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The Local _ Newcomers _ Six months in... does it get better?

Posted by: yurodivy 24.Apr.2017, 07:49 PM

Sorry, I'm not sure if this is the appropriate place, but I'm sure I'm not the first to write something like this... so where could I post this info?:

I've been in Sweden for about six months now and have hated almost every day here, and am seriously regretting coming here. Does it really get better?

The last six months of my life have comprised fighting to survive without a personnummer, fighting to find a place to live (yes, I'm in Stockholm), fighting to furnish the place I now live in which makes me want to cry when I think about how much it costs me, poring through myriad of insurance product info, etc., all in the grim, cold darkness. Every day I work and come home exhausted only to wake up exhausted and start again. It's now nearly May, which means I should be at least trying to enjoy life outside, but now all I want to do is sleep. I don't know if it's either me which is broken or if Sweden/Stockholm just sucks.

I try to be optimistic, but everything is so difficult, and even when I do have some small amount of spare time, I just want to stay home and sleep in the warmth: Despite Swedes telling me I live in a "nice" part of Stockholms län, the nearest thing which is marginally interesting is 20 minutes away by bike, so in this weather I either have to muster up the energy to ride through the cold, wet darkness for 20 minutes to enjoy mildly enjoyable beer/food and then 20 minutes back or to be carsick in a crowded bus for 30 minutes there and back: The only marginally "interesting" things I've found here are in Södermalm and even that is a joke when comparing it to how Swedes imagine it to be (it's nice but in no way have I found it to be "hipster", "alternative", or any of those other things). If I choose to walk, in 10 minutes I can get to a shopping center... whoopee. And this is still better than the temporary places I've had before.

The only people I know are my colleagues at work, and I have so much to do both at work and outside of it that I have hardly explored Stockholm in the half of a year I've been here... and the paperwork nightmare hasn't even ended and I need to apply for a new residence permit already (I can apply at most six months in advance and I know from my first experiences that it will probably take nearly that long to get it).

I've been cold, wet and on the verge of tears for half a year and honestly have been regularly thinking of ways to kill myself for nearly that time: I came here because I thought it would be a good career/life change, but it seems I've jumped from the frying pan into the (cold, wet) fire. Funnily enough, I've been told by more than one civil servant-type person that I should find a therapist but I don't even have the time to try to find one in a foreign country where I hardly even speak the language, and from my previous experiences in foreign countries, I know that therapists in Europe have absolutely no clue about the issues facing expats/immigrants, let alone non-European ones. And a decent therapist shouldn't even need to understand one's problems in order to help you sort through them, but these therapists are worse at their jobs than most European civil servants are at theirs.

I wish I could just drop everything and run away but I'm so exhausted I can't even plan to do that. I need to know if things really are as grim as they seem or if life here always starts this way.

Thanks for whatever words you can offer.

Posted by: Gamla Hälsingebock 24.Apr.2017, 08:07 PM

That's the negative side...

Think of your victories:

You have a job.
You have a home.
You live in a nice neighborhood.
Etc., etc...

You began your stay in Sweden in the fall...Now it's springtime...The winter blahs are on the way out...

No matter where you are your inner happiness is up to you, you cannot expect to be made happy by others...

I know it is "corny" advice that has been totally overdone, but think happy...it works...

Remember small victories, one day at a time...

Good luck!!!

P/S: Suicide is a permanent answer for temporary problems!!!

Posted by: yurodivy 24.Apr.2017, 08:12 PM

QUOTE (Gamla Hälsingebock @ 24.Apr.2017, 09:07 PM) *
You have a job.
You have a home.
You live in a nice neighborhood.


I don't like my job, my home or my neighborhood. And no matter what I do, I'm stuck here for the time being. And I see no other place to go. So these "victories" actually make me even more depressed...

Posted by: nicola4444 24.Apr.2017, 08:47 PM

Is there anything in particular you want to know from us in The Local forum?

I noticed GH tried to be helpful by offering words of encouragement but it doesn't seem to be what you're looking for.

Posted by: Uncle Fred 24.Apr.2017, 09:13 PM

yurodivy - You are a divvy! Is this what you call yourself?

Posted by: yurodivy 24.Apr.2017, 09:14 PM

QUOTE (nicola4444 @ 24.Apr.2017, 09:47 PM) *
Is there anything in particular you want to know from us in The Local forum?

I noticed GH tried to be helpful by offering words of encouragement but it doesn't seem to be what you're looking for.


I don't know, but telling me that the things I have are great after I wrote a long tirade about how much I hate the exact same things isn't exactly what I'd personally do to try to cheer me up.

Posted by: yurodivy 24.Apr.2017, 09:15 PM

QUOTE (Uncle Fred @ 24.Apr.2017, 10:13 PM) *
yurodivy - You are a divvy! Is this what you call yourself?


+1 for getting the reference.

Posted by: ChocOwl 24.Apr.2017, 09:30 PM

QUOTE (yurodivy @ 24.Apr.2017, 08:49 PM) *
I've been in Sweden for about six months now and have hated almost every day here, and am seriously regretting coming here. Does it really get better?

