The Social Life of an Anxious, Depressed Guy

Oh hi. It’s been a while. I was meant to write all about my journey through volunteering but then I moved to the other side of the world and just completely forgot to blog. I ended up a little busy so we’re going to just roll with the punches and write about whatever is on my mind tonight!

I was searching for a job for a few months. During that time I spent as much time as I could with my best friend and she ended up becoming my girlfriend which is incredible exciting. I’ve been getting accustomed to my new life in Australia by learning as much as I can about the charity sector here and getting stuck in working for an emergency food relief charity, learning the lingo and getting used to the systems in place in an Australian workplace.

All the while though, I’ve been trying to adjust to a new kind of social life. I have a couple really great friends here who I am 100% comfortable with and really love being around them, but I do (obviously) still miss all my friends in the UK. My friends in the UK and I have years and years of history, jokes and shared experiences and it was easy.

Now, however, I have to make a conscious effort to try to make friends which, for someone with anxiety and depression, is incredibly exhausting. My depression likes to remind me that I don’t really have friends over here and prevents me from going out to meet people because it convinces me that people would never want to get to know me anyway. On the days that my depression isn’t kicking my ass, my anxiety just makes me terrified to talk to people, to make conversation, scared to say the wrong things or anything at all.

All that aside, I’m very happy and very lucky. I have the most supportive, wonderful friends and girlfriend both here in Australia and back home in the UK and slowly, I’m re-learning to deal with my mental health in a brand new environment and with fewer of my usual support networks.

This might sound like I’m miserable here, but it’s actually quite the opposite. I feel more comfortable and at home here than I have felt in London for a long time, despite knowing less people. I’m able to explore a country with one of the unique landscapes and wildlife in the world. I get to spend time with people that I rarely ever got to see when I lived in the UK. Mostly though, no matter how down I get about missing the UK, I am so proud that I took the risk, the blind leap to come here because if I didn’t, I wouldn’t have been able to experience all this side of the world has to offer, I wouldn’t have got together with my best friend and I wouldn’t be in the best mental place I’ve been in a long time.

Trying to find a new social life in a new country is tough, exhausting and anxiety inducing but for me, at least, it’s worth that struggle to be able to say that I have two places that I can call home.

A

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