Back in Scotland

Old Oct 19th 2018, 3:01 am
  #46  
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Default Re: Back in Scotland

Dinnae fash, drink a house dram of single malt every day and your worries will be long gone!
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Old Oct 19th 2018, 4:38 am
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Default Re: Back in Scotland

Originally Posted by Caroline in Arizona View Post
This may come as a surprise (or perhaps it won’t.) I believe I’m experiencing Reverse Culture Shock. I have no desire to return to Arizona and I don’t want to be anywhere except Scotland. We did not return on a whim. As I have indicated in previous posts I could no longer cope with the Phoenix heat nor my homesickness. Now that we have been back 3 months the initial euphoria has gone and I’m left feeling decidedly off-kilter. I’m seeing family, friends, doing lots of walking, reading, eating well, getting enough sleep and generally looking after myself.

It’s only yesterday that I realized what I am feeling is Reverse Culture Shock. I’m reading as much as I can about it. My question for members of this forum is:

1. Does Reverse Culture Shock go away on its own with time or is there something else I should be doing to help it go away?

Thanks in advance.

Can you give us some examples of what you mean by Reverse Culture Shock? I can't picture it ...
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Old Oct 19th 2018, 9:10 am
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Default Re: Back in Scotland

Originally Posted by Caroline in Arizona View Post
This may come as a surprise (or perhaps it won’t.) I believe I’m experiencing Reverse Culture Shock. I have no desire to return to Arizona and I don’t want to be anywhere except Scotland. We did not return on a whim. As I have indicated in previous posts I could no longer cope with the Phoenix heat nor my homesickness. Now that we have been back 3 months the initial euphoria has gone and I’m left feeling decidedly off-kilter. I’m seeing family, friends, doing lots of walking, reading, eating well, getting enough sleep and generally looking after myself.

It’s only yesterday that I realized what I am feeling is Reverse Culture Shock. I’m reading as much as I can about it. My question for members of this forum is:

1. Does Reverse Culture Shock go away on its own with time or is there something else I should be doing to help it go away?

Thanks in advance.

Ah yes Caroline, been there. A few months in, just like you. It was rough for a while. Even thought I had made a huge mistake. You do get through it, at least I think most do. But it can return in little ways. Just came back from DD's wedding in Atlanta, and had copious crying the day after we returned. All good now though.

It can be just pure familiarity with what you left behind that's making you feel off kilter. Loving what you have now, but also finding new appreciation for all those years of pure survival being somewhere you didn't fit in. Now you fit in - and you expect everything to be perfect. And some days it isn't.

I came up with all kinds of good reasons to feel this way: missing DD, missing my dog, missing my friends, etc, but in the end I realised that it was more my expectations that were getting in the way of my settling. If the reality doesn't match the expectation, even in the smallest way, it can throw you off. More so, when you first get here, you feel like you are on holiday, and when you don't go back to "normal life" you feel like you are just hanging there waiting for a resolution so you can settle again.

Please feel free to PM me anytime. And hang in there. It gets better.
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Old Oct 19th 2018, 11:41 am
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Default Re: Back in Scotland

Sorry to hear this Caroline. This is something we didn’t experience even though we left our children in the USA when we returned to England after 29 years - does this make us bad parents? - Nah!

Possibly with the nights drawing in and soon heading into winter the big reduction in sunlight may be having an effect on your body. I expect this will soon pass, stick with it.
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Old Oct 19th 2018, 5:16 pm
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Default Re: Back in Scotland

neilcumming - good suggestion!

Steerpike - it’s too new for me to give examples. It took years before I was able to write about my homesickness. However, I’m a pretty deep thinker so at some point I’ll be able to write about this.

Perth - many thanks. I’m about to PM you.

durham_lad - thanks for the reminder about the changes due to winter approaching. My DH is doing fine. It’s just me that is feeling out-of-sorts.
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Old Oct 19th 2018, 10:44 pm
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Default Re: Back in Scotland

Hi Caroline, I think Perth put it well-"you expect everything to be perfect,. Some days it isn't."

When we are homesick, the longed-for place becomes such a goal, an ideal. I don't know about you, but I started to feel that everything would be 100% wonderful if I could only be at home.

So then we come home, and once the initial euphoria wears off, we are left with ordinary life; yes, in the place we longed to be...but it isn't always plain sailing, now we are here.
And sometimes—and this is the part I'd call true Reverse Culture shock—we are surprised that there were some things that actually worked better in the country we were living in before.

