OK, so I know every millennial and his ironically named dog¹ has a mental health issue nowadays, so soz for opening with mine:
I’ve had anxiety and depression for as long as I can remember now. Throw in low self-esteem and mild constipation², and you’ve basically got my whole state of being. Oh, and the mania, let’s not forget the mania. That’s when I make all my best decisions. Like, that time this year when I cut off all my hair³, quit my job, broke up with my boyfriend and LEFT THE FUCKING COUNTRY.
Because, you know, why face your problems when you can just emigrate to Sweden.
Yeah. I emigrated to Sweden.
I know, don’t hate me. At least I didn’t move to fucking ‘Ind-yah’. Also, Sweden is a weird place to pick in the world if you’re trying to escape yourself and have some miraculous life-changing epiphany. For a start, there’s not a single person here wearing harem pants. And it gets cold here, really cold. When did you ever hear of anyone finding themselves in the Northern hemisphere? It’s not Eat, Pray, Wear-a-Fucking-Coat-Love.
But then again, the Scandinavians are apparently the happiest people in the world, right? And aren’t there a lot of trees here? (I don’t know, feels like trees could be helpful). And maybe I might actually learn some shit, since I’m here now anyway. Also, there’s a fuck-load of cheese shops.
Why am I telling you all this?
Well, (activates condescending nasal voice), as I embark on this deeply personal journey of self-discovery, I think about what a meaningful impact this potentially unique but relatable human experience might have on the lives of others. People who – like me – struggle to find their place in the world, people who don’t always like themselves either, and who, in an effort to forget who they are, might travel 900 miles to avoid remembering.
And then I think: how can I shamelessly exploit all of this for external validation on the internet?
Blog the fuck out of it of course.
So, here it is. All the bullshit in my brain as I try and figure out who the fuck I am here in this new and alien country. It ain’t gonna be Shakespeare I tell you that much. But I’ll throw in the odd cod-piece reference if that helps?
You’ll probably learn some stuff about Sweden, but mostly I anticipate I’ll be writing about my deeply unhealthy inner monologue and inevitable mental breakdowns (I’ve been here 6 weeks and had 15 already). Because, as my good pal Derren Brown† said, “you can’t take a holiday from yourself”, even if it is in Scandinavia.
Well Derren, that might be true. But you can buy gouda the size of your face, sooooo, maybe just stick to hypnotising while I hyperventilate into a bag and consider my life choices.
Footnotes (this blog is very academic):
¹ If you name your dog David, Phil, Steve, Ian, Colin, or any other generic middle-aged IT Manager name, I can tell you it is still funny. But definitely not original.
² Did you know constipation is pretty much a mental health disorder? Because apparently the bacteria in our gut causes depression and anxiety now. (Not just Daddy issues and an inability to connect with your peer group over milk and apple slices). So, if you’re suffering from a less than cheery positive mental attitude, you can now thank the asshole that is your asshole.
³ Yep, I went full Britney. Poor girl. One bad haircut and she’s bat shit forever now ain’t she? (Btw, to be clear, no shame to Britney. As a deeply anxious person, I’m anticipating being trolled by readers without the requisite sense of humour. Though, the fact I’m anticipating readers at all suggests that today is a good mental health day. So, yay. 🎉)
† Derren Brown is not really my pal, silly. (And probably never will be. Even if this blog takes off and catapults me to the miraculous heights that somehow puts me in his vicinity, or, you know, I bump into him at a Pret A Manger, I am deeply afraid of anyone who is even remotely good at reading people, so I will immediately hide inside a dustbin. This comes from a deep-seated insecurity that anyone who can truly see me will see how ugly and evil I am on the inside. LOL. It makes eye-contact a real bitch sometimes.)