In my experience: ABSOLUTELY YES!
Moving to Sweden in the autumn means the first period is very tough due to the dark and the cold (depending on where you come from of course). Get a light therapy lamp for next autumn/winter, you will never look back.
Sounds like you need a network of new friends to make life more enjoyable. There are ways and places to meet like-minded people but I understand you don't have the time and energy at the moment. How about making some small manageable goals to get this started? That will improve your quality of life.

Posted by: ChocOwl 24.Apr.2017, 10:01 PM

OP, do you need to talk to someone urgently? There are several organisations with 24-hour help lines or chat services. I am sure you could find someone to talk or chat to in English if you need help immediately.
Ignore Gamla's shopping bag suggestion.

Posted by: yurodivy 24.Apr.2017, 10:17 PM

QUOTE (ChocOwl @ 24.Apr.2017, 11:01 PM) *
OP, do you need to talk to someone urgently? There are several organisations with 24-hour help lines or chat services. I am sure you could find someone to talk or chat to in English if you need help immediately.
Ignore Gamla's shopping bag suggestion.


Emergency help will at the best just say that it gets better. The "most" they would do is lock me up for a few days and thereby ruin my employment, thus making my life even worse. Emergency services are for e.g. people whose girlfriend breaks up with them and for some reason this makes them want to off themselves, not for people who've not wanted to live for extremely long periods of time.

The reply to shopping bag was a snark to remind Gamla that he doesn't know how hard it is even to kill yourself, let alone what a hopeless life situation feels like. Perhaps he's trying some typical "reverse psychology" in a genuine attempt to help, but his responses suggest that he's either never been in a similar situation or forgot what it's like.

Posted by: Bsmith 24.Apr.2017, 10:35 PM

If you are that unhappy, why can't you pack up and move? What is keeping you in Sweden? Seriously, if you are contemplating suicide (or is this statement just made for effect?), then get out now! Nothing, I repeat nothing is worth suicide.

If you can't for whatever reason, here are some things that may help. First off, the weather will be improving greatly now. Swedish summer is a lot better than Swedish winter. Secondly, you need to find a way to boost your morale. Alcohol is a mood enhancer. If you are already down, it won't help much. Better to try some natural approaches: sunshine, fish oil, vitamin D, exercise, natural herbs like ashwagandha, rhodiola rosea, holy basil, sam-e. I have never tried therapy, but you sound as if you desperately need it. "Pull yourself out of it", is terrible advice. You need help.

Posted by: ChocOwl 24.Apr.2017, 10:58 PM

QUOTE (yurodivy @ 24.Apr.2017, 11:17 PM) *
Emergency help will at the best just say that it gets better. The "most" they would do is lock me up for a few days and thereby ruin my employment, thus making my life even worse. Emergency services are for e.g. people whose girlfriend breaks up with them and for some reason this makes them want to off themselves, not for people who've not wanted to live for extremely long periods of time.

Yes, but if you need contact in an emergency - don't hesitate to take the chance to talk or chat to someone if you need acute help.

http://www.beatingtheblues.com/ I thought this book was good, if you are looking for a book. But it sounds like you need a human to talk to.

Maybe this is helpful... Check how many "stress points" you have accrued in the past year or so. https://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newTCS_82.htm
This can help you to understand why you feel crappy, and give hints for the future.

Posted by: Gamla Hälsingebock 24.Apr.2017, 11:19 PM

This guy is just "winding" us up...

Posted by: Bsmith 24.Apr.2017, 11:42 PM

Perhaps, but if he/she is genuine, then we should help. I would rather be a fool and err on the side of caution than to give some snarky reply and push someone over the edge.

And you know how I love the snarky replies.

Posted by: Uncle Fred 24.Apr.2017, 11:55 PM

Time for some facts.

Where do you come from.
Why did you come to Sweden.
What is your nature of work.
How long have you been working in Sweden.
What is stopping you from returning home.

Posted by: Brigitteisveryspecial 25.Apr.2017, 08:39 AM

Ok, someone here is an asshole! But we get that, right?

So, I have a history of mental illness -and I'm just stating that facts first, so that you can understand that I had an additional element to deal with that effected my transition here.

-the light lamp. Very good advice. Get one.

Me:

I've been here almost two years, and whereas I don't have clinical depression, currently, Sweden has not really lived up to my expectations. I came from Canada (great place) originally, but moved here from Turkey (horrible place, in my personal opinion). So I was excited to get here because I wanted to go back to living in a society that was more similar to Canada, in that it didn't have the intersection of church and state, had better environmental values, a good social system, and more equality between men and women, etc.

But my main problem is that I don't find Swedish people friendly enough! It makes me so sad that I can't nod my head, make eye contact and say a little 'hi' when I'm passing a stranger on the street! It kills me! I came here thinking I could be more social than I was in turkey.

The weather is the next thing that absolutely kills me. It's the end of April, and this morning I woke up to snow outside on the ground and in the air. I have the completion of an old sports sock. I miss sun.

So far, a lot of your specifics don't apply to Sweden exclusively. Think about that. Ya, I hear you! The immigration/paperwork hassles are a nightmare that seem to never end. But most places we chose to move to will have a similar obstacle, to a varying degree.

