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Previous bouts of depression increase the chances that a person will more easily and quickly fall into depression again. In trauma, anxiety, and depression, your brain gets rewired into a holding pattern in negative experiences and reactions; AKA, neuroplasticity. With all these cards stacked against me, it is no wonder that the daily challenges of living as an expat in China, combined with stress of being a teacher in a dysfunctional school, topped with working with a toxic, bully co-teacher ... leads to me feeling like Conan looks above, starting at 6am and going full throttle 5 days a week. When the weekends come, I just want to curl up on the couch, drink wine, eat ice cream, write, and stay in my apartment. Oh, actually, that desire happens every day at the end of the workday, too! Oh yay!
Oh, I forgot to add that I've been living across from a condo construction site since September, and there are no noise-pollution regulations here (and in general, no or poor any-type-of-pollution regulations in China), which means I have been awakened by pole-driving and drilling at 5:45am every morning -- 7 days each week, 365 days per year because they do not halt construction for any holiday or on weekends. And yeah, the noise continues until or after 9pm each night. And yes, I have $300 Bose noise-cancelling headphones, sound-dampening blackout curtains, sleep with earplugs.... blah blah blah and I still am awakened on weekends to the nerve-wracking cacophony of construction. This does not help the noise-sensitivity I developed with PTSD.
China is a very difficult couuntry to live in as a foreigner and they keep tightening the noose of restrictions on expats (banking, visas, etc.) each year. That said, the many small benefits outweigh the gross drawbacks, and I'd rather be here than in the US, where one worries about being shot every day and it's hard to make a living. All the challenges are described in my other posts related to living in China:
Why do I stay? Well, I've written twice the amount of posts about why I love it here, in contrast to the amount of posts about why it's extremely difficult!
Beyond all that, I loved the stressed-out-Conan meme, as it perfectly exemplifies my state of mind a lot of the time. And shows the reason I need the MBSR course!