Thursday, 7 June 2012

Ex-pat Blues

I received a letter today in the post from an Ex-pat forum.

It outlined all the symptoms and coping strategies for "Expat Depression". Apparently it is a real and recognised mental condition and I should be ever vigilant cos according to all the statistics it is highly likely I am going to get it.

You have to read that last sentence again and inject the irony please.

Quite frankly when your life has been changed beyond recognition the physical, cultural and emotional exertion of that means you have down days. Fact. I kind of think that is totally normal don't you? What's wrong with a down day anyway?

We are human, we feel and display a huge range of emotions but apparently feeling low and down is not acceptable and admitting it is nothing less than a declaration of utter failure.

I have always thought myself to be a positive, half glass full type, but now I have serious doubts. Having ticked yes to many of the so called symptoms of "Expat Depression", well there is only one thing for me, pass the bloody happy pills!

Well here goes failure and damnation for me then.

I’ll admit: sometimes one of the reasons I am spotty with my posting is because I am feeling a bit low and quite honestly just cant be bothered. The energy isn't there and the leprechaun of lethargy wins and the sofa is my best friend. But hold on a minute, that happened in the UK too, so no change there.

More often it's because I have nothing interesting to say because I am busy with the mundane stuff.

There will be those out there who will deem me an ungrateful brat for not constantly shooting rainbows out of my backside about how incredible this experience is and how lucky I am and how wonderful and amazing everything is for me here.

It is really wonderful on so many levels but it is hard on others too. This is the Yin and the Yang of life no matter what you do or where you are. How could you feel and appreciate the exquisite joy of a great day if you didn't have crappy ones too.

I won't lie perception and reality are hugely different things and as you get more into life as an ex-pat you realise that, but the challenges go with the turf and it's just how it should be.

Everyone feels low at times, yes you do! The difference is in accepting that it is OK to do so and even more OK to admit it.

There is a massive difference between feeling down and having a full blown depressive illness which in itself is horrendous and I am by no means making light of that. It annoys me it even gets clumped into the same category like having a runny nose means you have pneumonia or something.

I am just a tad irritated by this letter today, have you noticed? Irritated by the assumption of my pending illness and as such that bloody letter has gone in the bin. (recycling of course). I will even go as far as to say, unsolicited mail like this is a bit dangerous giving rise to auto-suggestion.

Come on Radders we're hitting the beach and next time I feel down you are all going to know about it, it's clearly the way forward, that's if I can be bothered of course lol.

Oh and on the final and most telling point I wish to make, is that one of the coping strategies suggested was to join the forum for a very reasonable $150 fee. I rest my case, tell me I am depressed but dont call me stupid.

Aaaah that's better I feel absolutely great now!


  1. A long walk along the beach with Radish will always be a "cure all" I am sure. Sending love as always.
    PS, I only require £75 for joining my forum so it will be an absolute bargain for you. All major credit cards and currencies accepted here xxx

    1. Count me in, I reckon it has to be the best forum in the world! xxx