One thing I've learned about Sweden is they love their goddamn clubs and societies and whatnot! So sorry to say, but you're going to HAVE to find a hobby, and force yourself out. I understand it's incredibly hard to do when you lack the energy and will. But you have to force yourself to save your life. Either you go to the goddamn library and find a book club, or join goddamn SFI and meet classmates that may be experiencing the same hurdles as you. Whatever it is. But make yourself go!

Can more people tell us if it gets better? I wanna hear more about how others settled here.

Oh! Maybe you should get a Swedish lover! I'm not kidding! Finding love in the spring? Nothing better!! And if you found a Swedish person to love, maybe you could experience the wonderful things about Sweden through him or her.

The end.

Posted by: wallace1837 25.Apr.2017, 08:43 AM

Leave while you can. As you know, when you wait for the extension or your work permit you are not allowed to come back to Sweden. It can take up to 13 months with the current wait time (they have done nothing but increase in the past months, so this may become a lower limit soon). Depending on your situation that may make your exit really complicated (e.g. selling your house, going to interview and come back to your Swedish job waiting for a decision, visit family, etc.).

I don't see Sweden going any better. Summer is at our door step, but winter will come back with all its darkness (irrespective of climate change that may makes it "hotter"). If you are prone to be affected by the down side of Swedish winter, it will not get better.

I think the best bet is to leave Sweden, do it and be happy. If the symptoms of depression continue, consult a specialist (potential temporary lost of income is better than perpetual depression).

I really wish you the best.

In the meantime, call 1177 and ask for help. If that doesn't work, since you are employed, ask the union about work environment psychological support. Also, get as much sunlight as you can, eat healthy, do exercise. Do what use to make you happy.

Posted by: Mzungu 25.Apr.2017, 11:15 AM

Mmm, OP, one has to believe you are having it easy...think about those millions who would be happy in your predicament,who are living in Zim,DRC, Somalia or even Bulgaria or Romania!!

*just a thought*

Posted by: mjennin2 25.Apr.2017, 11:36 AM

Change is never easy - especially when you came here without being fully prepared and probably, if we are to be honest, glamorizing the situation. I say this because I have been in your shoes in a lot of ways - it's a folly we all often times commit.

Having moved to a foreign country where you can't yet speak the language should have been a red flag that it will take time for your to assimilate and get the hang of things. Also by your references to weather, I suppose you weren't entirely prepared for the things that come with moving to Sweden in the winter - both mentally (darkness) and physically (vit-D defficiency).

The good news is that you are going through hell right now. Yes, that is the good news! Because, once you pick yourself up by the bootstraps, start to get a handle on the language and soak up the beautiful spring and summer weather (if it ever comes! Jesus, why is it snowing right now as I type this??? UGH), you will be so much better off as the months roll onward. Hopefully by the time you celebrate your 1 year anniversary, you will have many triumphs to reflect on and be proud of the the fight.

I moved here a little more than a year ago from the beaches of Southern California. Fancy that for a climate and geography change! And I was also pregnant. If you want to know what "difficult" is, give birth at the onset of winter and swim around in postpartum hormones during the dark months. That was something to write home about, trust me laugh.gif

But anyway, I digress. It ALWAYS gets better, if you want it to. Moving to foreign countries isn't for everyone. And even for those it is for, it requires a shit shit SHIT ton of work. Language skills, network building, learning how the system works, figuring out cultural mores so you know how to act to get what you want/need... learning that Vitamin D and sunlamps and quality jackets make a world of difference... this is the elbow grease you need to lather on if you want to make it here. You already have achieved the hard stuff - housing and a job. The rest is just fun.

Get a gym membership. Endorphins are nature's opiate, plus it will give you a space to vent, do something positive, and meet people. Take up a hobby, or better yet, come adopt one of the kittens my cat is about to have because fuck if I know what I'm going to do with a house full of cats laugh.gif Start a blog, write, take up sewing, start language classes, learn how to salsa, go to a new restaurant every week and try the one dish you would normally never order, just for the sake of jump starting your senses. Get a pass to the local swim hall and have a swim. Go shopping. Sign up for a half marathon and start training for it. And best of all, it sounds like you are in serious need of a vacation. Croatia is close, beautiful, and cheap as all hell. Go remind yourself that the world is big and no matter where you live, your problems will always follow you - take this time to learn something new about yourself so that even if you do throw the towel in and move back from whence you came, you can at least say it wasn't a defeat but rather just a detour.

<3

Posted by: ChocOwl 25.Apr.2017, 01:54 PM

QUOTE (Brigitteisveryspecial @ 25.Apr.2017, 09:39 AM) *
But my main problem is that I don't find Swedish people friendly enough! It makes me so sad that I can't nod my head, make eye contact and say a little 'hi' when I'm passing a stranger on the street! It kills me! I came here thinking I could be more social than I was in turkey.

Yup, Swedes are reserved.
QUOTE (Brigitteisveryspecial @ 25.Apr.2017, 09:39 AM) *
So far, a lot of your specifics don't apply to Sweden exclusively. Think about that. Ya, I hear you! The immigration/paperwork hassles are a nightmare that seem to never end. But most places we chose to move to will have a similar obstacle, to a varying degree.

