I am not sure what I expected when I decided to leave my hometown. All I knew was that I didn’t have anything to lose. I was jobless and I didn’t have any close friends. I was sick and tired of my parents covert abuse and too old to be living with them. I was unable to see a future for myself that didn’t involve a job I would hate – and eventually lose because any of my mental issues -, an increasing amount of debts, like the rest of my family currently have, and a crippling loneliness because I am unable to let people get too close.
My mental sanity was my priority, and I knew that the first step was to get out.
The first time I travelled outside my own country and without my family was when I moved to Ireland for an exchange program. It was a liberating experience, despite everything that went so wrong. I can safely say it literally saved my life!
Being in Ireland exposed me to a whole new world of possibilities. People, things, opportunities. Of course I wasted it all because of fear. Things would have gone incredibly better if I had been mentally healthy, as I would have been able to handle things better. Going back home made me incredibly sad and it felt like huge steps backwards on my mental health. So I made my goal to leave again.
My desire to travel was bigger than my anxiety. I felt stuck, and as if I would die if I stayed where I was. I don’t remember feeling particularly suicidal, but I felt that I was getting sicker and sicker, and eventually I would stop living. I couldn’t handle the idea of continuing for months or years in that state of nothingness. I couldn’t find a job, and I was certain that if I did, in few months I would hate it and quit or be fired. Packing my shit seemed the best choice, even if I suffered and died. Suffering and dying doing something is less sad and pathetic than suffering and dying doing nothing.
Little by little, putting myself in these extreme situations, I have been learning to deal with these mental issues.