health and also to focus on things that are positive, but perhaps also being really honest about things that are going on could be something else that I write about. When I started these I wrote about how when I got home I wanted to try and come off my medication because I don’t really like that I’m relying on it to be normal or whatever. So I went to my doctor this morning and he was asking about my holiday and whether or not I was still keen on going off my medication and what I wanted to say was “yes, that would be a great thing to do!” but what fell out of my mouth was “God, no.” The thought of being this miserable AND going off my medication at the same would just be a real risk. So we looked at my mental health plan and I’m going to have a chat to a psychologist and see what she thinks I should do. I have another 6 months of my prescription and then after that maybe we’ll assess the situation again. My doctor said that it’s really rough coming off them, so that should be an interesting experience when we get to it. I’ll probably blog about it.
I haven’t been blogging or uploading videos since we’ve been back, despite them being ready to go, because I’m worried about making the commitment to them once I get started again. Because I don’t know what I’m going to be doing from now on. I don’t want to go on another holiday anytime soon, but I also don’t feel like I’m mentally ready to work. It’s really rough – but I’m feeling positive that it’ll be okay soon enough!