Personally, I haven't really suffered from this feeling of come-down, but I can totally understand how it happens after so many years of planning to come back, focusing on that, working towards it...then we are back and lo and behold! it's not paradise every day, all the time.

I wouldn't call this whole scenario reverse Culture Shock necessarily, but perhaps the typical reaction that sets in when we get used to having something we really longed for.
How to help it go away? I read somewhere that this really helps (in many situations, actually):
Think how much you wanted what you have now. Sometimes that's enough to jog me back to the realisation—wow, I am really here, living here, as I longed so much to be for so long!
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Old Oct 20th 2018, 7:15 pm
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between_two_worlds - many thanks for your words of wisdom. You have put into words a lot of what I’m going through. Never expected this at all. You hear of people winning an Olympic medal or an Oscar and then it’s really anti-climatic afterwards. I’m going to PM you.

Last edited by Caroline in Arizona; Oct 20th 2018 at 7:21 pm.
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Old Oct 23rd 2018, 4:44 am
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Default Re: Back in Scotland

Originally Posted by between two worlds View Post
Hi Caroline, I think Perth put it well-"you expect everything to be perfect,. Some days it isn't."

When we are homesick, the longed-for place becomes such a goal, an ideal. I don't know about you, but I started to feel that everything would be 100% wonderful if I could only be at home.

So then we come home, and once the initial euphoria wears off, we are left with ordinary life; yes, in the place we longed to be...but it isn't always plain sailing, now we are here.
And sometimes—and this is the part I'd call true Reverse Culture shock—we are surprised that there were some things that actually worked better in the country we were living in before.

Personally, I haven't really suffered from this feeling of come-down, but I can totally understand how it happens after so many years of planning to come back, focusing on that, working towards it...then we are back and lo and behold! it's not paradise every day, all the time.

I wouldn't call this whole scenario reverse Culture Shock necessarily, but perhaps the typical reaction that sets in when we get used to having something we really longed for.
How to help it go away? I read somewhere that this really helps (in many situations, actually):
Think how much you wanted what you have now. Sometimes that's enough to jog me back to the realisation—wow, I am really here, living here, as I longed so much to be for so long!
Thanks for posting this. Very insightful!
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Old Nov 19th 2018, 5:25 pm
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Default Re: Back in Scotland

I am going to share something very personal which I didn’t plan on doing so. However I think it may help someone else in a similar situation which is the only reason why I’m doing this. For most of my adult life I have been on antidepressants. There is a history of depression on my side of the family sadly including suicide. When we were in Scotland for six months last year I, in my infinite wisdom, thought that I was well enough to come off my antidepressants and I weaned myself off them over the course of a few months. I told myself that I only took the medication because of my homesickness. I was wrong. I need them to function. After being back here in Scotland for three months everything came crashing down around me. I was at the point where I was struggling to get out of bed in the morning. I don’t want to be anywhere else except in Scotland and with the advice of my cousin I went to see a mental health nurse. She was wonderful. When I first went into see her I sat and cried for five minutes without saying a word. She didn’t say anything to me during my crying and then I was finally able to talk to her about everything. I have now been back on my fairly low dosage anti-depressant medication for a month and I am close to feeling back to my normal self. I no longer feel offkilter or out of sorts and realize that my body needs the medication and I should finally accept that. I also want to say that my DH did not think I should have come of the medication last year and he was right. He is delighted that I am now back on it. Never thought I would be sharing all this personal information with people that I have never met. However I feel we are bonded in some way with our common experience and that is why I feel comfortable enough with saying all this.
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Old Nov 19th 2018, 10:51 pm
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Default Re: Back in Scotland

Originally Posted by Caroline in Arizona View Post
I am going to share something very personal which I didn’t plan on doing so. However I think it may help someone else in a similar situation which is the only reason why I’m doing this. For most of my adult life I have been on antidepressants. There is a history of depression on my side of the family sadly including suicide. When we were in Scotland for six months last year I, in my infinite wisdom, thought that I was well enough to come off my antidepressants and I weaned myself off them over the course of a few months. I told myself that I only took the medication because of my homesickness. I was wrong. I need them to function. After being back here in Scotland for three months everything came crashing down around me. I was at the point where I was struggling to get out of bed in the morning. I don’t want to be anywhere else except in Scotland and with the advice of my cousin I went to see a mental health nurse. She was wonderful. When I first went into see her I sat and cried for five minutes without saying a word. She didn’t say anything to me during my crying and then I was finally able to talk to her about everything. I have now been back on my fairly low dosage anti-depressant medication for a month and I am close to feeling back to my normal self. I no longer feel offkilter or out of sorts and realize that my body needs the medication and I should finally accept that. I also want to say that my DH did not think I should have come of the medication last year and he was right. He is delighted that I am now back on it. Never thought I would be sharing all this personal information with people that I have never met. However I feel we are bonded in some way with our common experience and that is why I feel comfortable enough with saying all this.
Thank you for sharing.
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Old Nov 20th 2018, 9:08 am
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Default Re: Back in Scotland

