Healing takes time, especially when it concerns your mind. When you’ve imprinted certain ideas, certain patterns in your way of thinking, they are not easily changed. Slowly, you have to accept what’s going on up there. If you’ve always told yourself you are not worth a dime, you don’t just wake up one day loving yourself. After years of chronic depression, it took time to see the good things in life.
I remember I lived in Amsterdam and forced myself to walk up straight. It’s such a simple thing, look up, pull your shoulders back a bit and keep your spine straight, but it cost me immense effort. I kept telling myself to do it though. These simple things helped me to crawl out of my black hole. My life got more and more color and I started to do things I absolutely loved. I found happiness in being creative with writing, photography, video projects and travel and sports.
I’ve never been as happy as I am now, travelling. The first time I realized I was happy was abroad. For a long time, happiness was overshadowed by fear, loneliness and sadness. Realizing you are truly happy more and more often, is such a delight. I gained enormous strength from knowing how good life could be. In the ‘down times’ I still thought it all wasn’t worth it, but those times got shorter and shorter until they disappeared.
Right now I am doing what I love. I travel, see new things, meet people, challenge myself in a stress-free way, find the odd job here and there, and try to enjoy what comes on my path as much as I can. I absolutely love this life. It’s not always great and there are times where I feel like I might fall back into my old habits. I think I recognize those times though, and that means that I can try to get out of them. When I realise I’m going backwards, I change something, or try something new. Travelling gives me plenty of chances to do this.