The past few days in Malta have been rough. We are currently amidst a class that has us writing eight papers in the next two weeks. Yes, eight. Welcome back to reality, Rachel!
During this time though, my homesickness has grown to a whole new level. I have no idea what it is or why. There are a few reasons that I shall share which may be the main proprietors of my crappy mood.
- It’s the post-holiday blues/aka the time of year my anxiety gets the REAL best of me
- Seahawks football
- The big 3-0.
I will address them individually, bear with me.
It’s the post-holiday blues/aka the time of year my anxiety gets the REAL best of me. There’s really not much else to say. January/February are always the hardest months for me. They have been for years. Even when taking Zoloft, it’s not easy. I think it’s because it’s like coming off of a high from spending time with my family and friends, to the crash back to reality of work or school. It also aligns right up with my birthday, woo. Please note the sarcasm. I have never been a big fan of my birthday. I don’t know why. I will tell you what I am a fan of, though. My half birthday. Yes, this 29 year old woman celebrates her half birthday annually. I think everyone should. It’s a lot of fun and the connotation of getting older isn’t there. Plus, it’s a really good excuse to have a good meal and some harmless fun!
The past week or so, though, have been tough. I have been craving a lot of Rachel time and just have wanted to lie in bed at watch TV. I know I shouldn’t and I force myself to go do something outside, even if its walk to get milk. Sometimes I really have to force myself to do that; but I do it.
I talk about these things because I know I am not the only one that struggles, and quite frankly, I don’t care anymore who knows or what anyone thinks about it. I have been through that phase and I am who I am, and people who are my friends will deal with it. The mental health awareness and stigma issue has popped up a few times recently. Between acts of violence, and a suicide that shook the tech world, it’s something that can’t be swept under the rug. Mental Health is an issue for many people and no one should be ashamed of it. I have had people, who didn’t know that I struggle with it, say in front of me that it’s a sign of weakness and that is small minded. It’s not and if that mentality continues, and we do nothing about it, the stigma is going to get worse.
I will get on my soapbox about this again, soon. February 12 is “Bell Let’s Talk” day. It’s a Canadian campaign, and although I am American, I will honor it and talk about it. In the meantime, my other options for my poopy mood…
Seahawks football. No, it’s not because they lost to the Falcons (Where was the D in the final :30 seconds?) but it has everything to do with camaraderie that comes with sport. When I was in Seattle, there were two Seahawks games that I was able to watch. For one, I went to a bar with my pseudo-bro, Miles, and watched the game. For the other game, my cousins all came to my house, along with my friend Randy, and we had a big family lunch yelling at the TV. I had forgotten the the thrill of watching a game with a large group of people who have the same interest and passion. Don’t get me wrong, I am thankful for the bar here in Malta where I can watch games and I am thankful for having people to watch games with but Sunday’s playoff game with the Falcons wasn’t the same. I am pretty sure two people on this little island gave an crap about the game – Brian from Atlanta and me. I was yelling at the TV in the bar, saying some not nice words at some point, but hey, whatever. I am sure the people in the bar had more fun watching me than the game. At that moment in time, I wanted to be with a bunch of Seahawks fans who shared my passion. I miss that more that I thought I would.
The big 3-0. Yup. It’s approaching. It’s a little more than a month away. There’s two reasons why I am struggling with it. Well, maybe three. 1. It’s 30. It’s a big round scary number. Ok, maybe four reasons. 2. I am scared out of my mind about the fact that in a few months I am going to be 30, single, unemployed with three masters degrees – and to top it off, I put myself in that position. I quit a good job in a really good field and am facing the real world, again. 3. My classmates are younger than me, and yes some of them are mature, but in class when someone proclaims “I wasn’t even 10 in the year 2000″, and I was Senior in high school in 2000-01, reality that they are that much younger than you sets in. And, finally, number 4. This one is the tough one for me. I always imagined spending my 30th birthday with my really close friends – even if that meant flying home for it. When I was home at the Holidays, the reality set in that there’s no way this is going to happen. I knew in the back of my mind that it probably wouldn’t but I held hope that maybe, just maybe, a friend or two would be in Malta to spend it with me. Instead, I will spend the day learning SPSS in Research Methods class. Joy. I am still having a hard time with this one. Friends who I would want to spend my 30th with – you know who you are – block off a weekend in August for me. We are going to celebrate my 30.5 birthday together. I want to go somewhere fun. Vegas, Palm Springs, I don’t care. But since I can’t be there to celebrate yours, and you can’t be here to celebrate mine, we are going to celebrate all of them at once. It’s the only remedy to this situation.
Hopefully the next week or so, my mind gets better. Mom is coming next week (!!!!) and we are taking our annual mother/daughter trip. This year, it’s to Madrid and Marrakesh. Yup, mom and Rachel are going to Africa! I can’t wait for her to be here. Malta, Madrid and Morocco. Instead of a traditional, “M break” it’s an “M trip”.
For those that don’t know, which I assume is almost everyone outside of my mom, my family and some friends, we celebrate small moments with “M breaks”. The rules are as follows. An “M break” can be called at any given point. You then have to stop and have a drink that starts with an M, well that’s the theory at least. So, Mocha, Macchiato, Miller, Margarita, Merlot, Martini, Mojito, Manhattan, you get the idea. It’s an “M trip”. Perhaps with some “M breaks” thrown in… maybe even one to celebrate the fact that I am not 30…yet.
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” ― H. Jackson Brown Jr.
- My 2012 and My Hopes for 2013 (rachelae.com)
- The Celebration of Half-Birthdays! (zainmahmood.wordpress.com)
- Seahawks’ playoff exit most-watched TV event in Seattle since Super Bowl XL (seahawks.com)
- It’s time to tackle mental health stigma in our classrooms (schoolsimprovement.net)
- NHBPM Day Twenty-One: Mental Health – Why the Stigma? (brainlesionandme.wordpress.com)
- Stigma and Mental Health (addrangerramblings.wordpress.com)
- Society’s Stigma of Mental Illness Makes Me Want to Scream (livingaverydifferentlife.wordpress.com)
- Holidays May Trigger Anxiety and Depression, Psychiatrists Believe (petroville.com)