i'm no longer depressed

I’m no longer depressed.

I think I’m quite good at feeling the lowest of the lows then coming out of it quickly. Well, quicker than I thought I’d be able to while being in those depressive states. I don’t know why. Maybe it’s from all the personal development books and podcasts I’ve consumed my life with. Maybe it’s genetics. Maybe it’s a mix of a lot of things.

Coming out of depression was a slow process and then it happened almost instantly. And what I mean by that is that for me anyway, the hardest part was coming to the decision to not be depressed. It was coming to the decision to accept what was happening to me now. Because deciding to let go of what I’d been holding onto was easy. But reaching that decision was the hardest part. And I think in a lot of scenarios that tends to be the case.

That’s not to say that I disregard chemical imbalances in the brain because I 100% understand that there are some cases where absolutely nothing will help except prescribed medicine. But in my personal case, it never got to that point where I truly felt I needed it. I definitely considered it. But it wasn’t going to be my first option.

In a way, it was scary for me to come out of depression. It’s a strange feeling where it almost feels more comfortable to be depressed than to be happy. It’s like a security blanket that you hold onto. You feel safe and warm and even though you so badly want to be happy—the thought of being happy can also become scary—because it means that things will change. And change can be uncomfortable. Especially because you never know what will happen.

The unknown is scary. And what made me stay depressed was holding onto this idea of the future that I so badly wanted and couldn’t let go of. But the more I held onto that idea, the more depressed I became. I didn’t know what was going to happen and holding onto this idea of what I wanted felt easier than accepting the fact that the future is unknown.

But staying depressed affected everything. My anxiety heightened and I’d spend many mornings on the way to work crying. There were times when nothing would even happen and I’d start crying. I’d be walking my dog and out of nowhere—my heart would start beating fast, my throat would close up, and tears would start falling down my face. I wouldn’t be thinking about anything in particular. It would just happen.

I lost a lot of confidence in myself too. I never fully felt like myself. I felt scared and shy and became frustrated with myself. I knew that I wasn’t being my authentic self but I couldn’t quite shake myself out of it. It was like my body was stuck or trapped.

Coming out of depression was a process. One that I’m still going through now. (Literally as I write this it’s been 2 days since I came to all of this. So jury’s still out!) There were days when I thought I was fine. Then the next day I’d wake up and end up staying in bed all day, unable to leave except to eat. But I always allowed myself to have those days. And I’m lucky I could have those days. As hard as I can be on myself, I tried to let myself feel everything to its fullest. If that meant holding in the anxiety while I was at work only to completely let go as soon as I got in the car, I’d let myself do it. Because more than anything, it’s much more helpful to feel everything you’re feeling than to hold it in and stay in denial. It only prolongs the process. And maybe that’s the biggest thing that helped me come out of it all as quickly as I did. Because facing the issues that are holding you back is inevitable. So you might as well deal with it now, right?

speaking of sadness

I haven’t wanted to write anything here in a while because it seems like every week things change and I can’t seem to find a space of peace and stability. This whole year has been like that though. It’s been one fucking mess. It’s been both the best and worst year of my life. The highs have been incredibly high and the lows have brought me into a deep sadness. Speaking of sadness—I think I may be depressed. I think. Everything seemed to go downhill since my visa ended. And now that I’m back in Perth, things have only begun to get worse. I don’t mean my life has gotten worse—just my mental health.

I went out for a drink with Lien last night. I cried to her over a bottle of chilled Radikon. I was telling her how being sad in London is fine for me but being sad in Perth is worse because you shouldn’t be sad in Perth. Perth is a paradise! The sun! The beach! The money! How could you hate Perth? I don’t know how many times I can try to explain to people that I’ve just never liked Perth. I love it. But I don’t like it. I’ve never felt connected to it and it’s never felt right for me. I’ve never wanted to be here. I never saw myself staying in Perth. I never saw myself settling down here in a nice house with a backyard and going for coastal walks in the mornings and brunch on the weekends. I never saw any of that for myself.

Ever since I was young all I’ve ever wanted to do was get out of Perth. It started with a lot of travelling around the world. And when I finally moved to London—I’d finally found a city that felt like home. So leaving London has been the hardest thing I’ve ever had to go through. I thought I was okay when I got to Perth but I really wasn’t. I’m really not.

