My dad and I made it to Las Vegas last week after almost two whole days of what seemed like endless driving. The hardest part of the whole move was telling Lady “we’re almost there” a million times in the car but I was lying through my teeth.
But I’m not here to cry about how bad our trip here was, despite the icy roads in Wyoming. (Never, ever move during the winter, by the way.) I also got altitude sickness when we stayed in Rawlins, Wyoming. I’ve had it before in Colorado a few years back and it’s not fun. Luckily, paramedics were not involved this time.
I’m here because I’m sad. I’ve been sad since the moment my dad flew back to South Dakota and left Lady and me to fend for ourselves. I physically and mentally couldn’t have done it without him. My goal was to move to Las Vegas and he helped me make that happen.
But now that I’m here, I’m sad and I don’t know why. The first night by myself was awful. I felt lonely and missed going places with my dad, getting stuff figured out together.
On our second night here, his truck and cargo trailer got stolen. What a great moving experience this has been, huh?
Do I Have Relocation Depression?
I googled why I feel so sad after the move. I don’t mean to self-diagnose but I have some symptoms of relocation depression.
It’s only the second week here but I check most of the boxes:
- Oversleeping. I feel tired most of the day. (That may just be my age or possibly my hypothyroidism but still.) Something else I find weird is that I’m sleeping so well, almost too well. I’m in a whole new city, by myself and yet I sleep like I baby through the night. I know my brain enough to say that that’s not like me. I should be waking up more. It’s just a bit suspicious.
- Guilt and regret. If it weren’t for me, my dad would still have his truck and trailer. And what if moving was a big mistake? I left a home near my family, a good job and a safe environment where the population was less than 2,000. And I was just beginning to make friends at work.
- Excessive TV and social media. The Office has been constantly playing to help keep me distracted. Or it plays in the background as I endlessly scroll through Twitter and Instagram. Anything to help me escape my new world.
- Lack of interest. I was on a roll reading my Stephen King trilogy but the interest isn’t there. I even fought with myself to sit down and write all this up. But I do want to pat myself on the back for having the courage and stamina to unpack my clothes and organize my brand new dresser. Yay me!
- Staying home. I find every excuse in the book to stay home. However, I forced myself to go to the gym here at my apartment complex this morning. It was a good workout, I have to say. The Walmart trip wasn’t too bad either but I kept thinking about getting home.
These symptoms are the most prominent as far as I’ve noticed in my behavior and emotions. It’s almost as if I’m pushing my feelings away every chance I get.
But I know that’s not healthy. I know that I need to come face to face with them and deal with them sooner rather than later. It’s difficult though.
It’s hard to realize that I’m alone out here, without my family. But I moved for a reason. I wanted to live here, on my own, with my cat. I wanted a city where there’s tons of things to do and cheaper plane tickets. But how long will this sadness last?
You know what the craziest thing about all of this? I’ve done this before. I moved from California all the way to Ohio a few years ago. How did I do that so easily? I don’t remember ever feeling this way then.
My To-Do List
When in doubt, write a to-do list. Instead of crying all night (which I could have easily done), I am creating a plan. My plan is to turn all those symptoms into actions. This will be gradual as I adjust to my new life but I need to set a plan for myself.
- Set an alarm on my days off. Instead of going to bed late and sleeping in, I will set an alarm. I’ll sleep my well-deserved 8 hours and get up. My morning routine will consist of meditation, making my bed, cooking a healthy breakfast, and going to the gym. The meditation will help me relax and concentrate while the gym will put my body to work.
- Anytime I feel guilt or regret, write it down. I will attempt to keep a journal of what I’m feeling and why I’m feeling it. It’s also a good idea to stop and look around. What am I grateful for? Is there a way I can show my gratitude towards someone or something today? I’ve made it this far, I’m stronger than I think.
- Watch new content and use social media with purpose. Instead of cutting all tv and phone usage, why not use them purposefully? Maybe instead of The Office for the millionth time, I could watch one of the Academy Award-winning films. And I could interact with my followers on Instagram more and follow inspirational accounts.
- Try picking up the book before bed. I want the feeling of not being able to put down a good book again. But I won’t get that feeling if I don’t pick up the book first. That goes for anything. If I want to get back to painting, I need to pick up that paintbrush.
- Get out. Staying home is the easy thing to do, and the safest. But I won’t experience anything new and the depression may only get worse if I do that. So maybe I can plan a day to hit up some furniture stores or even just a Home Goods for that wall mirror I want. Maybe look for some business casual clothes for work at the mall. Anything that will help me leave the house even just for a little while.
Regardless, I have to push through. I have to prove to myself that I can do this. Again. I can take on this city (traffic and all) and do what I came here to do. Explore, try new things, invite my friends to come visit, meet new people and work hard at my job. I want to keep learning and experimenting and having the guts to better myself any way I can. This move can turn out to be the best that ever happened.
It’s not going to be easy but it’ll be worth it.