In a little under four weeks I will officially be on leave for a whole month. I can’t wait to be free of screaming children and classrooms. However, as the time draws ever closer I can’t help but be filled with apprehension. Don’t get me wrong, I’m excited to go home and see my family and friends, but holidays are always a bit of a weird time for me.
The truth is that my Bipolar Disorder doesn’t seem to take a vacation. I was reminded of this just last weekend when I had four days off and travelled to Hualien. The night before we left I didn’t sleep at all, I was too keyed up. The next day was spent traveling to Taipei (with a 12 hour layover) and then finally to Hualien in the late evening. In total I went close to 40 hours without sleep, a big no no for me.
By the time we got to our destination I was a mess. I was switching rapidly between giddy hysterics and paranoid panic. My thoughts were racing and my whole body felt wired. Just before boarding our train out of Taipei I had a full on anxiety attack, and spent the ride to Hualien wrapped in my boyfriend’s hoodie hiding my tears from my friends. I was terrified I wouldn’t be able to sleep when we got to our hotel.
Thankfully my meds helped me out and I did manage to rest. The remainder of the trip, though enjoyable, was spent in a fog of sadness. Depression is rude like that – it doesn’t care that you’re on holiday.
So, as much as I can’t wait for my upcoming time off, a part of me is understandably on edge. I will have to face multiple triggers while I’m away – extended traveling without proper sleep being the least of them.
I’m already feeling overwhelmed by the amount that needs to be done before we even leave – such as transferring money from my bank account here to my one in South Africa, shopping for gifts for everyone, and various other admin things.
I won’t even touch on my anxiety surrounding actually being back home, not to mention the looming depression that will almost certainly be waiting for me when I return to Taiwan and work. I’m exhausted just thinking about it.