I’m struggling to leave my bed when I don’t have work or plans scheduled with friends. I’m binge watching a lot of shows. I’m emotionally exhausted from crying. I have both private and public breakdowns almost every day. I don’t feel present in life. I don’t feel like myself. And on top of everything else—I miss him so so much. And my heart has slowly been breaking not knowing what will happen.

I know that good things are ahead of me. There are things to look forward to. But none of it is making me excited. None of it is making me happy because I can’t focus on anything other than the fact that my heart is hurting—for a home that I can’t live in and a boy so far away.

doing things i like

I’m back in Perth and the future is very unknown to me at the moment. I guess it always is but sometimes you seem to have a slight idea as to where your life is heading … and other times despite having that slight sense of direction everything turns and you’re suddenly left with absolutely no clue.

Yesterday Mathilde asked me, “What do you want to do?”
“I don’t know. I’m just doing things I like.”

And that’s the best that I can do. I don’t think I’ll ever really know where I’m going with life or what big thing I’ll end up doing. But I think if I just continue to do the things I like, I’ll have enjoyed a good life.

“trying to rekindle my youth or some shit.”

I talked all night to Sofia about wanting to smoke as we ate pasta and drank the house white. And then we went to the Dolphin because you haven’t truly been to Hackney if you’ve never been to the Dolphin. And we drank our pint and Sofia kept talking about wanting to smoke and I think by that point I was pretty much over it but she went and bought a pack of Marlboro Golds anyway because they’re my favourite—well, they were my favourite—and she told me I could smoke if I wanted to. So we went outside to the back garden and I put the cigarette in between my lips and I lit it and inhaled and while it sat between my two fingers, I suddenly felt weird. I thought about how this used to be normal for me and now, because I hadn’t done it in so long, it felt a little strange. It felt strange and natural and comfortable and also not so comfortable too. And I don’t even think I liked it all that much but I finished the cigarette anyway and then I put it out on the floor and threw it in the bin because I was never the type of smoker to litter and I still wouldn’t be now. And I didn’t really think I’d ever feel the need to smoke again but it’s been 6 days since that last cigarette and now here I am again, thinking about it, fantasising about it.

This morning Brad told me he smoked a cigarette last night. He hadn’t smoked in 4 years. “Trying to rekindle my youth or some shit.” And then I started reading a piece of writing about this Swedish girl who also used to smoke and doesn’t anymore. And I read a piece about a time in her life when she did smoke and I remembered my life when I did smoke and sometimes I still think I’d be a little happier if I just really started smoking again. And I genuinely mean it. And now here I am, sitting in this flat, writing about smoking, and thinking about smoking. And I always said I wasn’t addicted, I just liked it, but here I am again, thinking about smoking.

"it's your lucky day"

sometimes it helps to put on an outfit that makes you feel good and buy a new moleskine because there’s nothing quite like a fresh, blank moleskine and take the train to one of your favourite coffee shops and ask what’s on pour over and get a free tasting of the batch as well and thank the baristas for the funky filter and stop by your old work to say hello and give your mate a hug and try the newest doughnut and walk over to that new restaurant you’ve been dying to try and then to your surprise—get treated to a complimentary glass of wine and then to a free plate of summer vegetables because “it’s your lucky day” and take multiple photos of your food and enjoy spending £22.50 on a meal that should’ve been over £40 and shake Oli, the waiter’s hand and appreciate the fact that you never treat yourself to a meal like this when you’re on your own.

collecting & curating

It’s a Saturday morning. French Pop music is playing on my Spotify, the window is open to let in a breeze that helps my claustrophobia while living in this tiny 1-bed, top-floor flat. I drink from my cup of tea—milk and two, of course, and open the latest issue of KENNEDY magazine.

I only started reading KENNEDY not that long ago. I stumbled upon it while I was in the Magma Shop in Covent Garden with Brad. I’ve always enjoyed magazines. When I was a kid, I had a whole collection of different issues. It started around 8 years old with Total Girl. After that it was M Magazine, to satisfy my obsession with Disney Channel.

