I wrote a post on FB about this sudden slash not so sudden mini anxiety attack I had the other night. I had been feeling off these past few days, tried to remain strong but then all of a sudden it just hit me like someone had punched me in the stomach. If you’ve never been punched in the stomach before be grateful, it’s pretty intense. You find yourself gasping for air while still trying not to let pee trickle down your leg.
I had a lot of good friends post their words of encouragement and support but this one really stood out for me:
Eva M Leaving everything you know ; your comfort zone to start fresh somewhere, outside of your comfort zone takes up a lot emotionally.
I have done it many times since I was 17. And it is always the same 3 phases process.
The first few weeks of your new life are like a honey moon. Everything is new, exciting, you don’t get bored of discovering and it is pleasing to tell everybody back home about your new home and your new you.
But then, the rejection starts. You start missing your habits, your entourage, your home. Unconsciously, you start hating everything about your new home (I used to HATE when Canadians would say sorry every 5 minutes without even noticing it). It’s tiring to constantly adapt to other people’s cultural code, hearing another language. You reject everything.
Then, you realize that nobody forced you to leave your comfort zone. You made that decision yourself. And you start to remember what your goals were when arriving. Your acquaintances become your friends, you establish your very own routine. You have found balance.
I think that you are in phase two. It is hard, like a withdrawal. No one seem to understand you, not even yourself. My advice is don’t stay alone, continue being true to yourself. Be strong Kaila, it is part of the process of your grown up expat life!
I’m sharing this specific post because I believe many expats and soon-to-be expats will also relate to this very same feeling at one point or another.
The good news is when you do end up feeling this way it will eventually pass. The very next day I took a look at what was triggering this horrible feeling and dealt with it head on. I sent an e-mail to my employer mentioning some of the issues I was having with my working schedule and she was very understanding and has recently made some changes so that I remain happy for now. I say for now because unfortunately I’m not psychic and I have no idea what else this journey has in store for me. After we had the meeting I came back to my apartment, jumped on my hard-ass bed, almost sprained my ankle and slept like a baby.
I’ve started to compile a list of tips that my friends and family have given to me while living abroad to keep during times like this.
If you have any tips, please feel free to share them below! Stay Restless!