Tag Archives: Sad

Moving to a new country with a mental illness

I posted recently about moving to Tokyo. And since the move I have been having a lot of good times, but also a lot of down ones.

Moving to a new country is tough even without a mental illness. But when you have a history of depression, anxiety and eating disorders (not to mention some self-harm scars still visible on your arm), the whole process can be even more traumatic.

I moved to Tokyo whilst still on antidepressants which, despite what anyone says about this type of medication, did help. An SSRI can sometimes feel like an anti-shyness pill, and this was certainly helpful for me, as one of the main things I was worried about was making friends.

I brought a six month supply of Fluoxetine from the UK and it is important to remember the following points;

  • bringing drugs of any kind abroad, especially to Asia, can be problematic. It is legal to take a three month supply of Fluoxetine abroad with only a pharmaceutical letter as proof.
  • bringing a larger supply of any medication, such as I did, means you have to check with the embassy and possibly get a certificate. I did have to get a certificate for entering Japan, but overall there were no issues.
  • Think about possible contingencies for getting medication if you run out/lose it. This is important as some countries might not have favourable health insurance schemes.

 

But medication wasn’t the only thing that made moving to another country slightly easier. Here are the main points I advise:

  • plan in advance and know what to expect; I was ready for the cultural shift to Japan because I had done a lot of research and I knew roughly what would be appropriate and inappropriate.
  • This includes food – other countries and cultures can have very different types of food, though western alternatives are also available nowadays. The variety of food is a big part of what makes moving to a new country exciting, but remember to research into dishes that are healthy and you will like so, unlike me, you don’t end up eating junk food for the first couple of weeks because you are unsure what everything is. (I would like to point out here that my reservedness was mainly due to being a vegetarian, and had I been sure that some things did not contain meat, I would have gone for it).
  • Likewise, eat well and healthily as this well always contribute to both your physical and mental wellbeing.
  • plan where you want to live; this is a very important part of moving anywhere. Make sure you pick an area you will like that has your amenities, and consider if a flat share, single apartment or share house is the right way of living for you. Personally, I chose a sharehouse, where I also share a room. Despite my concerns about sleeping in a room with two other girls, I haven’t had any major issues and it means I can live in an area near my work for much cheaper. A sharehouse also gave me the opportunity to make friends, something which I would have found very difficult otherwise. I’m not sure if I will spend my whole time here, but as a transition it is alright.
  • Make sure you have a routine and exercise. When moving to a new country it is easy to feel as if you are on a permanent holiday. But settling into a routine and getting the necessary exercise you need for the endorphins rush is very important for keeping your mental health balanced.
  • Try new clubs and social situations to make friends. Believe me, I am shy, and this was one of the biggest things I was worried about. But you will find that a lot of people are friendly to you and it is important to accept or suggest hanging out. Also consider “MeetUp”. I was skeptical of this beforehand, but the site is actually good for meeting other people in a similar situation as you. And in Japan, most events are free for foreigners.
  • But most importantly, keep in contact with home. I am not prone to feeling homesick, but keeping the relationships with family and friends alive is important for keeping yourself stable and realizing that there is still support in the world if you need it, no matter how far away!

As day

A cold as black as day,

Yet stiller and more harsh

Spreads like roots do through soil

Then contain a tender blow.

 

I doubt I am the missive

Aching of my heart

That can turn and scream

And have it near

Worlds away, apart.

 

I miss you with my curseful pause.

And stiller with my heart

That place where you took me once.

Now forever gone.

This is For

This is for all you fools

Who choose to stay alive

And blithely say the world

Is better before you die.

 

This is for existence;

It was never worth the time

To believe and feel the hurt

As reality falls behind.

 

This is for my heartbreak,

The one that cuts like knives

Not of men; the lurid creature,

But because I’m still alive.

 

This is for my thoughts

And the cuts I pierce on skin,

My aching woes, my worst disease;

The allegory of my sins.

 

And this is for the people,

The ones I will leave behind,

I had myself, I had my heart,

But the light I couldn’t find.

