Darker Days

Hi everyone! I’ve decided to write a personal post this week. Overall I’ve been open about this to a lot of people. However, I still feel like it might be a relieve for me to tell my story (kinda out in the open) and maybe for others to relate to if they feel the same way. Since I started my blog a while ago I think that this might be a good time to share my story. I’m not gonna lie, I’m a little nervous about writing and posting this. Mostly because I’m afraid that people will think that I’m doing this for pity. Well I can tell you now that I don’t need your pity. I feel better than ever before, so don’t worry about me.

To get to the point, during my year abroad I experienced a mild depression. I was still hopeful during my first semester but after returning for the second semester things got worse. Nothing too serious though. It’s not like I couldn’t be happy or that I thought about hurting myself. However, it did have quite a big impact on me. What happened to me was that I often started crying and usually without any reason. I couldn’t explain why, it just happened. I also didn’t want to get out of my room. If I could stay in my room, I would. I just wanted to be on my own and not worry about anything. Not about school, not about tennis, nothing. So usually I’d just watch TV shows in bed and kinda ignore the world.

I don’t think that being abroad was the reason for my depression. I do believe that it made things harder because I didn’t have my close friends and family around to help me. I went to see a psychologist and talking to someone who seemed to understand how I felt helped a lot. The most important thing for me to do was to go out and do things. Which was the opposite of what I wanted to do but it did help.

IMG_3987 (1).jpg(Photo by Sanne Crasborn)

For the readers who didn’t know this yet. I played college tennis in America. Tennis wasn’t going well while I was there. In that whole year I think that I’ve only played one decent match. The pressure just got higher and it was really frustrating to know that I could play so much better. Every single practice felt so stressful. In the end I didn’t even like tennis anymore. The combination of school and tennis was the whole reason why I decided to go abroad so when I didn’t like tennis anymore it just felt pointless to be away from home. I’ve been back home for 1,5 year now and this is the first season that I feel like I’ve mentally recovered. I’ve had so many practices, even after I got back home, that I just wanted to quit or that I had tears in my eyes. This is the first season that I can really enjoy spending time on court again.

Off court I recovered a little faster. It already started getting better while I was still in America. I just got this name of being quiet and not talking. Somehow that name really influenced me.When I was around people who knew me like that I actually couldn’t talk. I guess it’s something psychological but I was afraid to break the pattern. When I was having a conversation with just one person or when I was around people who didn’t know me as quiet it was all good. I only couldn’t talk if I knew people would be surprised if I did. Besides that, I was starting to feel better and I started to enjoy things a bit more. I still wasn’t doing great but it was better.

When I got home the process went a little faster. I did get emotional more often than I used to but a lot less than during my depression. I think that in the 1,5 year that I’m back, it only happened 2 or 3 times that I started crying without a reason. At this point I feel better than ever before. I feel like I’ve got most of my stuff figured out now. School’s going pretty well, tennis is getting better again and I have some great people around me. I do miss college in America sometimes. The campus was so beautiful and there are a couple of people that I would’ve liked to get to know better. Including my team since I feel like I never really got to show them the real me. However, I do feel that this was for the best. I’m happy at home now and that’s the most important thing.

Thank you for reading. I know that this was a little different than usually and a lot more personal but I felt like it was time to share my story. Also thanks to everyone who helped me get through this!

xxjoan

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