This month it is Mental Health Awareness Month in Australia. I wanted to publish a post relating to mental health every day of the month so that I can personally raise awareness. You can find all posts, posted & upcoming on my schedule. I have been thinking a lot recently about my mental health and how struggling with it can make you feel guilty. I’ve written about this before in my Mental Health Guilt post but I wanted to expand more now that I am travelling and literally living my dream.
I was not naïve to go on this world travel adventure thinking it would be rainbows and unicorns all day, every day. Anxiety is a lifelong thing for me with peaks and troughs into how it affects my life. Since I have been travelling, there have been moments where I have felt really anxious and been struggling with feelings of inadequacy. There’s a little voice in my mind that will tell me that I don’t deserve to be living this life. That I should be at home in a job that I feel insecure about and doing normal, routine stuff that scares the living daylights out of me.
While I have these insecurities, I feel guilty but also ashamed. I have worked so hard on trying to boost my confidence and pushing out of my comfort zone that getting these negative feelings towards myself feels worse than ever. I end up getting the very unhelpful thought “how can you be struggling with your mental illness when you’re literally living your dream?!” I’m actively trying not to let it spiral but it is really hard.
I just have to keep reminding myself that just because I`m living my dream, doesn`t mean it will all go to plan all the time. I am still a human with a chemical imbalance in my brain & I still need to work addressing the root of each anxiety to actually move forwards positively.
No-one has ever said to me that I have no right to feel anxious when I am travelling the world. In fact, the very opposite! I am often told that I am brave, or amazing, or told that they wish they could be doing something like that. So why do I tell myself that I shouldn`t have anxiety if I travel? I am entitled to my emotions. I am entitled to feel more anxious whilst pushing myself out of my comfort zone. Working a job that you previously had no knowledge of, let alone ability or experience, is bound to make me wonder about the meaning of life.
So in answer to the question, how can I be struggling with my mental health when I am living my dream? Well, I am a human. I am complex. Mental Health is a wave, and the waves do not stop crashing just because you`re in another country. I overall have a better experience with my mental health now that I am travelling, but I have to allow myself to feel the reality of my emotions. Feeling guilty about them will only escalate it more.