My post living abroad depression started since the moment I came through that airport on my way back home from Spain, after living there for a year, I’ve been depressed. I met depression for the first time in that period of my life and I didn’t seem to get used to it. My depression made feel stuck, the future looked like a pretty dark place and the uncertainty of it didn’t seem to wake up any curiosity. At first, my depression felt like a deep feeling of sadness, and like it would pass. But then, the feeling of drowning kept visiting frequently and it was very exhausting.
At first, I was just missing everything: the city I used to live, the new friends I left behind, the food, and the long walks. But what I didn’t know at the moment is that what I missed the most, was the person I became when I was back there. It took me 2 years to figure that out and it also required lots and lots of therapy.
When I realized was that when I came back, I just got dressed in my old suit, put on my old mask, but it didn’t fit me anymore (note that all this happened unconsciously). I tried to get back to my old personality, my old habits, but they didn’t fit eighter and they don’t seem to be enough anymore, and they definitely do not seem to make my heart smile anymore.
This was the true definition of change and becoming someone new. And this happened to be a good thing. The mistake was to pretend to come back to my old self, and to think this would work out. My depression has been invasive, intense, and at first I didn’t get it. I came back home, and at first, I was really scared of coming back home. Maybe I had a feeling of what was coming? But the strange thing is that “I’ve never felt depressed before”, so it was really new to me.
Before I left, I used to believe that my happiness laid in a perfect relationship with the man of my dreams and that he would make me very happy. So I was in this constant “search” now better explained as an obsession (maybe because deep down I knew that wasn’t the key to happiness) of a person who would meet those expectations. I was waiting for a miracle.
But when I left, I found happiness. And I didn’t find it in a perfect prince or a relationship. So the following questions started torturing me:
° What was it that Spain gave me, that made me happy and gave me the sensation of fulfillment?
° Was it the friendships that I made? Was it in the countries that I met?
But it seems to be that I found something called *freedom*. But it wasn’t the freedom of being able to go out whenever I wanted to, or the freedom to go crazy at some disco. It was the freedom that allows you to determine your steps. The freedom that gives you confidence to create and follow your own path. The freedom that gives validation to your rhythm and your timing. My mistake was coming back and instead of following that same path that I started, I tried to find myself in a world that wasn’t mine anymore. And that I didn’t belong.