Very good point. When thinking "life is crap at the moment" it is easy top blame it on Swedeen, when in fact it could very well be crap somewhere else, albeit a different type of crap.
QUOTE (Brigitteisveryspecial @ 25.Apr.2017, 09:39 AM) *
One thing I've learned about Sweden is they love their goddamn clubs and societies and whatnot! So sorry to say, but you're going to HAVE to find a hobby, and force yourself out. I understand it's incredibly hard to do when you lack the energy and will. But you have to force yourself to save your life. Either you go to the goddamn library and find a book club, or join goddamn SFI and meet classmates that may be experiencing the same hurdles as you. Whatever it is. But make yourself go!

Yes! Agree!

Posted by: ChocOwl 25.Apr.2017, 01:56 PM

QUOTE (ChocOwl @ 24.Apr.2017, 11:58 PM) *
Maybe this is helpful... Check how many "stress points" you have accrued in the past year or so. https://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newTCS_82.htm
This can help you to understand why you feel crappy, and give hints for the future.

According to this stress test... If you have moved countries, changed jobs, movbed home etc during the last 6 months then you will have over 300 so-called stress points accumulated. It is almost inevitable that this will affect you ie that you will feel crappy.

Posted by: mjennin2 25.Apr.2017, 03:17 PM

QUOTE (ChocOwl @ 25.Apr.2017, 01:56 PM) *
According to this stress test... If you have moved countries, changed jobs, movbed home etc during the last 6 months then you will have over 300 so-called stress points accumulated. It is almost inevitable that this will affect you ie that you will feel crappy.

I love how Christmas was it's own category on that test laugh.gif

I got a score of 394. S'pose I should go grab the bourbon wink.gif

Posted by: ChocOwl 25.Apr.2017, 04:11 PM

QUOTE (mjennin2 @ 25.Apr.2017, 04:17 PM) *
I love how Christmas was it's own category on that test laugh.gif

I got a score of 394. S'pose I should go grab the bourbon wink.gif

Yes, it is interesting how even "positive" life events reflect in the score - it is partly the amount of change over a short time that can cause problems, not just the type of changes.

Posted by: Bsmith 25.Apr.2017, 06:57 PM

QUOTE (ChocOwl @ 25.Apr.2017, 03:11 PM) *
- it is partly the amount of change over a short time that can cause problems, not just the type of changes.



Wonder what Caitlyn Jenner's score would be.

Posted by: wallace1837 25.Apr.2017, 07:06 PM

QUOTE (Mzungu @ 25.Apr.2017, 10:15 AM) *
Mmm, OP, one has to believe you are having it easy...think about those millions who would be happy in your predicament,who are living in Zim,DRC, Somalia or even Bulgaria or Romania!!

*just a thought*

Some other people have other reference than Somalia, they compare their Swedish situation to civilized country like USA, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Germany, etc.

http://www.oecdbetterlifeindex.org/#/11111111111

Posted by: yurodivy 30.Apr.2017, 08:02 PM

Thanks for the serious replies thus far... I wrote that first post because I realized that, given the housing market in Stockholm, I will probably never have anything close to resembling an urban life unless I somehow get into a relationship with an 08 who somehow got a government first-hand contract in the city and thus will never move elsewhere for fear of losing it, and I simply cannot be happy living somewhere where the most exciting thing is a shopping center... so I didn't see any way out of this while staying in Stockholm.

I'm originally from the US but have lived abroad before, and I never experienced such a shock moving somewhere. Perhaps I'm exaggerating this, but I just had a breakdown when I realized that six months of the year are going to be dark, grey and grim with nothing to do, and then even in the better six months I'd have to spend 30+ minutes of travel to get to anything of interest. And the bureaucracy seems to never end, since just getting a stupid residence permit takes something like 6+ months. Also, this weekend I realized that going out in Stockholm isn't even necessarily that fun (or maybe it's just because I'm already morose anyway?): Swedes (Stockholmers?) are obnoxious when drunk.

Now I just sound like I'm trolling but the only good thing I can find is that I'm not in e.g. Zimbabwe or Syria as mentioned above and I don't know whom I can turn to (obviously saying this stuff to acquaintances at work isn't the wisest thing to do), thus shouting into the void here. If I can find some glimmer of hope that things will be good, I'd stay, but so far everything here in Sweden (or at least Stockholm) seems to suggest that life will just keep sucking.

I'm now seriously looking for other opportunities elsewhere but now I'm scared I won't be able to find anything after job-hopping...

Posted by: Cheeseroller 1.May.2017, 01:09 AM

My wife became clinically depressed after moving to Sweden, she received anti-depressants which helped as they gave her the power to make changes in her life she needed. She took active steps to find some expat friends that spoke her mother language and also started to work.

As I and others have said on this forum before, the impression that Sweden creates when you visit as a tourist or have lived there for some months is very different. This is of course true of other countries, jobs and even personal relationships - but for some people the difference from the original presentation to the reality is too stark and ultimately unacceptable.

