Lost on the Other Side of the World

By Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

Im a 25 year old Australian male, who lives here in Helsinki Finland. And have been for 2 years now.

I originally came here to Finland 2 years ago for a Finnish girl i was with of 3 years. The day i arrived she broke up with me and left me standing there at the train station with my luggage fending for my fate. Being stubborn, i decided not to go home but to give this country my best shot because i gave up everything back home in Australia. I began a job here as a Electrical Technician after spending 6 long months unemployed here in cold Finland.

I have spent the past 14 months working and getting my life back in order. I have very little friends here, and have had to deal with the culture shock and language barrier. I was recently very sick with a bad virus and lost 7kg. Now that im recovering im starting to think, what am i doing here in Finland??

I have nothing keeping me here, so i think. And im starting to think if its time to go home or not, its been depressing me and effecting my sleeping patterns and eating patterns. I feel that if i return home there could be a sense of regret, or shame.

How should i approach these situation so i can decide what i need to do? how can clear my head to do this properly?

Thanking you.

A: Stubborness, as you’ve found, can be a good thing. You took advantage of an opportunity to find out what you’re made of and you did it. You found work, managed to live in another culture, and survived a serious illness without the support of family and good friends. I would say that the experience has been an enormous success. You now know without a doubt that you can take care of yourself by yourself if you have to.

But, here’s the thing: You don’t have to. It’s good to know that you can but you don’t have to keep doing it to again prove it to yourself or anyone else. As far as I’m concerned, there’s no shame in deciding that you’ve learned enough for now from the school of life and that it’s time to do something a little easier.

The disturbance of sleep and eating patterns might be your unconscious prodding you to get up and go. If there is really nothing to keep you in Finland, perhaps it really is time to return to your own country, at least for an extended visit. Bring all your newfound confidence and maturity home and see what’s there for you now. You will then have more basis for deciding which country is a better fit for you at this stage of your life.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 17 Mar 2011

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2011). Lost on the Other Side of the World. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 24, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2011/03/17/lost-on-the-other-side-of-the-world/