Half-way depression

I wish I could write that I had some funny anecdote or discovery this week. Don&rsquo;t get me wrong, I had a fantastic reading week. I spent it in the beautiful, eternally sunny Florida. I made some great memories: I hugged my childhood idol at Disney World, Ollivander chose a wand for me at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter<em>, </em>and I petted a penguin. But, much to my frustration, I&rsquo;m no happier now than I was then.

When I was given my information pack about international student exchange, attempting to coax me out of my tiny Australian bubble, nobody told me how hard it was going to be. Of course, they said there would be challenges. They said that I would have culture shock when I arrived, that I would gain weight because of the stress and changes, that I would want to go out and explore more than I would want to study.

They didn&rsquo;t tell me about the half-way depression. It&rsquo;s not an itch; you can scratch an itch. An itch can go away if you ignore it. Depression is all-consuming and for the last few weeks, it&rsquo;s been dictating my every thought, movement, and decision.

Depression is looking out the window in the morning and wishing that you could be anywhere but where you are. Depression is refusing to eat or sleep for two days, and on the third day, sleeping until 5 p.m. and eating all night. Depression is failing midterms, looking at them, and being completely and utterly apathetic towards them.

I wish I could say that I cared. I really do, because I&rsquo;ve been so blessed by everything that I&rsquo;ve been given here. But trying to use willpower to overcome the apathetic sadness that accompanies depression is &ldquo;like a person with no arms trying to punch themselves until their hands grow back. A fundamental part of the plan is missing and it isn&rsquo;t going to work,&rdquo; which is a quote from a chapter in Allie Brosh&rsquo;s fantastic book, <em>Hyperbole and a Half. </em>Check it out.

For example, I can honestly say that my birthday is my favourite day of the whole year. This year, depression has made it something I&rsquo;m dreading. I don&rsquo;t want to make something out of it. I want to lie in bed and sleep through it. I want to sleep through the months so that I can go home quicker.

I&rsquo;ve wanted nothing more than to go home for a few weeks now. I don&rsquo;t know if I miss anything in particular, but rather the combination of things that would make up my life back home. I&rsquo;ve become someone entirely different while on exchange, and I don&rsquo;t know how I feel about it.

The Kira Henderson from Australia doesn&rsquo;t get tattoos for the hell of it, she doesn&rsquo;t actively seek out people to hang out with, and she doesn&rsquo;t stay awake until 4 a.m. watching episode after episode of <em>Orange is the New Black</em>.

I&rsquo;m halfway through my exchange at Waterloo, and nearing that mark for my total time overseas. I return to Sydney on May 7 and I feel like a horrible person for having a countdown in my diary to mark the occasion. I love Canada, I love Waterloo. I love the people that I have met here and the experiences I have had. I can honestly say that I no longer <em>love </em>the weather, but I&rsquo;ve come to appreciate how pretty snow can be. I love this place. But I want to go home.