solo in sydney

The Turning Point
June 22, 2010, 11:56 pm
Filed under: dear diary, depression, sydney

The title is quite optimistic, perhaps foolishly so, but damn it, I’m feeling optimistic. Maybe I’ll look back on this moment and laugh (or curse) at how uncharacteristically positive I was, but for now I’m just going with it.

I caught up with a friend on the weekend. That really shouldn’t be a post-worthy event, but after struggling so long with depression and severe anxiety, it’s actually a huge achievement. But that’s not all. I have a friend in Sydney, a true friend who will open her doors to me even though I haven’t seen her in years, even though I’ve cancelled on her too many times to count. She heard me out, my whole pitiful story, and her arms and her doors were instantly open to me. I get teary just thinking about it.

Suddenly, I have another option. One that fortunately doesn’t include relocating back to my home town. It includes a friend who lives only a few suburbs away, a couch while I get back on my feet, and a room of my own if I choose to stay.

I’m blown away. I’ve always known this friend to be amazing, but we were never amazing friends. We’ve known each other since high school, but we were never all that close. Out of the blue, and a simple catch-up over coffee, I can see a happier future. I’m not 100% decided just yet, but I’m actually excited. The idea of being single, really single, in Sydney, is exhilarating. The idea of ‘going it alone’ with a friend by my side makes me smile from ear to ear.

For the first time in as long as I can recall, I think I can do it. Perhaps not just yet, not right now, but soon. And I won’t be doing it for J, I won’t be doing it for S, I’ll be doing it for me. That long elusive spark of hope and belief is finally back.


The Move
February 28, 2010, 9:57 pm
Filed under: sydney, the backstory

It seems an obvious solution to simply pack a bag and stay with a friend, even for a few nights, and trust me when I say that I’d do this in a heartbeat if I had the option.

But I don’t. I’m not from Sydney. I have a few associates, but no family or close friends.

I met J in my hometown when I was happy, carefree and financially secure. I had already struggled with Depression on and off for years, but with a vast network of family and friends around me I had been coping well. Our first few years together were fairly smooth sailing, though J was caring and understanding when I did have the occasional off day. He knew my diagnosis and he was supportive in ensuring I sought further help.

Eventually, my job became so frantic that I had little time to be depressed, but when an eventual lull emerged, I would crash. I could barely drag myself out of bed for days on end. Despite this, I loved my job. I was working hard on a project that I loved, with a group of people I loved.

One night, J announced that he wanted to move to Sydney, and that I was coming with him. I’ve wanted to move to Sydney for as long as I can remember, but there was simply too much holding me where I was. I was in the running for a promotion at work, but J brushed this off and said we’d reevaluate if that occurred. In the meantime, he applied for countless jobs in Sydney and started looking for a new apartment.

By the time I got the promotion it was too late, according to J at least. I had to turn it down and ask for a transfer. I was madly in love with J and nothing was stopping him from moving to Sydney, so I followed. I put my dream job on hold and followed him, and ended up spending years in a job that completely burnt me out. I eventually crashed, and without friends or family around to share the load, J buckled under the pressure and I didn’t recover for months. I still haven’t fully recovered emotionally, and especially not financially.

But despite it all, I don’t want to leave Sydney. I don’t want to admit defeat and return to my home a failure. I like my life here now, I just wish it wasn’t with J.