 

So move on without me,

As I know you will

Because time heals, to be no more

My aching blood is still.

The Valentine’s Day Post

Well it’s Valentine’s day again. That wonderful feast day to celebrate the saint of love, marriage and strangely beekeeping.

But, being the bitter singleton that I am, and having never actually had a gift or a card from someone other than my mum on Valentine’s day (cue sad violins…) It’s only appropriate that I write a bitter post about the day.

To me, all these holidays and special occassions, Christmas, birthdays, weddings, mother’s day, Hallowe’en and even St Patrick’s Day have one thing in common; they organise when fun and happiness is supposed to be. And yes, there are many occasions that many of us have had great days, but there are also many where people haven’t.

Much like having a night out is usually the funnest when it is not planned, love is usually most honestly recognised when it is either unexpected or perfectly timed.

Don’t get me wrong, although the stalls selling roses sprouting up around London Bridge have made me cringe with jealousy, the thing is that I would actually adore to be given a bright red rose by someone who loves me.

But just because this holiday is here doesn’t mean love should be forced. And neither does it mean that we shouldn’t recognise it on other days of the year, when a great friend is there in a difficult time or a parent or carer is there doing their best to keep you warm, fed and dry.

Having love concentrated like this morphs Valentine’s day into something like Christmas; a retail, advertising and merchandise holiday which never truly expresses the depth of the emotion. And isn’t sensitive to lose who have been recently broken-hearted or lost a loved one.

Love is for life, not just for Valentine’s.

The Trial

 

‘In pain!’ the master lawyer shouts, ‘In pain you must not jest,

To leave me with the all before and longing of the best!’

He stamps his plump feet along, upon the wooden floor,

And reels off a list of nine; the sins I have adored.

‘You pushed a knife right through her chest, you hurt her, dead I say!

You bundled body, you bundled more; you threw her life away!’

And with this, the look of disgust flies across his face

And passes on the jury gone, in their only place.

‘Do you know what you have done?’ he asks with all implore,

‘Befouling and committing murder.’

What careful guilt I bore,

As gavel rests in judge’s hand and jury look in spite

Upon my figure, cowering hence who knew not wrong from right.

‘I know’ I say, in all endure, my voice distinctly low.

I know what I have done,’ I say, ‘I know where I must go.’

With these uneasy words, a thousand eyes then fall

Upon my guilty figure there, cowering by the wall.

The lawyer, then he turns around to see his wistful crowd,

So eager for me put to hell; only then will they be proud.

For I have done what others only dream they can achieve.

Imagine up in careful nightmares of stories I believe.

And the master lawyer, then he settles there.

The jury is beneath his thumb; breathes them like they’re air.

He knows of course that he is all, he knows that he has won;

Receives a healthy sum of money for all that I have done.

And the jury wait with baited breaths, thinking in their minds

How I am not a human more, no member of their kind.

And as for that, their only notion, I’m afraid I must agree

As cameras flash all over me, adhering to my plea.

Because I lost myself one aching night, when hatred ruptured me;

Consigned myself within my mind to not again be free.

Not live without my actions tarnished, not sleep through all the night,

Forever carry consequence of my ill-intended smite.

The master lawyer smiles then as I am put away;

Left for only darkness gone; rot, rot and decay.

His fat cheeks adhere the evil, spread it through my veins,

Boil my blood in harsh regret as I am locked in chains.

Why is it Winter Still?

Why is it winter still,

With the thrashing wind and slaving chill?

The splashing water beating panes,

My tears falling whilst it rains.

 

Why does this winter enslave the Earth?

Capture, hold it, demean its worth,

And steal the beauty of what once was

With icy breeze and chilling frost.

 

Why is my heart as cold as snow?

The swirling, drifting, cantankerous flow

Of fleeting white and beating flecks,

Flames of blue with thawing wrecks.

 

And why, even as winters pass,

And spring flowers return with gasp

And sunlight beams above the grass,

The winter inside, it still lasts?