Thoughts and reflections from my month in Berlin

My first month as a blogger done! It’s been great so far but not without challenges.

I’ve spent a month in Berlin getting my blog started. I’ve successfully, in my opinion, made the transition from no alarms and no calendar to waking up every day (not every day) at a set time to purposefully work towards my goal. I do retain some great habits from my year off though.

  1. I refuse to have set appointments before 8 am. It’s just not healthy.
  2. I don’t work Fridays, if I don’t really want to but even then there’s no working after lunch. Being Swedish that is not a new habit though. Ever tried to get anything done after 2pm on a Friday in Sweden? Unless you’re dying it can wait till Monday.
  3. If I don’t want to do it it’s not happening. Too many people do things because it’s what they think is expected of them. ….and that really doesn’t benefit anyone.

I realize that being able to make these choices means I’m living an extremely privileged life. There’s no day that I’m not thankful for that but having a great life apparently doesn’t mean I won’t have shitty days. Which totally came as a shock to me. I assumed that when I could do whatever I want whenever I want there would never be a dull moment, or a day when I’m down, or a day when I feel stressed or pressured.  Turns out that happens every now and then anyway. The big difference is that now I can’t blame it on anything external. Also whining about my bad days to friends now is met with a lot less sympathy.

I’m still struggling on why I still have those days. I’m currently going back and forth between thinking it’s because of a lack of purpose and challenge in life and thinking it’s just a fact of life. …Something I have to accept and deal with rather than try to create a life or circumstance in which it doesn’t happen. I will have to get back to this when I’ve done some more thinking and reading about it.

I made a few observations during my month in Berlin. The first thing I noticed is that most places don’t sell beverages from the Coca-Cola Company, as in no coke or fanta available. Not a problem for me, quit soda years ago. (Highly recommended btw). In Berlin (maybe all of Germany) the go to beverage is Fitz Cola or Club Mate. It’s very refreshing to see something different, everywhere ells I’ve been coca cola is everywhere. It’s to the point where you don’t notice it, it’s just a part of the world like cars and cellphones. You can be in some backwoods village in a hut made of sticks and there sure as shit will be a fridge from Coca Cola …I haven’t looked in to it but I am expecting someone to tell me that Fitz Cola is owned by Coca Cola after I published this post. Hope not but wouldn’t be surprised. Another beverage related observation; most, or at least a lot of beverages are sold or served in glass bottles rather than plastic. Fantastic in my opinion. Since visiting Indonesia last winter I’ve been trying to reduce my use of plastics. Plastics were overflowing the beaches and waters. After having paddled out to beautiful waves through candy wrappers and other plastic waste reducing my own consumption was the least I could do. However plastic is everywhere and very hard to avoid. …so good job on that Berlin.

mauer

Living in Berlin is like living in a museum of human history, the most terrible and cruel part of human history. It’s impossible to not be reminded of the Second World War and the terrible crimes against the Jewish population and humanity in general but also the whole aftermath with the cold war and the Berlin Wall. I didn’t know this before but there’s always a police officer stationed outside of every official Jewish building during opening hours in Berlin. That this is a necessity in a city where you’re constantly reminded of what segregation and hatred leads to is incomprehensible to me. If racism and antisemitism isn’t a thing of the past in Berlin how will my blog posts and articles be able to have any effect on the conversation around mental illness? It seems futile.

I have however chosen to believe that it is possible for me to effect positive change and that it’s worth my time even if it’s an extremely slow process. Just having reached one person. Having helped one person or one relative to feel better and to feel empowered in their fight against mental illness is a win.

Thank you everyone who has reached out to me to thank me for my efforts. Thank you for all the positive feedback and encouraging comments. Thank you everyone who has helped me gett
ing started or who has read my posts and given me constructive feedback on both writing and content. Thank you all readers.

Please keep reading, commenting and sharing. Every person I can reach is one more I can hope to inspire to help me in the fight against the stigma of mental illness.

Love

Lisa

 

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