Sunday evening I returned from a short trip to Weimar, a small German town with a rich cultural heritage: (in some cases temporary) home to Goethe, Schiller, Bach, Nietzsche, Liszt and many more, founding place of the short-lived first democratic German republic and the Bauhaus movement… Those four days have been filled with a lot of programme – too close or already beyond overkill for many other people, but I really enjoy this kind of intense involvement with topics I am interested in. Beyond the pure joy, I got out of it with a lot more confidence into my cognitive abilities. My sleeping brain is waking up – there was no problem handling the wealth of information.
Apart from all the pleasant things, a visit to the former concentration camp of Buchenwald was scheduled for the last day too. I visited Auschwitz in 1998, so I had a good idea of what to expect and the kind of effect such a day can have on the overall mood. Back then, I experienced a major backlash over a week after the actual visit, becoming furious at all the people around me, in my head silently screaming at them because they dared going about their comfortable everyday life when such acts of inhumanity were reality.
Admittedly, I didn’t really feel like paying Buchenwald a visit, not because I want to close out what has happened – on the contrary, I find it extremely important to educate people about this – but because I don’t want to jeopardize my new and relatively stable mental health. Since the rest of the group wanted to go, though, I joined them and assumed a somewhat distanced perspective, not unlike watching the news: intellectually, I took it all in, but tried to keep my emotions out of the experience. It seems that this approach worked, because even though I find my thoughts wandering back to what I read, saw and heard there, they don’t take over my imagination.
Overall, however, it was a great trip with very little room for depressive thoughts and worrying – just what I need(ed). And next week I will finally have a therapy session again: even though I’m getting by quite well without, I miss them and talking to my therapist. It seems longer than just a month since I last saw him and I do believe that he’ll find me different from the last “version” he met; at least I feel like I have changed during the last few weeks and shed even more depressive behaviour and thoughts. I feel more self-confident and more secure.