The Post You Don’t Want to Read: Why I Hate Edinburgh

I’ve been wanting to write this post for a while now, but I honestly didn’t know where to start and in so many ways, I feel so much shame in sharing this. I still don’t know what to say, but here goes… I struggle with mild depression.

One year ago, Andrew and I moved to Edinburgh and to be honest, I hate it. On most days, all I want is to just go home. I hate the weather. I hate the rain, the overcast days, and the wind. I’m miserable walking outside in the cold. I can’t stand going outside to walk through wind and rain. I hate the food. I can’t stand potatoes, shortbread, or meat pies. I hate going out and get so sick whenever I ride the bus (I’m pretty sure I have See Sickness Syndrome). I literally eat a ginger chew every time I go on a bus to prevent my motion-sickness. I hate feeling tired all the time, I hate feeling sad, and I hate how anti-social I’ve become.

It’s been really tough. I find myself crying most days and not really knowing why. All I know is that I’m sad, I don’t want to be here, and I just break down. This supposed adventure of a lifetime has become a nightmare of tears and loneliness from which I don’t know when I’ll wake up.

But, how? How could someone like me have depression? I have Christ, a supportive family, a great community at home, a decent job, a nice roof over my head, a loving husband, and the opportunity to travel around Europe with my favorite person. How could someone with so much be so depressed? Isn’t depression for people who experienced traumatic suffering? I’ve moved away before and was totally fine.

I recognize my sadness, suffering, and struggles as depression, but once I do, it makes me feel weak and sinful, and then eventually apathetic about everything.

My breakdowns have been so bad that they’ve kept me from trying to make friends or going to church, the two things that are supposed to most tangibly assist with my loneliness. In all honesty, Sundays are actually the worst. Most Sundays, I debate with myself, whether or not to ask my co-workers to switch shifts with me so that I can make it to church. Most of the time, I do get the earlier shift that allows me to get to our 4pm service. Then I work 8 hours on a Sunday, force myself to walk 30 minutes to church after an 8-hour shift of standing, and try to endure an hour long service that only makes me miss my community at home even more. Truth be told, even though I’m convinced that we’ve found the best church for us in the city, all I think about every Sunday is how much I hate church, how much I hate Edinburgh, and how much I hate people.

It’s not as though people have been unfriendly to me. Quite the contrary. My co-workers are very nice and many people from our church invite us to their homes. I’ve even noticed people making specific efforts to reach out to me, but the truth is that I just don’t want to try and don’t really care even though I’m lonely. Most of the time, I feel too tired to make friends, too tired to go out for dinner, and too tired to walk outside my door. I don’t want to “work” so hard to have friends and when I have to “work” for it, I ultimately feel that I don’t belong here.

I know…That’s a very selfish way of thinking, but I’m discouraged. I can’t see the end of the tunnel…and it sucks.

Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds.
– James 1:2

We’re supposed to count it all joy when he meets trials of various kinds? But how on earth do you count depression as joy? I don’t know. I’m still working that out. Please pray for me. I’m depressed. I know I’m blessed. I know people love me. I know there is hope, but I’m still hurting.

Okay, enough of writing my thoughts. It’s time to look at some silly doggies.

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14 thoughts on “The Post You Don’t Want to Read: Why I Hate Edinburgh

  1. Keep your chin up friend! Being a long way from home is very hard. Even ten years away from home and I still find myself lonely for friends and family.

    This is a temporary road on your journey. It is easier said than done but try to focus on what you do have and the moment you’re in.

    I’m always here if you need a friend!!

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  2. Hey Chels, thanks for sharing so honestly and vulnerably. Please don’t feel the need to have shame bc of how you feel. It’s ok to admit that you are going through a really tough and miserable time away from amazing community and everything you are accustomed to. I really wish I could come over and visit you right now and bring a ton of your friends and family with me! Sending you love and support in the ways I know– words of encouragement and prayers that God will reveal encouragement to you during this prolonged trial. I love you, Chelsea!! ❤ Sareen

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  3. Chelsea – we love you and I kinda understand how you feel. Its just not home! Thank you for being honest. Knowing the right things to do, but not wanting to do them, and then feeling guilty and not wanting to do anything – I’ve been there and still struggle with it sometimes. Will be praying for you and thinking of you when the days are especially bright and cheerful and when the days are overcast and cold, will be thinking of you until God leads you and Andrew to your next adventure. Love you!

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  4. Hi Chelsea. Hopefully this will be life’s toughest challenge for you…and you’ve counted down the first year already. Being newly married and moving away so quickly to settle in a foreign land could not have been easy. I admire your strength and appreciate your sharing your feelings when feeling low…that takes much strength as well. On the positive side, you now have experiences that few of us will ever feel and have written about them beautifully in your blogs and through your pictures. Hang in there Chelsea…we all love and miss you as well.

    Though not quite the same, I remember when my parents moved us from Arizona to California. Being a very private family, we were not permitted to say goodbye to life-long friends. I was 15 and cried myself to sleep every night, dreamed of being back in Arizona playing with my friends, and waking up crying because it was only a dream. I feel your sadness and your pain. Just know that you are strong, you will get through this and be back soon. Smile…we all love you.

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  5. Jie You, Chelsea! I am sure everyone has the differrent depression, and I absolutely understand how you feel because I am away from my hometown too. Let’s think this way, at least you still can leave anytime if you wanna visit your family, but not for me. I did not see my mom for 8 years😢. I don’t know how to cheer you up. Hopefully, this might make you feel a little bit better. Miss you!

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  6. Hi Chelsea. Haven’t talked to you in forever but I saw a link to your post on FB…all i can say is that you could have replaced “Edinburgh” with “Boston” and you would have been describing me and Veronica in 2008. Newly married, a spouse in grad studies, new city, new job, no friends. Tough tough year.
    I know it’s the opposite of what you want to do, but as often as possible, I hope you feel deeper connections with the good people at your church, job, neighborhood. I think that’s what turned a corner for us. Even today, when we think of Boston, we think of lifelong friends. And good seafood.
    More than anything else though, just wanted you to know that we feel you. Hang in there!

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    • thanks Mr. Kim. 🙂 yes, I still can’t call you Paul…. thanks for the encouragement. Wish I could say the food in Edinburgh is good too, but we’re often left very disappointed. hahah Hope you and your family (and baby!) are well!

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  7. Hi Chelsea. I was shown your blog and I felt compelled to respond. I go to church with your parents. I grew up in Toronto where the weather is cold and gloomy most of the winter. Consequently, many people experience depression called, SAD, seasonal affective disorder.All of the things you said you will do are good. But first you have to stop feeling shame or blaming yourself. Something that many people find helpful is to buy a full spectrum light bulb and sit under it for as long as it is comfortable. It is the closest thing we have to the sun. (You can get them online). Feeling depressed makes one anxious so hopefully that will disappear too. If it doesn’t help, find a good Christian counsellor to talk to. I pray for recovery for you.

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