Two Months in Europe (in a nutshell): PART II

Screenshot from Monument Valley

Screenshot from Monument Valley


Here's where the "fun" begins. 

Here's a little backstory and information in order to prepare yourself for this post. I have been diagnosed with Agoraphobia, Anxiety, Depression, and PTSD. I've rarely been on medication but I've been on Prozac and as of most of last year, Lexapro. (Shoutout to Oregon having great health care). As you have read in PART I, I decided to ween myself off of it before my move. My DR and Therapist both said I was a little presumptuous to do this before such a major life change. I thought no, I'VE GOT THIS. But truth be told....I didn't. lol. About a week before I left I took my final dose of 5mg. I went from 20mg in Feb to the 5mg in mid-April. I experienced LOTS of side effects. Honestly I felt like it was every single withdrawal symptom ever. Yay pharma! 

Once I got to 5mg tho, I was like... Oh, that wasn't so bad. So I went along my merry old way. THEN GUESS WHAT. I was in a new country. Oh, yeah. I don't speak Dutch. Oh yeah, I need to get a NL phone number and get rid of the number I've had for over 10 years for some wonky numbers that I can't remember for the life of me. Oh, not to mention that I had a few friends disown me right before I moved. 

HELLO Anxiety and Depression. 
Full. Motherfucking. Force.
(Sorry Brett)

I guess I didn't have enough time to think about it before I left.. but I should have been a little more prepared with the realities of a new relationship. Especially since we would be living with each other and in each other's bidness 24/7. 
For the first month, my anxiety and depression was CRIPPLING. To be honest, I wanted to die. The withdrawals from Lexapro made me feel like I was possessed by the devil. Not exaggerating. The pictures of us above was a small time frame where the clouds parted. 
I swear the only thing that kept me sane was the fact that I had access to a KFC and a Burger King. How pathetic! (LOL) I didn't even eat these in the states but somehow it was comforting having a familiar taste of something. 
I felt lost. Even at the damn grocery store. Everything was in mumbled jumbled Dutchie language and when my brain was possessed by the Lexapro devil it made things even worse. The TERROR of having people try to communicate with me and the SHAME of being in their country and not speaking their language. (When honestly no one here gives a fuck). 

But still.
My poor little anxiety brain was fragile. 
Also: Dutch culture is much different than American culture. *gasp* Dutch people don't hesitate to tell you what's up. They won't just be friendly to you for the sake of being friendly. I have a love/hate relationship with this. It's refreshing and also scary. It makes me realize how many times Americans suck ass for no reason. 

Back to the relationship stuff though: It's been no easy feat and still proves every day that it's going to be a journey. We're learning how to properly cohabitate with each other. We're growing and learning and loving and fighting. We are showing each other things and being vulnerable with each other. We are setting the stones for a relationship by building a sturdy friendship. 
We are passionate.
We are both headstrong.
Most importantly though: We light the flame inside each other.

Cereal here is weird and looks supa retro & hip. 

I decided to start making my own food as something I found right away was that Dutch food isn't really my style. Coming from Portland I realized I was 100% bonafide FOOD SNOB to the extreme. (Except when it comes to American Fast Food.) Fried chicken was something I missed dearly. And ranch. And biscuits. So I bought some buttermilk (Karnemelk) and made ALL of the buttermilk dishes. Food=Comfort. 

I've done a lot of traveling to nearby small towns since I've been here but that's too much content to slam into one post, so I'm going to make smaller posts talking about each town I visit and some information on how we got there, places we ate, things we saw, etc. etc. AND I'm going to make some more individual posts talking about specific experiences, funny things, people I meet, etc. 

BUT, I did want to talk about the power of the internet real quick like. Thanks to the internet I have made my first real life friend here in a new country. (Shoutout to Yvonne). Thanks to having a Dutchie roommate in the states (Fox) I found Yvonne! Or rather we found each other. Her and I met up and hit it off real quick and she's turning out to be one of my most favorite people evar.  I seriously don't know what I would do without the internet.

My life would have been so boring.