Originally Posted by Steerpike View Post
Thank you for sharing.
Yes indeed! Wishing you good luck as you speed along your way to happiness
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Old Nov 20th 2018, 4:15 pm
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Default Re: Back in Scotland

Originally Posted by Caroline in Arizona View Post
I am going to share something very personal which I didn’t plan on doing so. However I think it may help someone else in a similar situation which is the only reason why I’m doing this. For most of my adult life I have been on antidepressants. There is a history of depression on my side of the family sadly including suicide. When we were in Scotland for six months last year I, in my infinite wisdom, thought that I was well enough to come off my antidepressants and I weaned myself off them over the course of a few months. I told myself that I only took the medication because of my homesickness. I was wrong. I need them to function. After being back here in Scotland for three months everything came crashing down around me. I was at the point where I was struggling to get out of bed in the morning. I don’t want to be anywhere else except in Scotland and with the advice of my cousin I went to see a mental health nurse. She was wonderful. When I first went into see her I sat and cried for five minutes without saying a word. She didn’t say anything to me during my crying and then I was finally able to talk to her about everything. I have now been back on my fairly low dosage anti-depressant medication for a month and I am close to feeling back to my normal self. I no longer feel offkilter or out of sorts and realize that my body needs the medication and I should finally accept that. I also want to say that my DH did not think I should have come of the medication last year and he was right. He is delighted that I am now back on it. Never thought I would be sharing all this personal information with people that I have never met. However I feel we are bonded in some way with our common experience and that is why I feel comfortable enough with saying all this.
Thank you for sharing. You are an inspiration to many of us on this forum as I too have struggled with depression, denial of being homesick and what that all entails. Next year we will be touring Scotland to find "our happy place" before our perm move in 2020.
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Old Nov 20th 2018, 4:57 pm
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Default Re: Back in Scotland

Steerpike - you are welcome.

Perth - thank you so much!

vh3 - you are welcome. All the best for next year as you tour Scotland looking for your “happy place.” Tomorrow we are going to find out if we move into our new build home on the 30th of this month or the first week in December. The items that we shipped over are currently in storage. I’m really looking forward to having all our possessions in one place!
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Old Nov 20th 2018, 11:54 pm
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Default Re: Back in Scotland

Originally Posted by Caroline in Arizona View Post
I am going to share something very personal which I didn’t plan on doing so. However I think it may help someone else in a similar situation which is the only reason why I’m doing this. For most of my adult life I have been on antidepressants. There is a history of depression on my side of the family sadly including suicide. When we were in Scotland for six months last year I, in my infinite wisdom, thought that I was well enough to come off my antidepressants and I weaned myself off them over the course of a few months. I told myself that I only took the medication because of my homesickness. I was wrong. I need them to function. After being back here in Scotland for three months everything came crashing down around me. I was at the point where I was struggling to get out of bed in the morning. I don’t want to be anywhere else except in Scotland and with the advice of my cousin I went to see a mental health nurse. She was wonderful. When I first went into see her I sat and cried for five minutes without saying a word. She didn’t say anything to me during my crying and then I was finally able to talk to her about everything. I have now been back on my fairly low dosage anti-depressant medication for a month and I am close to feeling back to my normal self. I no longer feel offkilter or out of sorts and realize that my body needs the medication and I should finally accept that. I also want to say that my DH did not think I should have come of the medication last year and he was right. He is delighted that I am now back on it. Never thought I would be sharing all this personal information with people that I have never met. However I feel we are bonded in some way with our common experience and that is why I feel comfortable enough with saying all this.
thank you for sharing, it’s so important that mental health is seen as important as physical health. I’m sorry that you’ve been unwell but glad you’re returning back to your “normal”.
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Old Nov 21st 2018, 1:12 am
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Hey Caroline from a fellow Caroline.. Thanks for sharing. I am on antidepressants since my brother died 6 years ago. Like you I felt I would try and see if I could function better without them. Needless to say 6 years later on I still need the meds to function. Hope all goes well for you in Scotland. I am chomping at the bit to leave Arizona!
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