Some people, particularly introverts, those who love nature, fit right in. Others who come from countries where people are more open, social, impulsive and individualistic, find the narrow-minded, group-think mentality, combined with the social avoidance behaviour, intolerable. Often immigrants start by blaming themselves, that they don't speak the language, that they don't understand the culture, but even when they are conversationally fluent some years later, they realise nothing changed and in some cases they realise that they will always be a foreigner in Sweden, that there are glass ceilings to opportunity, and that they wasted to many years.

And personally, we found Stockholm to be dead boring. Other than Gamla Stan (and ignoring the tacky tourist shops that sell wooden horses and viking helmets, FFS), the city (like most other towns in Sweden) is 1960’s concrete and architecturally drab, and the culture/entertainment is limited. For a few summer weeks it is beautiful and taking a ferry to the islands is glorious, but like other parts of Sweden not worth the grief of the long dark winters, walking/driving on ice, removing snow from your car for months (the last winters have been mild there), generally disappointing summers or putting up with the po-faced monosyllabic neighbours - who would only show genuine interest in their fellow dwellers when the stink of the corpse becomes noticeable.

Once my wife received her Swedish citizenship, we moved to Germany. Neither of us wanted to return to either of our home countries, and both of us wanted to be in the heart of Europe so that we could jump in a car and visit new and interesting places, and enjoy the different foods and cultures. The first years were tough - moving a family and own business to a new country few major suppliers (electricity, phone) or government bureaucrats speak English is frustrating, but a long-time friend helped guide us. The life quality for us is like night and day compared to Sweden - we are finally content and will probably retire here.

Sometimes decisions we make turn out to be wrong. Some of us have been married more than once, and when you have been through the pain and the initial and long-term cost of divorce, you will realise that moving to the wrong country is for the most parts is a relatively minor mistake :-).

Just because you made a mistake once, doesn't mean (if you are smart) that you will repeat it. Perhaps you were so keen to leave the US, you didn't research Sweden enough (to find this site for example).

You are young, I presume fit, was able to get a job in Sweden which many immigrants can't. You don't have a fatal illness or walked through Africa and crossed a perilous sea to be stuck in a refugee camp for years.

Start to take a 30 minute brisk walk at lunchtime. It will help clear your mind and give distance to your problems so they can be solved. Many immigrants to Sweden felt the same way. If necessary, go and get some anti-depressants until you have the power to make changes.

Posted by: LLHope 1.May.2017, 09:46 AM

QUOTE (Savage @ 1.May.2017, 08:20 AM) *
Sweden has some of the highest use of Antidepressants in the world...
And yet is also self portrayed as one of the happiest nations on earth ?

The two are connected ... the antidepressants work well rolleyes.gif
QUOTE (yurodivy @ 24.Apr.2017, 07:49 PM) *
I've been in Sweden for about six months now and have hated almost every day here, and am seriously regretting coming here. Does it really get better?

OP, where was the last place that you were actually happy with your life, and why leave it, what were you really seeking?

Posted by: Cheeseroller 1.May.2017, 10:00 AM

Other countries in Europe have higher suicide rates than Sweden, including Finland, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Belgium, Hungary, Poland. Sweden's rate is marginally higher that the USA rate.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_suicide_rate

Data on antidepressant use by country:
http://www.businessinsider.com/countries-largest-antidepressant-drug-users-2016-2?IR=T

It was a UN report that ranked Sweden as 10th on the Happiness list, so nothing we can blame Swedish media for:

"The U.N.'s happiness rankings use one data point from a massive survey known as the Gallup World Poll. That data point comes from a question that asks people in more than 150 countries to rate their lives on a scale of zero to 10 -- with zero being the worst possible life and 10 being the best possible life. The latest rankings show Syrians, Burundians and Central Africans rating their lives the worst (about a 3.0) and people in the Nordic countries rating their lives the best (7.5 on average).

While the metric is known as "life satisfaction," there is some disagreement as to whether it should actually be labeled as "happiness." Regardless of what we call the metric, it's important to watch."

The data comes from only 3000 respondents in each of more than 150 countries - so less than 20 samples per country...

Posted by: Mistress_Of_Doom 16.May.2017, 12:37 PM

Whoa this thread was dark. Seems to me like the majority of people who move here and end up in Stockholm hates their lives. I live out in the middle of nowhere and it's great. Relaxed atmosphere, close to nature. If you hate your job, why not consider something else, somewhere else? I came here from New Zealand, which in retrospect is a better country in general, but I have very few complaints about Sweden. I've spoken to another New Zealander who has very negative views of Sweden, and he lives in Stockholm.

Posted by: Gamla Hälsingebock 16.May.2017, 01:18 PM

The truth of the matter is, happy people rarely post here!!!

That's all it is and all it will be...

Posted by: Bsmith 16.May.2017, 03:04 PM

I wasn't sad about living in Öland, either. It's absolutely beautiful on that little island. Unfortunately, the job situation isn't so good there.

Posted by: mjennin2 17.May.2017, 06:45 AM

QUOTE (Mistress_Of_Doom @ 16.May.2017, 12:37 PM) *
I live out in the middle of nowhere and it's great. Relaxed atmosphere, close to nature.

