One month ago, I went on a surf trip to Morocco. It was a much-needed break from work and German winter and a good opportunity to snap some blurry shots on my old film camera. The week was full of beach days, big waves, beautiful sunset and my best friends- in many ways it was paradise. But behind closed doors, I was going through a massive change. I had arrived in Morocco expecting all the stress from life abroad and work to melt away and reveal a chill inner core, but that was not the case.
Blurry Film pt.1
What I actually discovered was that it was precisely my German working life routine that had been holding me together. Without it, I found myself gasping through panic attacks and hospitalised with crippling chest pain. It was everything I had been trying to hide from my friends for so many years- parts of me I had deemed unpalatable a long time ago. And yet, contrary to my expectations, my friendships did not collapse the minute I admitted to my struggles.
I had, in fact, done them an injustice in thinking they could not handle me at my worst and done myself an injustice in thinking I was not lovable in my entirety. We all struggle some days, but I had not realised just how much I had been holding in recently- moving abroad, losing some important relationships and navigating working life alone had turned my very manageable anxiety into a crushing weight in my chest.
Blurry Film pt.2
Since that trip I have found liberation in opening up to those closest to me and have started seeing a therapist to work through the root causes of my anxieties. The ache in my chest has lessened and maybe one day it will be altogether gone. But for now, I am able to enjoy life while I work on myself because I know that even on my worst days, I am not alone.
I am writing all of this because I have always considered myself to be a very open person, but when I actually needed support, I found it nearly impossible to find the words.
Life is not black and white, we can be struggling even when we are happiest, ask for help and not be deemed weak. Talk to your friends, reach out to your family, never feel a need to hide when things get hard. Nobody can solve all your problems, but you do not have to bear the weight of them alone.
Big thanks to my pals for making me laugh through all of this ❤