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Fergie

Thinking of moving back to Uk

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Hi

I’ve been reading this site for years and never posted anything, but here goes

We moved to Qld nearly 15 years ago, the first year I had to pinch myself, I felt so lucky and blessed to be here, thought the beaches were beautiful etc, but after a year or so the shine started to fade, it felt like I’d been on a long holiday and now I wanted to go home. I don’t like the constant heat and humidity ( live on the Gold Coast) miss the seasons, the pubs, the walks, being close to everything, even the weather. I know it’s beautiful in many ways here, but for whatever reason it’s lost on me.  We have 3 sons, who have swallowed the Ozzie pill and love it here, never want to go back to the Uk to live, so one by one they have grown up and we couldn’t move back because  they were in year 11-12 at school, had girlfriends etc, now my youngest is 19 and I can see light at the end of the tunnel. I love my boys to bits and I have great relationships with them all, 2 are married, one with 2 children, whom I have every Thursday. And then my 19 year old, who isn’t quite sure what career path he wants yet, but when he’s sorted and settled , we plan to move back, I’m guessing in the next 2 -5 years. Im 54 and very aware the years are ticking on. I’ve been very unhappy here and unsettled for 13+ years, also I’ve tortured myself about leaving my kids and grandchildren behind, as it’s not what I ever envisaged for my family, yet I’m not happy here. it’s caused me terrible anxiety to the point of palpitations, panic attacks and insomnia as it’s always plaguing me. Has anyone gone back under these circumstances? Have you settled? Any advise? Also we are fortunate enough to be able to come back and visit every year or so. 

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Fergie, it's now time for you to do what you want to do.  Start to make plans for your return to the UK in the next few years.  We have two sons who were born and educated in Australia but both live and work overseas.  They may return to Australia or they may not.  Who knows how things will pan out.  We live in Tasmania and are very happy here - I never fancied Queensland as I prefer a cooler climate but that's just me  ...............  lots of people would find Tassie too cold, isolated, boring etc but after living in Sydney for years I am revelling in retirement here.

My Mum (from Scotland) used to come and visit us every 2nd year.  What do your sons think of you moving back to the UK?  I am sure they want you to be happy.

Edited by Toots
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Hi toots

my boys are very supportive, they have seen me struggling over the years, and they think I should go back and give it a go, they really are lovely about it. Although they think I’ll be back! ( I don’t think so)

they don’t really understand the deep unhappiness, I’ve always tried to put on a brave face in front of them and hidden lots but they’ve seen some. I console myself with missing them less over time and getting used to not seeing them on a weekly or fortnightly basis.  But I know I can’t have both unfortunately. 

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10 minutes ago, Fergie said:

Hi toots

my boys are very supportive, they have seen me struggling over the years, and they think I should go back and give it a go, they really are lovely about it. Although they think I’ll be back! ( I don’t think so)

they don’t really understand the deep unhappiness, I’ve always tried to put on a brave face in front of them and hidden lots but they’ve seen some. I console myself with missing them less over time and getting used to not seeing them on a weekly or fortnightly basis.  But I know I can’t have both unfortunately. 

It will be difficult for you not living near your sons and grandchildren but if your health is suffering due to severe homesickness you just have to make the choice.  It might make you feel a bit better in the meantime if you start looking into the details of returning e.g. where would you plan on living etc etc.  

If you ever want to vent about life, there are people here on the forum to confide in.  😀

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Thank you, reading on this forum has helped over the years just knowing I’m not the only one feeling like this

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We did go back - accidentally almost 10 years ago to care for my parents (it was only supposed to be a 2 month holiday but it lasted until last March).  Our situation was different - we lived with my parents because they needed the care, we were old enough to be retired (so we did) and we didnt want to work in UK.  For me it was the best thing ever - I didnt realise how low I was until I didnt feel low any more.  I lost weight, got fit, made friends and generally had a fabulous time seeing and doing new things.  Parents now gone and, realistically, we were past the point of no return to live in UK.  Financially we are better off  here, we have a home all paid off and it's a place we can grow old in quite easily.  I hate being back but I am working on it.   Family wise we have one son here with two granddaughters and one son in UK with one grandson - we didnt see the granddaughters for over 8 years and now we wont see the grandson for some time but there is always FaceTime and I am helping with his home schooling.

If you can do it then look after yourself first because nobody else is going to do it for you.  Covid has chucked a spanner in the works for the last year but it will get better and if you start to plan - declutter and get organised you might feel like you can keep going for a bit longer.  I know what it is like to loathe the place you live and the depression that goes with it and happy to chat and share what strategies work (much of the time) for me!!!

 

Good luck!