I'm with you on this one smile.gif So much nature and always things to do! Hiking/fishing/swimming/horseback riding/gallivanting/canoeing/biking/gardening/running during the warm months, cross country skiing/snowshoeing/building snow forts and pummeling my sambo as he arrives home from work in the cold months... I don't have a driver's license and essentially live 30 minutes from the train so I don't go anywhere, and I am hardly ever bored! I feel like living outside of the city comes with a fantastic benefit of being able to get close to your neighbors. Country folk are a different breed. My neighbors come over all the time and have fika or we have BBQs or whatnot. Most of them are a million years old and have lived here their whole lives, but my god do they have stories to tell! One of them let me help him deliver a cow calf this year wub.gif

But then again, I suppose it depends on what kind of life / lifestyle one wants to have. I find these things all immensely exciting and fulfilling. I came from Los Angeles so I definitely appreciate the open nature and space to frollick around naked if I so choose ;D

Posted by: Mistress_Of_Doom 17.May.2017, 11:46 AM

I'm a simple girl too, and having lived in the city in the past I wouldn't say that there are more things to do there. Maybe just more shops, but who is really that materialistic anyway. Mostly old people live around here too, and I'm quite surprised that everyone can speak English! I don't have a driver's license either and public transport doesn't run very often, but I like that time almost goes a bit slower around here.

I came here with an open mind and found the small towns charming, but maybe others came here expecting to get more out of a fast-paced lifestyle or party-style nightlife. Also another thing that drags people back is when people who are under-qualified but come here seeking better job opportunities, but in reality if you can't find anything good in your own hometown what makes you think Swedes want you to work for them? Especially if your skills aren't in high demand, or your skill level/passion isn't above the rest.

I don't mean to sound like I have a perfect life, but it has been easy for me to live in Sweden happily. The only thing I really miss is authentic Chinese food, and it's not so easy to find in Värmland tongue.gif

Posted by: Bsmith 17.May.2017, 11:32 PM

Don't be talking it up too much, girls. We don't need a rush of people moving out to the country and spoiling everything!

Posted by: Gamla Hälsingebock 18.May.2017, 12:26 AM

What is needed here is that some people move out of Sweden...

Posted by: Mistress_Of_Doom 18.May.2017, 01:14 PM

Haha oh I see where the hostility comes from then. But really it's not for everyone here. Not everyone likes a quiet lifestyle if they are used to the city.

Posted by: Gamla Hälsingebock 18.May.2017, 08:37 PM

It's the Swedish way...

Posted by: rajarana 9.Aug.2017, 06:32 PM

I'm sorry to hear about your troubles OP. Were you able to get help?

Hope you're doing better now.

Posted by: axiom 9.Aug.2017, 06:38 PM

One would think most people who write here were forced to move to Sweden, or are being kept as slaves or some indentured servants. If it is really that bad, there is always the option to leave and try for somewhere that works better for you or your wife. What quality of life can t ever be fixing your problems with antidepressants etc.

Posted by: choiminzi 18.Oct.2017, 09:59 AM

QUOTE (yurodivy @ 24.Apr.2017, 08:49 PM) *
Sorry, I'm not sure if this is the appropriate place, but I'm sure I'm not the first to write something like this... so where could I post this info?:

I've been in Sweden for about six months now and have hated almost every day here, and am seriously regretting coming here. Does it really get better?

The last six months of my life have comprised fighting to survive without a personnummer, fighting to find a place to live (yes, I'm in Stockholm), fighting to furnish the place I now live in which makes me want to cry when I think about how much it costs me, poring through myriad of insurance product info, etc., all in the grim, cold darkness. Every day I work and come home exhausted only to wake up exhausted and start again. It's now nearly May, which means I should be at least trying to enjoy life outside, but now all I want to do is sleep. I don't know if it's either me which is broken or if Sweden/Stockholm just sucks.

I try to be optimistic, but everything is so difficult, and even when I do have some small amount of spare time, I just want to stay home and sleep in the warmth: Despite Swedes telling me I live in a "nice" part of Stockholms län, the nearest thing which is marginally interesting is 20 minutes away by bike, so in this weather I either have to muster up the energy to ride through the cold, wet darkness for 20 minutes to enjoy mildly enjoyable beer/food and then 20 minutes back or to be carsick in a crowded bus for 30 minutes there and back: The only marginally "interesting" things I've found here are in Södermalm and even that is a joke when comparing it to how Swedes imagine it to be (it's nice but in no way have I found it to be "hipster", "alternative", or any of those other things). If I choose to walk, in 10 minutes I can get to a shopping center... whoopee. And this is still better than the temporary places I've had before. https://lyricsforme.com/taylor-swift-look-what-you-made-me-do-lyrics

The only people I know are my colleagues at work, and I have so much to do both at work and outside of it that I have hardly explored Stockholm in the half of a year I've been here... and the paperwork nightmare hasn't even ended and I need to apply for a new residence permit already (I can apply at most six months in advance and I know from my first experiences that it will probably take nearly that long to get it).

