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Six months in... does it get better?

Regretting moving here

Savage
post 25.Apr.2017, 08:18 AM
Post #16
Joined: 11.Mar.2016

QUOTE (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 ... (show full quote)


I would seriously recommend trying to look for options to leave Sweden.
It doesn't fit most people, and the majority of western expats leave within 4 years.

Save yourself, and get out before you become a another statistic.

As anything is better than your current situation of unhappiness and entrapment.
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Brigitteisveryspecial
post 25.Apr.2017, 08:39 AM
Post #17
Joined: 27.Mar.2014

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.
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wallace1837
post 25.Apr.2017, 08:43 AM
Post #18
Joined: 21.Oct.2012

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.
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Savage
post 25.Apr.2017, 09:52 AM
Post #19
Joined: 11.Mar.2016

I have actually spoken to a few long term expat recently, and there is a definite change in the air.

I spoke to 1 individual who confessed to me that while they hadn't been happy for a good amount of time, they had trundled on with the safety and monotony of life. But while shootings, car burnings and stabbings had become the norm, it was the latest terrorist attacks that had awoken their laziness and senses to look for something better.


It also worth noting that a crazy amount of swedes choose to leave Sweden for better countries. With the current stats somewhere between 10 - 15% of the population.

If Sweden really was what it is often sold as, then I am sure the number of people leaving Sweden wouldn't be so high.
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Mzungu
post 25.Apr.2017, 11:15 AM
Post #20
Location: Jönköping county
Joined: 29.Aug.2004

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*
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mjennin2
post 25.Apr.2017, 11:36 AM
Post #21
Location: Västra Götaland
Joined: 8.Mar.2010

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
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Savage
post 25.Apr.2017, 11:59 AM
Post #22
Joined: 11.Mar.2016

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ChocOwl
post 25.Apr.2017, 01:54 PM
Post #23
Joined: 17.Jan.2011

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' ... (show full quote)

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 nev ... (show full quote)

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 forc ... (show full quote)

Yes! Agree!
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ChocOwl
post 25.Apr.2017, 01:56 PM
Post #24
Joined: 17.Jan.2011

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.htmThis can help y ... (show full quote)

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.
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mjennin2
post 25.Apr.2017, 03:17 PM
Post #25
Location: Västra Götaland
Joined: 8.Mar.2010

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 accumu ... (show full quote)

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
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ChocOwl
post 25.Apr.2017, 04:11 PM
Post #26
Joined: 17.Jan.2011

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.
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Bsmith
post 25.Apr.2017, 06:57 PM
Post #27
Joined: 25.Jun.2009

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.
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wallace1837
post 25.Apr.2017, 07:06 PM
Post #28
Joined: 21.Oct.2012

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 R ... (show full quote)

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
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yurodivy
post 30.Apr.2017, 08:02 PM
Post #29
Joined: 24.Apr.2017

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...
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Cheeseroller
post 1.May.2017, 01:09 AM
Post #30
Location: Germany
Joined: 10.Apr.2007

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.
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