Get rid of all the crap surrounding you. Easier said than done. I can't undo being an expat, I can't control how others respond to me, but what I can do is deal with what I've got and tell those that say 'it could be worse' to leave me alone.
\these 5 steps are things I've tried and I am doing....yes it can be hard getting rejection after rejection, but I'm at the stage where I have nothing to lose and everything to gain, there have been new issues chucked at me in recent weeks and some of the prvious problems are no more.
But I WANT things to change and no one else can change them for me, they can help and do it with me, but I need to keep making the effort, I can't rely on everyone having to 'cheer me up' all the time. Life is hard for hubby and the kids also and without further a do, here is my guide to 'cheer up and move on'
1. Talk about it
Easier said than done, family and friends can be jealous, they had no awareness of how difficult it is to make friends when you’re not hanging around the school gates or have a place of work, they don’t think about it, they don’t understand the dangers of South Africa or the cultural differences and the lack of company support.
The first step are to tell people how you feel. Don’t expect them to understand, all you want is acknowledgement not solutions sometimes. Talk it through with the kids, it affects their mood and everyone gets stuck in a downward spiral.
Explain to family and friends by telling them that the sunshine and the ability to dip in the pool does not solve all evils and a that not all expats earn hundreds of thousands of pounds, that’s just a myth.
You will alienate people but they are the types that are holding you back, wanting to see you fail, people who love to hear about your lives and see your photos yet offer little in return in ways of communication, love and support.
2. Don’t feel you have to justify yourself to anyone.
If you smile, laugh or joke don’t feel guilty, just say ‘Today I smiled, I laughed, I joked. Today is a good day and I’m enjoying it for what it is.’
3. Don’t seek alternatives
You can’t ‘snap’ out of it, searching for a replacement is short lived, you’ll end up an alcoholic and double your troubles, gain weight and feel ten times worse.
Embrace what you can do. Are there things you’ve been wanting to try but never had the time for. Sewing, baking, exercising, blogging. You’ll find something even if it does take a long time and then you’ll wonder where you’d have time to fit in your old life you craved for so much.
4. Go see the Doctor
And go again until you see the right one. Ask for medication and don’t be afraid to use it, it doesn’t get rid of the issues, but it does make things easier to deal with.
5. Get out more
Get out of bed and get dressed, do your hair and makeup even if you’re not going anywhere for the day. Even if you live in a compound you can go for a walk, take a cup of tea and a book outside. Smile when people walk past, say hello.
Check your local paper for things that interest you, so what if you go on your own and don’t feel you fit in; you don’t have to go again or even see these people anymore.
Make the most of networking online; join twitter, start blogging, Google keywords to find support and like minded souls. You’re reading this now, so you can do it, you just have to take the lead. Keep a journal; you’ll be surprised when you read it back how far you’ve actually come.
This is one of the unknown skills I discovered and I now use that skill to raise funds for adults in South Africa with disabilities.