I've been cold, wet and on the verge of tears for half a year and honestly have been regularly thinking of ways to kill myself for nearly that time: I came here because I thought it would be a good career/life change, but it seems I've jumped from the frying pan into the (cold, wet) fire. Funnily enough, I've been told by more than one civil servant-type person that I should find a therapist but I don't even have the time to try to find one in a foreign country where I hardly even speak the language, and from my previous experiences in foreign countries, I know that therapists in Europe have absolutely no clue about the issues facing expats/immigrants, let alone non-European ones. And a decent therapist shouldn't even need to understand one's problems in order to help you sort through them, but these therapists are worse at their jobs than most European civil servants are at theirs.

I wish I could just drop everything and run away but I'm so exhausted I can't even plan to do that. I need to know if things really are as grim as they seem or if life here always starts this way.

Thanks for whatever words you can offer.


I don't like my job, my home or my neighborhood. And no matter what I do, I'm stuck here for the time being. And I see no other place to go. So these "victories" actually make me even more depressed...

Posted by: Bsmith 18.Oct.2017, 11:25 AM

And you're going into winter which is a hard time in Sweden. Do you have the resources to take a trip to someplace warm this winter?

Posted by: flaneur 18.Oct.2017, 12:01 PM

Me too. I hate it.

I have a great job, great salary, I live in central Stockholm and never had any single problem with any bureaucratic procedure.

Still...I hate it.

Damn I want to live in New York, this is all boring bullshit.

Posted by: BhuBhuKaZoo 18.Oct.2017, 01:48 PM

QUOTE (flaneur @ 18.Oct.2017, 01:01 PM) *
Me too. I hate it.

I have a great job, great salary, I live in central Stockholm and never had any single problem with any bureaucratic procedure.

Still...I hate it.

Damn I want to live in New York, this is all boring bullshit.



I saw Savage had quote the U.K. as a place many Swedes go and yes, New York is a beautiful city. However, people leave those countries too! I left London, and the U.K. (I have family in the country with a Land Rover and all that) and I just got so fed up with the London life and the country as well. It's the same for many people.

The key is - if you want a change, you should take it on. You only live once and you wouldn't want to look back thinking "what if?"

I moved to Sweden because I love the idea of Sweden - what it represents and the nature that is so abundant here (and unfortunately not being properly protected in the U.K.). Has it lived up to my expectations, not completely - but in other respects, its been better.

I'd lived in New York (albeit for a couple of months only) a few years ago, and again, although I loved the idea of New York, when I was there, I did enjoy it but it reminded me too much of London and the working environment is much too similar (if not even worse).

I would say Flaneur, if you want to go to New York...do it! Its a great experience and one that you don't get without actually going there. It also helps provide some perspective when looking at where you are as well!

Its all well and good saying "this place is horrible" but then having nothing to compare it too but an idea. You've got to live there to see what it's like really!

Posted by: Bsmith 18.Oct.2017, 02:48 PM

QUOTE (BhuBhuKaZoo @ 18.Oct.2017, 01:48 PM) *
The key is - if you want a change, you should take it on. You only live once and you wouldn't want to look back thinking "what if?"


Exactly right.

Posted by: contomlon 18.Oct.2017, 05:35 PM

QUOTE (mjennin2 @ 25.Apr.2017, 11:36 AM) *
Change is never easy - especially when you came here without being fully prepared and probably, if we are to be honest, glamorizing the situation. I say this because I have been in your shoes in a lot of ways - it's a folly we all often times commit.

Having moved to a foreign country where you can't yet speak the language should have been a red flag that it will take time for your to assimilate and get the hang of things. Also by your references to weather, I suppose you weren't entirely prepared for the things that come with moving to Sweden in the winter - both mentally (darkness) and physically (vit-D defficiency).

The good news is that you are going through hell right now. Yes, that is the good news! Because, once you pick yourself up by the bootstraps, start to get a handle on the language and soak up the beautiful spring and summer weather (if it ever comes! Jesus, why is it snowing right now as I type this??? UGH), you will be so much better off as the months roll onward. Hopefully by the time you celebrate your 1 year anniversary, you will have many triumphs to reflect on and be proud of the the fight.

I moved here a little more than a year ago from the beaches of Southern California. Fancy that for a climate and geography change! And I was also pregnant. If you want to know what "difficult" is, give birth at the onset of winter and swim around in postpartum hormones during the dark months. That was something to write home about, trust me laugh.gif http://madalinstuntcars2.com

But anyway, I digress. It ALWAYS gets better, if you want it to. Moving to foreign countries isn't for everyone. And even for those it is for, it requires a shit shit SHIT ton of work. Language skills, network building, learning how the system works, figuring out cultural mores so you know how to act to get what you want/need... learning that Vitamin D and sunlamps and quality jackets make a world of difference... this is the elbow grease you need to lather on if you want to make it here. You already have achieved the hard stuff - housing and a job. The rest is just fun.

Get a gym membership. Endorphins are nature's opiate, plus it will give you a space to vent, do something positive, and meet people. Take up a hobby, or better yet, come adopt one of the kittens my cat is about to have because fuck if I know what I'm going to do with a house full of cats laugh.gif Start a blog, write, take up sewing, start language classes, learn how to salsa, go to a new restaurant every week and try the one dish you would normally never order, just for the sake of jump starting your senses. Get a pass to the local swim hall and have a swim. Go shopping. Sign up for a half marathon and start training for it. And best of all, it sounds like you are in serious need of a vacation. Croatia is close, beautiful, and cheap as all hell. Go remind yourself that the world is big and no matter where you live, your problems will always follow you - take this time to learn something new about yourself so that even if you do throw the towel in and move back from whence you came, you can at least say it wasn't a defeat but rather just a detour.

