Depression, Priorities, and Van Gogh

"Ik doe al mijn best er kracht achter te zetten want ik verlang er zoo sterk naar mooie dingen te maken.– Maar mooie dingen kosten moeite – en teleurstelling en volhouden." 
 Vincent Van Gogh to Theo Van Gogh*
     Recently, I have been collecting material about Van Gogh. Reading one of his letters got me thinking about beauty and happiness, and the struggle sometimes they require.  

     Late September, I made an appointment with my huisarts (physician) to discuss my mild depression and what could be done so it wouldn't become a serious health issue. We had an interesting talk pointing out how I was out of balance trying to learn how to live with someone, take care of a house, and at the same time finding out who I would become. This was being very difficult since I was feeling lonely and alone. We agreed it would be helpful to have some sessions with a "prajtijkondersteuner". For those not familiar with the term, a prajtijkondersteuner is a kind of nurse specialized in mental health. He/she works hand in hand with the artshuis. So far, I have had 2 sessions and it has been great. If you or someone you know is feeling depressed, and live in The Netherlands, I totally advise you to reach out to your artshuis and talk about it. Remember the winter is coming, and for some people, it can be harder when the days get shorter and darker.

     Between my artshuis and prajtijkondersteuner's first appointment, I dedicated myself to try figuring out how to approach the situation. While researching on the internet, I found a super helpful article about priorities, A SIMPLE EXERCISE FOR GETTING YOUR PRIORITIES STRAIGHT: FORGET ABOUT WORK AND RELATIONSHIPS by Sarah Todd. The main idea was: Write down 4 priorities, leaving out work and relationships. This was an opportunity to see everything from a different angle, under a new light. If I could focus only on getting stronger again without worrying about the job or my darling, maybe I could figure out my way up again. And so, among the changes I began to make, I started journaling. A month later, the blog Dutch in Translation was born. How am I feeling? I think you can tell. I am me again. I love it!

     Van Gogh.
     As the quote says, beautiful things don't come easy. Oh, but how good it feels when everything starts falling into place. Thank you for taking the time to read me. It gives me strength to know that someone, somewhere, can in some way relate to my story.


*Sources. Quote: The Hague, September 9, 1882, to Theo van Gogh. Retrieved from Image: By Retrieved from


Popular posts from this blog

Inburgering Part 1: Reading Exam

Learning Dutch and the Difference Between White and Brown Eggs

Eindhoven's New Hairdresser: The Story Behind A Brazilian Expat