When I got into my teens, I moved on from celebrity tween gossip magazines and started developing an interest in fashion. My brother and Mum came home one day and had bought me an issue of Teen Vogue. I remember how it smelt—there was probably about five different perfume samples inside. I remember loving every single page that was in that issue. I read it over and over again. It was the first magazine that really made me start to think about what I liked and how I wanted to be seen in the world.

Collecting magazines was a hobby of mine. I never realised this until looking back now. There were times when I would know a new issue of a magazine was out and I would make my Mum go to a newsagency to ask for it. I'd be so bummed when she'd tell me they didn't have a certain issue yet.

After years of collecting magazines, the Internet started to change. Blogging became more significant and the online world took over. No longer did I feel the need to buy a physical magazine when I could simply go onto my computer and discover new inspirations and trends online. It was much quicker and easier—and free.

I would go to my favourite bloggers and save every photo I liked, then put them into organised folders on my desktop. Online curation eventually replaced collecting magazines. Some nights when I didn’t have school, I’d be up until 4 AM, Lily Allen’s It’s Not Me, It’s You album playing on repeat, adding photos of Swedish bloggers into my “A/W Style” folder. Then when I discovered Tumblr, I moved on from saving photos and found it even easier to curate through Tumblr.

But it’s been a decade since I slowly started preferring online over physical and somewhere along the way I think I started to get information overload. It probably happened sometime after Instagram became the literal centre of attention. I think I only really noticed this quite recently. I consciously started to—again—think about how I wanted to be seen in the world and this only happened as I started discovering new interests and having new experiences.

The more popular online platforms like Tumblr and Instagram and Pinterest became, the more I felt the need to take conscious breaks from them. Suddenly the Internet became so oversaturated with information and inspiration. I think I reached a point where I didn't even know what I liked anymore. Or if I did, I didn't know where to find it because if I went online, there were just too many options, too many images, too many posts. Nothing was curated, everything felt like a bit of a mess.

In order to deal with all of this, I've been in the process of slowly re-curating my life. It's so easy to get excited about finding new songs and brands and things to do but it's also so easy to get overwhelmed by always needing to know what the new best thing is. Sometimes I feel like always searching for something new can take me away from the things I already know and like about myself.

In my journey of curation, I've also found it easier to go back to choosing physical over digital. I think I become more intentional with what I pay attention to when I'm holding something physical in my hand. I feel more at ease when I can go pick up a new magazine instead of scrolling through a bunch of irrelevant posts on Instagram just to find one piece that catches my eye.

But when it does come to anything digital, I'm being more conscious of who I follow. I'm definitely not against social media, but I do think there's a way to go about it without feeling like you're scrolling just to scroll. All in all, I'm being more aware of how and where I receive information online.

I have a tendency to question myself. Sometimes I can be a little too self-reflective. So curating tends to ease this. It helps me understand myself and helps me be aware of who I am and what I like.

the first of august, twenty-nineteen

It’s the start of a new month and I couldn’t be happier to have a fresh start. The past couple months were particularly hard as everything changed around me. I never quite felt like myself and I struggled to find a sense of grounding. But with this new month, the end of eclipse season, and the end of mercury retrograde, (I know, astrology talk and I swear I never blamed my issues on a fucking planet appearing to be moving backwards but not actually moving backwards but I fucking felt it okay!) I finally feel like the energy is slowly shifting for the better. I’m finally letting go of all the things I’d been trying to hold onto so tightly—all the things that so badly wanted me to let go—and I’m letting life take its course.

It’s my final month in London before I head back to Perth and I’ve decided to make the most of it. I’m finally getting around to going to all the places that have been saved in my Google maps and I’m taking more photos and I’m going to the exhibitions and watching the films and reading the books.

These past few months I’ve been learning a lot about who I am and what I value and how I’ve changed since being in a “proper” relationship for the first time. I already knew what it meant to focus all my energy into myself, so this year I learnt what it was like to focus all my energy into a relationship. And now—I’m understanding what it means to have a balance between the two.

As heartbroken as I am to be leaving London and as hard as it was to reach this point of acceptance, I’m excited for what’s to come next. What that will be, I have no idea. But I know that my time in London is done for now, and it’s time to move onto the next chapter. There’s one thing I have right now that not many people get in a place like this—time. So, these last few weeks in London will act as a sort of “experiential love letter” to the city, as I say goodbye (for now) to the place I called home for the past 2 years.