<3


Mmm, OP, one has to believe you are having it easy...think about those millions who would be happy in your predicament,who are living in Zim,DRC, Somalia or even Bulgaria or Romania!!

*just a thought*

Posted by: contomlon 18.Oct.2017, 05:37 PM

QUOTE (mjennin2 @ 25.Apr.2017, 12:36 PM) *
Change is never easy - especially when you came here without being fully prepared and probably, if we are to be honest, glamorizing the situation. I say this because I have been in your shoes in a lot of ways - it's a folly we all often times commit.

Having moved to a foreign country where you can't yet speak the language should have been a red flag that it will take time for your to assimilate and get the hang of things. Also by your references to weather, I suppose you weren't entirely prepared for the things that come with moving to Sweden in the winter - both mentally (darkness) and physically (vit-D defficiency).

The good news is that you are going through hell right now. Yes, that is the good news! Because, once you pick yourself up by the bootstraps, start to get a handle on the language and soak up the beautiful spring and summer weather (if it ever comes! Jesus, why is it snowing right now as I type this??? UGH), you will be so much better off as the months roll onward. Hopefully by the time you celebrate your 1 year anniversary, you will have many triumphs to reflect on and be proud of the the fight. http://madalinstuntcars2.com

I moved here a little more than a year ago from the beaches of Southern California. Fancy that for a climate and geography change! And I was also pregnant. If you want to know what "difficult" is, give birth at the onset of winter and swim around in postpartum hormones during the dark months. That was something to write home about, trust me laugh.gif

But anyway, I digress. It ALWAYS gets better, if you want it to. Moving to foreign countries isn't for everyone. And even for those it is for, it requires a shit shit SHIT ton of work. Language skills, network building, learning how the system works, figuring out cultural mores so you know how to act to get what you want/need... learning that Vitamin D and sunlamps and quality jackets make a world of difference... this is the elbow grease you need to lather on if you want to make it here. You already have achieved the hard stuff - housing and a job. The rest is just fun.

Get a gym membership. Endorphins are nature's opiate, plus it will give you a space to vent, do something positive, and meet people. Take up a hobby, or better yet, come adopt one of the kittens my cat is about to have because fuck if I know what I'm going to do with a house full of cats laugh.gif Start a blog, write, take up sewing, start language classes, learn how to salsa, go to a new restaurant every week and try the one dish you would normally never order, just for the sake of jump starting your senses. Get a pass to the local swim hall and have a swim. Go shopping. Sign up for a half marathon and start training for it. And best of all, it sounds like you are in serious need of a vacation. Croatia is close, beautiful, and cheap as all hell. Go remind yourself that the world is big and no matter where you live, your problems will always follow you - take this time to learn something new about yourself so that even if you do throw the towel in and move back from whence you came, you can at least say it wasn't a defeat but rather just a detour.

<3


Where do you come from.
Why did you come to Sweden.
What is your nature of work.
How long have you been working in Sweden.
What is stopping you from returning home.

Posted by: Svedallas 22.Nov.2017, 01:05 PM

QUOTE (choiminzi @ 18.Oct.2017, 09:59 AM) *
I don't like my job, my home or my neighborhood. And no matter what I do, I'm stuck here for the time being. And I see no other place to go. So these "victories" actually make me even more depressed...


If you do not have a good social life or at least a lot of supportive friends and family. Sweden is hard, and with the cold dark winters, it does not get easier unfortunately...

A good job and salary does not compensate for the needed moral support.

I recommend that you either work on your building a vibrant social life, or move to a different city perhaps.

Posted by: intrepidfox 22.Nov.2017, 01:33 PM

QUOTE (Svedallas @ 22.Nov.2017, 01:05 PM) *
If you do not have a good social life or at least a lot of supportive friends and family. Sweden is hard, and with the cold dark winters, it does not get easier unfortunately...

A good job and salary does not compensate for the needed moral support.

I recommend that you either work on your building a vibrant social life, or move to a different city perhaps.


It depends on the person. I lived here for years going to work and coming home to an empty flat. It didn´t worry me at all. I like solitude. i can´t stand having the phone ringing all the time or people knocking on the door for a chat. As i said everybody is different

Posted by: GamlaSkogHisingHope 27.Mar.2019, 08:50 AM

QUOTE (intrepidfox @ 22.Nov.2017, 01:33 PM) *
It depends on the person. I lived here for years going to work and coming home to an empty flat. It didn´t worry me at all. I like solitude. i can´t stand having the phone ringing all the time or people knocking on the door for a chat. As i said everybody is different


Exactly, it depends on your outlook. The cold dark winters never bothered me; sure it's colder than England, but that is to be expected.

Posted by: Bsmith 27.Mar.2019, 12:04 PM

And now, it's Spring which is very beautiful in Sweden.

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