“There was no thought process. It was just dark, very dark. The possibility of having to speak with another person was too much so I avoided the bars and was instead sitting on the floor finishing another beer. The decision to stay at an expensive hotel was a last ditch effort to feel better and I was sitting on the ground because it felt like a pathetic thing to do. It was easier to feel sorry for myself that way.
The carpet was cold as I leaned back up against the bed staring into space and the curtains were open for the lonely city lights to make their way in to the room. I wondered if anyone I knew had ever felt this low before. It was devastating.”
This paragraph is an extract from the book and describes the Cape Town hotel room I stayed in one year prior to when I decided to spend one year riding a bicycle alone through Africa (2014). It also goes some way to explaining the real truth behind starting the trip outside a Cape Town hotel rather than anywhere else.
I had never told anyone this as I was already busy listing to everyone telling me not to go to Africa on a bicycle, that it was dangerous, unknown or too big but simply put, I had chosen to return to the Africa because it was the scene of a nervous breakdown and this felt like the right way to face my personal demons and begin piecing myself back together. It was wishful thinking but in the end, it actually happened.
I arrived in Bangkok this week and this was another place I visited around that time when things continued to spiral out of control. All I can say right now is that everything looks very different to before and I could never have imagined the sequence of events over the past two years which have brought me to the point of feeling this way now.
I think it’s important to use this experience to reach out for anyone who may either be in a dark place of their own this new year or simply not know where they want to go in life. I was there, in fact I would still be there had it not been for all the support from so many unexpected places and the simple choice I made to stop feeling like a victim.
Finally, I had no real reason to believe any of this was possible but the fact that I am here right now has proved otherwise and so I hope that whatever it is you want this year, whether it be something or someone, that you realize you are in fact good enough and it can in fact happen if you only decide that it should.
15 CommentsLeave a comment
Hi Derek, very brave of you to share this personal story with your audience! I appreciate that! I know what you mean and it’s away at every little piece of you, feeling like a victim. You are a strong surviver and everything you do in life makes you more the person that you are. I hope you feel much better now!
Stephanie – stephaniesmolders.com recently posted…5 must do’s in Copenhagen
Absolutely Stephanie, and many thanks for taking the time to leave this message !
A very candid and rave post Derek. I’m sure it will give strength to many people who are in a dark place right now…
Joe recently posted…More about KYGN…and feminism
Cheers Joe 😉
I love (and prefer) travel bloggers’ own personal stories as it’s a way for me to get to know them better.
Life is hard, I know that from experience, but life is beautiful as well. And yes, you are good enough
So glad you decided to share this! I think it is so important to be transparent about things like this, because it makes it so much easier for others dealing with similar issues knowing that they aren’t alone!
Kaley recently posted…6 Ways That I Am Now Japanese
Well, that’s why I want to share Kaley – I’m glad you noticed. It’s hard to see past it all, when you “don’t know how”! Thanks for commenting
The simple choice to stop feeling like a victim. I can definitely relate. Great post Thanks for sharing!
Namita recently posted…Ladakhi Women’s Travel Company: Leading the Way in Eco Tourism
hey Darek, thanks for sharing!
I can totally relate to what you’re saying in the article…I kinda try to find a true meaning of my life these days and I have almost bought the ticket to Thailand to run away from some personal issues I am fighting with these days. I am glad I did not.
I can only agree to the last paragraph – our life and happiness is indeed completely in our hands.
Good luck to you!
Well, more people than we know are going through the same, or similar issues. Thanks a lot Nika!
bravely done! I reckon its important to face personal demons to fight them completely. then they seem not that frightful !
Fighting personal demons is not something everyone actually does, hiding from them is way easier. For you to share it online is even braver!
Anne recently posted…The mystery of monks in Myanmar
Hi Derek: It is very brave of you not only to face your demons but also share your story for others. It takes a lot of courage to overcome such painful memories. Wishing you the very best.
Prasad Np recently posted…Photographing Birds In Backyard