Anxiety, depression and Japan

I should probably put down some words on this...

Anxiety and depression

Since shortly after MCM I've not been feeling particularly well. Anxiety attacks at work and less and less motivation to go to work or even do anything sometimes. I've had some of it earlier than that but it really started to show itself late October 2014.

I'd like to think I like my job but I guess subconsciously I don't. The year I've spent thus far working for Curitiba has been nice. I like the people there and I like most things I get to do.

One thing I'm really bad at is interacting with people and handling disagreements. Varies from person to person, some people I can talk to just fine and others I can not. It's usually in the delivery, some disagreements with the boss I handle just fine while others make me tear up really badly to the point that I can't do anything for the rest of the day. Some people end up at that really bad side immediately and some don't. With the boss it's usually somewhere in-between where I'm out for an hour until I've calmed down again.

I'm also bad at working independently, I need constant guidance to focus on something and avoid having to make any decisions myself. Constantly asking if this or that is okay and just sitting at the office doing nothing unless someone tells me to do something.

This inability to deal with people and breaking down completely when doing consultant interviews for assignments I probably otherwise could handle just fine has led to me basically being locked to the office handing support for customers instead. It would have been fine if it didn't mean that I would just sit there staring into an email inbox that nobody ever writes to. This really makes me question what I actually do for the company and makes me wonder how the hell I'm still here sometimes.

Whenever I get to head out to a customer it's usually good fun though. Spent a week in early January working night at a customer on an issue they've had for a year after someone there finally figured out how to reliably reproduce it and that week of testing things to solve it (and finding a solution) was great. Probably would not have worked as well if I was completely on my own though, doing things together with the person responsible for WAN-optimisation internally and constantly playing off each other is probably what made it so much fun.

The boss took notice of this and wrote up an official position for handling support and logistics for me which was a nice gesture; but I don't know, it just doesn't feel right. It also included an alternate schedule where I start in the afternoon and work until night instead. Totally fits with my nocturnal habits but somehow it feels insulting too.

Japan trip 2

Early February I finally snapped. I was prepared to quit and just go as far away from home as I could for a while. Talked to the boss and ended up getting some time off instead of having to quit though. As for where to go I thought back to Japan seemed good. I'm there right now and it's been okay.

I was planning to stay in Tokyo for a few days and then head out on a longer hike. The Tōkai nature trail seemed good. Packed my stuff, including a really great hammock tent and a sleeping bag and left. I've used this in the past at the Norberg Festival and it was really good.

While in Tokyo I did some stuff I never got around to last time I was here such as going up Tokyo Skytree and visiting Mogra. Mogra was great. The night I went happened to be some kind of metal event which was cool. After a couple of drinks I got into it and started singing along to the songs I knew. Japanese people become surprisingly good at English once they get some alcohol in them too. Managed to actually talk with a few and explain my silly hiking plans even.

I started the trail at Mount Takao and ended up spending the night on the ground since I started late due to a pretty bad hangover from Mogra the night before and it being really really steep and hard to find any good trees.
sleeping outside
At one point during the night I got visited by what I think was the police. Some car with flashing lights on top at least. A man walked up to me and asked 「あなたは日本語を話しますか?」 I told him "No, I do not speak Japanese" and then he went back to the car and just drove away.

Woke up early in the morning to other people walking past me and up the mountain. I put my sleeping bag back in the backpack and started climbing. Had some noodles at the top of the mountain and then continued down the other side and up some other mountain.

Met an almost 70 year old Japanese man at a resting spot on the trail who told me stories of how he travelled around the world when he was my age. He was also really worried about my plans to sleep outside and didn't believe me at first when I told him I had already spent a night out. After making it all the way to Sagamiko I was so tired and hungry that I really didn't want to continue the hike. Talked to Min about it and returned to Tokyo. It is an interesting feeling when you spend a day walking across mountains and then take the train back in 10 minutes (To Takao, took another hour all the way in to Shinjuku).

About 10 kilometres in total starting from Takaosanguchi on the right ending at Sagamiko on the left.

Back in Tokyo and going to Kyoto

After all this I spent a couple of days again back in Tokyo mostly not doing anything at all but making some plans on what else to do since hiking didn't work out too well. I decided to go to Kyoto and got suggested a place to stay at from another guest at the sharehouse here in Tokyo.

Took the Shinkansen which was a pretty awesome experience, those are some awesome trains. Kyoto itself didn't really impress though. I got sick of temples pretty quickly and if I'm just going to sit around I'd rather do that in Tokyo so I went back again a few days earlier than planned.

I went halfway up Fushimi Inari-taisha and walked through the bamboo walkway at Arashiyama at least.
Fushimi Inari

Some more pictures of this whole thing can be found over here.