London was the chosen spot this time. I told myself I belonged to the big cities of this world. I was looking forward for the rush and chaos I did not have in Portugal.
I remember thinking I wanted to get myself into one of the biggest Advertising agencies around the city and so I googled the 50 best known ones, wrote them on a paper, organized them in neighborhoods, printed 50 curriculums and off I went. After days of rain and getting lost (my phone did not have data at the time so there was a lot of stopping at cafes and asking strangers for help), I finally made it to TMW Unlimited, a digital Ad agency in the heart of Soho.
Apparently the issue was not the job nor was it the country I was living in. After all the craziness of moving cities and settling in, the emptiness was still there and I could not get it to go away. Plus the eating disorders situation was getting worse by the day. I was finally diagnosed: I had depression.
What exactly is depression? How does one live with it? How do we come to shine light to it so we start healing? I had no idea where to go from there. And the pressure of wanting to be good at my newly acquired job was adding crazy amounts to the weight I already had on me.
Dealing with such an impactful mental problem while trying to create a new life on my own in a different country was beyond challenging. I somehow managed to survive for a few months only to come to the realization I did not have to feel guilty or ashamed for it. I needed help - not only the professional type but, equally important, the family & friends's coziness type. I then decided to move back to Portugal. It was time to focus on my healing.
Funny enough, very few people back in London actually noticed something was off with me. That's how crazy this disease is: it makes us think all others see in us is an obvious, terrible disaster, while they are just not aware of anything but mostly the beauty in us.
And now, looking back I can only be grateful for the London days. The great amount of people I met, all the art that inspired me in ways I did not understand back then, the amount of resilience and resourcefulness I obtained: all of that brought me where I am today.
(To be continued...)