As I move towards positive mental health, and build my life back in Canada and here in BC, my Mom reminded me of something really important: I was literally dying in Costa Rica.
I don’t know if you know what it feels like to experience the loss of your own soul. It’s losing the people, structures, support systems that keep you whole. It’s having parts of yourself so overshadowed by someone else, that you literally begin to forget who you are.
I cried every day in Costa Rica for the last 6 months I was there. The depression and sheer emptiness was something I’d never felt before. I was not keeping the best company (save for a few saviors, and you know who you are), and that led to extreme loneliness I’d never felt before.
The expat life may look “shiny”, and I probably made it look that way in hindsight, but in actuality, the 2 years I spent in Costa Rica were 2 of the unhappiest years of my life. You can only go to the beach so much, eat exquisite food so much, watch so many sunsets before you learn how shallow of a life expat life can be.
I’m now back in the “land of the living” and just by virtue of being in my own country, I feel whole again. I’m surrounded by the necessary supports that weren’t there in Costa Rica. I’m balanced. I’ve regained the parts of myself that had been stolen from me, and I feel more “me” and more mentally healthy than I have in years.
This is all just to say that there is a big gap between what you see, what is really going on. While I have no regrets, I’m glad that chapter of my life is over. Because this chapter is undoubtedly the best one yet.