When I began planning a vacation to Iceland nearly two months ago, I was nervous (my first solo international trip) and excited (the island had always been in my top three bucket-list destination spots.) Once my airfare was purchased, I began to figure what I wanted to do and see. I also spoke to people about my upcoming trip and learned, to paraphrase Zoolander, Iceland is so hot right now.
The weeks following my decision, I struggled; what excitement I had felt had been dulled and any motivation was created from this emotion waned. The Lonely Planet Iceland book sat on my coffee, mostly unopened. Reading this book and studying places/things became a chore. It was unwanted homework that I was procrastinating on. At some point last month, before committing to be sober, I tackled the chore for the first time, breaking out my highlighter and page markers. But the process felt slow and tedious; I’d read something from the book (Icelandic words are wacky – very few vowels) and then look it up online.
The malaise following my sobriety returned with a vengeance and the thought of researching became this sickening burden, which increased as everyday went by the closer I got to leaving. This discomfort did not just present itself in vacation planning, but in nearly all other facets of my life; work, housework, etc. Logically, I assumed this was a symptom of my depression flaring up again and yet I felt like nothing I did could bring me out of this funk. The whole thing dragged me down.
I did not want to travel to Iceland feeling this way. I questioned whether this was something I should even consider doing.
Last Tuesday, I had all but made up my mind. I was 80/20 on the decision to NOT go. That day, with my then state of mind and emotional health, there was no way I was going to be able to pull the trip off. The ability to concentrate to the point of planning, packing, and implementing seemed exhausting.
And after a couple days of consideration, I came to a conclusion: the break from the norm and the fresh experience will be a welcome distraction from my current state of mind. While this reasoning isn’t exactly upping the anticipation level, it is better than nothing.