Don’t Lose Hope If You Have Post-Travel Depression
It is summertime and I hope you travel safely to some wonderful places.
I wrote recently about post vacation blues and what it might be about. (not that it will happen to you..)
Once, after my vacations, I came up with the term “post vacation depression” only to discover that it already exists. I never found anyone on the web to slice and dice the problem to my satisfaction, so I did that. If you have anything to add – your perspective, your experiences with it, please share in the comments. I am curious how you dealt with it.
PTD serves a good purpose.
Just like pain in the physical body it shows something isn’t right in our daily lives. There may be not enough peace, growth, connection, not enough of what your real self needs. Maybe it’s too many conflicts. So when we pay attention what’s going on with us, we can really use it to our advantage.
The bigger the pain, the bigger the change you can create. Some people make it after they have an accident, are diagnosed with serious disease, or have another tragic life event. This forces them to make changes. (Still not everybody does it) . PTD is simply another way of life giving us hints. So while mild nostalgia may not motivate you to do anything, depression that really hurts and pins you down to the floor, making you incapable of completing simple tasks, should help you start thinking about what do you really want and need. If you are in so much pain, apparently you are out of touch with your true self.
(Below is my personal story.)
I look at my life as before and after September 2010; that’s when it happened. Not that my life was bad. On the surface everything looked ok. But when I came back from Spain, after only two weeks, PTD made me so miserable that I had to drug myself to make a simple phone call. At that time I was working full or over full time in sales. (It may be worth to add: I was never a salesperson – on the spiritual level I am and always was something else, I simply made some mistakes and learned my lessons on the way.) Overall it was great, lots of freedom, I met many wonderful people, some of them became friends. But about 20% of the clients were behaving as if they forgot to take medicine in the morning, and started going bonkers in the middle of the day. They apparently thought it is ok to abuse their agent or to act before taking everything under consideration.
Of course I can only blame myself. I didn’t take the responsibility for recognizing the red flags. As they say: the most difficult people are our greatest teachers. They indeed were, though I prefer to educate myself in more pleasant ways.
So few days after being back from Spain, and wondering how to make the impossible phone call… I remember: so much heart pain …I started considering the worst…
But “the worst” didn’t make any sense, these persons certainly were not worth my life neither my health . This thought was a first, small shift, because really, if I would be looking from a distance – I had an awesome life. I had to make a choice at that moment: either numb myself and continue with my job, relationship and general lack of purpose or I could decide to change my life.
Few minutes later – the big shift happened. (and this is exactly how others often describe a life changing experience: “and suddenly this thought came to me from out of nowhere”, “ it felt like it was… downloaded… from up there” )
“Life is to live, enjoy and create. Depression equals death. So when you are alive- live.”
How something so obvious and simplistic could change anything? Yet it did.
I decided that while I live I have to do things that make me feel truly alive.
From having this thought to the moment I am writing this, it’s been almost 3 years during which I turned my life 180 degrees.
What followed: I was so amazed and inspired by the sudden disappearance of pain, that I decided I need to help others.
No big change happens overnight. But in the moment you make a DECISION to stop what kills you and start what nourishes you the moment you find your purpose and start moving towards fulfilling it – you start living.
Let’s say you hate your job and you want to change your profession. In order to change professions you have to go to school and continue working where you are to support yourself- when you start learning about things that fascinate you, this will give you so much energy and fun, that it will be easier for you to survive in the job you hate.
Every cell of your body will feel that now you have purpose, that now you want to really live, so it will produce more energy.
And this is how I lived the next few years. I changed the way I live, I simplified my life, I finished school, I made changes in my relationship. I did everything to live the alternative lifestyle which suits me best. Now I have new goals and I know I don’t need a miracle to reach them.
One of the biggest realization were – again simple: big part of our suffering is completely unnecessary. It is caused by our thinking, attachment, blame, attachement, rigid ideas, mind games, attachment, “shoulds”, what happens in our relationships, self imposed limitations. Attachment : )
I have chosen this work or maybe it has chosen me, so I can work with you on the deep spiritual level, help you to detach from pain, that is not “yours” it just happen to be with you for a some time, until you learn your lesson, and move on… inspired and empowered… to live, enjoy and create.