It didn’t happen overnight. After spending 17 years of my life to get here, I arrived in Indonesia with my pregnant wife for language school in 2011. Since then, we have moved three times, had two children, had a miscarriage, learned a language, and learned to navigate the intricacies of a new organization. At times, I’ve worked ten to twelve hour days. I’ve undergone extensive training. And finally, I started my dream career.
But when I finally “arrived,” I was broken. All those moves, all that training, all that cultural stress, all those long days, and all the difficult family experiences had all finally piled up. I no longer had what it took to face each new day in a positive and healthy mindset. I had left my normal cheerful, excited, and easy-going self behind and had become an angry, hopeless, and depressed shell.
How did my world go from such a wonderful place in which my dreams were all coming true to a place in which I only wanted to lock myself in a black hole and never return? It was a slow and pain filled process involving many different aspects. I never had a clue what was happening. Then one day, as I was talking with a counsellor via Skype about my anger, he made that simple and life giving observation. He pointed out that I was having a depressive episode.
Ironically, that observation was the first really truly good news I had heard in months. It meant that my world really hadn’t fallen apart. It meant that what I was seeing wasn’t actually reality. It meant that I wasn’t actually facing the rest of my life in total misery.
It meant I could get better.