I’ve continued to adjust this month to my new environment in San Diego, although with some great difficulty. I’m not sure if what I’ve been facing is the onset of a new dip in mood, or if my dip in mood has been brought on by this environment. By all regards; moving, especially to another country, can be one of the most stressful things a person can ever experience. Which is funny, because for the past 2 years I have moved at least 3 times. 4 if you include moving back in with my parents, too.
It also hasn’t been helped by being thrown into the deep end of education that has left me feeling overworked, stressed out, pissed off, and finding little time to entertain myself in my new home. I’ve literally barely left campus in 2 weeks and I’m struggling to find time to entertain myself with TV programmes or films that I would normally enjoy. In fact, I think part of this is a rollover from the summer. You see, I’m having difficulty sitting down to watch complex shows, like Mr. Robot, which I’ve been trying to catch up with since before the new season began in July, and here I am at the end of September (with season 2 having ended last week) and I’m still 3 episodes off from finishing the first season. Now look, I’m not getting distressed over it. I’m not worrying myself stupid because I can’t finish one TV show, but what concerns me is losing enthusiasm for things I enjoy, particularly because it is a symptom of depression!
So mostly now with my downtime (which used to be filled with listening to podcasts and watching YouTube subscriptions, too) I try to find something inoffensive to watch, like a sitcom, or comedy programme. And that’s fine, y’know. I can understand why I’m doing that, it’s a coping strategy that I’m using to lift my mood. I just miss being entertained by the emotionally complex and narrative driven shows I love(d).
Elsewhere, I turn 31 in a few days. It’s my 3rd birthday away from home, and this one is guaranteed to be spent without any surprise visits from family. I guess I’m used to this by now, and I had started to ease up on doing anything special after my 25th birthday, but I suppose I’d still like to be able to spend it with some friends or family, even if it was just a pint down the local or a takeaway from my favourite Chinese place.
My birthday rolling around hasn’t helped my feelings of loneliness or isolation either. These feelings have been here for a long time. I can’t actually pinpoint it, but these feelings have definitely been around since I started university at least. These feelings never really ever went away. The hardest part is not really understanding how to alleviate them. I think I threw myself into working as a way to cope, but now with how frustrated I’m feeling with at least one of the classes I am reassessing that notion.
This means I’m changing things up. I’m trying to make more of an effort to get back to things I used to enjoy. I’ve been catching up on YouTube videos as a first step, and I’m currently burning through Marvel’s Luke Cage on Netflix. This week has been exceptional for work load, but making time for relaxation and entertainment has made everything a little bit better. I’ve organised my work so that I stop working after 6pm having usually started around 9am/10am and worked solidly. Giving myself a few hours off in the evenings helps to unwind, relax, and even sleep better.
I’ve even made arrangements for my birthday! After realising how isolated I was becoming here I decided to look into social activities or groups in the area. On Reddit a few weeks ago, I noticed a thread discussing an App/website called MeetUp that allows users to seek out and find social groups that share similar interests. I thought this was a good place to start with meeting, mingling, and hopefully making friends with people. I ended up joining a group with a nerd inflection that happened to be having a massive social gathering for new members that coincides with my birthday. It was as if fate had stepped in. So naturally I’m going, and hopefully things will go well enough that I’ll have a social group here in California for the remainder of my stay.
Until next time:
Much love ❤