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Hi Quoll

I've read your posts in the past with interest and hope. I knew exactly what you meant when you said things like being me again. How are you managing being back in Oz? I guess it may feel new again for a short while, but I’m interested to hear how you feel now being back for 10 months or so. Are you feeling bad again ? Is it totally out of the question you going back permanently? Being back for 10 years is a long time, it sounds like you loved it, must of been a wrench coming back

 

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Sounds to me like you have given your kids everything, and it is time to do something for you.  Just make sure you get good pension advice, it can be tricky managing the financial side.  Sounds like you are ok generally.

Personally If I was coming back I would be looking to move somewhere lovely, not just where I came from 🙂  Love the West Country personally but lots of choices.

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PR (100) Planning to move to Perth September 2021

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3 hours ago, Fergie said:

Hi Quoll

I've read your posts in the past with interest and hope. I knew exactly what you meant when you said things like being me again. How are you managing being back in Oz? I guess it may feel new again for a short while, but I’m interested to hear how you feel now being back for 10 months or so. Are you feeling bad again ? Is it totally out of the question you going back permanently? Being back for 10 years is a long time, it sounds like you loved it, must of been a wrench coming back

 

I'm doing OK thank you for asking.  We were there just over 81/2 years and it wasnt easy, caring for elderly parents 24/7 but it was fantastic for me both physically and mentally and for us as a couple where we became even closer than we ever were, still strong after 47 years together.  Now that I am back I am finding it hard to get back into friendships - something I had no difficulty with in UK.  There is no chance we will go back to live, DH is an Aussie and financially we are much more secure here.  It is what it is and you just have to live with it.  I feel better because my DH did the hard yards with my folk and I am repaying him so it is my choice to be here (I couldnt have done it without him!!!!). Some days I go for a walk and end up feeling quite miserable and want to burst into tears when I get home - no rational reason for it other than I find the bush depressing and that's where I generally walk.  My DH and I talk about it, he knows how I feel and he is doing his best, he cant make it better for me, I have to do that for myself but it is very hard.  When Covid relaxes its grip we will go home for holidays - we need to keep in touch with the other son and his family.  It wont be the same though as I have no foothold in Cambridge now with mum and dad gone and their house sold.   

I hope it works out as well for you as it did for me!  In hindsight I wish we had thought about moving when we were both still working and able to establish ourselves there before it became financially disadvantageous to do so.  At least you've got a few years yet to get yourself established before retirement.  Choose somewhere lovely - you're rather spoiled for choice I think!!!!!

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11 hours ago, Fergie said:

Hi

I’ve been reading this site for years and never posted anything, but here goes

We moved to Qld nearly 15 years ago, the first year I had to pinch myself, I felt so lucky and blessed to be here, thought the beaches were beautiful etc, but after a year or so the shine started to fade, it felt like I’d been on a long holiday and now I wanted to go home. I don’t like the constant heat and humidity ( live on the Gold Coast) miss the seasons, the pubs, the walks, being close to everything, even the weather. I know it’s beautiful in many ways here, but for whatever reason it’s lost on me.  We have 3 sons, who have swallowed the Ozzie pill and love it here, never want to go back to the Uk to live, so one by one they have grown up and we couldn’t move back because  they were in year 11-12 at school, had girlfriends etc, now my youngest is 19 and I can see light at the end of the tunnel. I love my boys to bits and I have great relationships with them all, 2 are married, one with 2 children, whom I have every Thursday. And then my 19 year old, who isn’t quite sure what career path he wants yet, but when he’s sorted and settled , we plan to move back, I’m guessing in the next 2 -5 years. Im 54 and very aware the years are ticking on. I’ve been very unhappy here and unsettled for 13+ years, also I’ve tortured myself about leaving my kids and grandchildren behind, as it’s not what I ever envisaged for my family, yet I’m not happy here. it’s caused me terrible anxiety to the point of palpitations, panic attacks and insomnia as it’s always plaguing me. Has anyone gone back under these circumstances? Have you settled? Any advise? Also we are fortunate enough to be able to come back and visit every year or so. 

Hi Fergie,

I know where you are coming from, we lived on the Gold Coast for near 10 years, loved so much of the place, our daughter was 13 when we arrived, during our time there we added two boys to the family, I didnt start feeling home sick for the first 6 years it was after our first trip home. Then in 2018 we moved back to the UK. I missed my mum so much (we were very close, we used to send her a ticket for Oz every year to come over to us for a couple of months) as time went on I too suffered terribly with anxiety, palpitations, tears upon tears, felt like I didn't want to be there. So we moved back to UK leaving my daughter over in Oz at Uni, with her friends, boyfriend, she too didn't want to return.

I arrived back with a hole in my heart, missing my daughter so much, its made me ill, in a way I feel like we made the right decision at the time, I managed to spend a quality couple of years with my mum, we crammed so many memories into a short space of time, but April last year she contracted Covid 19, unfortunately claiming her life. I feel very blessed that I could be with her right at the end, to tell her our goodbyes, and how much she was loved, I would never of had that had I been in Oz. but now I just want to get back to Australia, I don't feel settled here at all, I miss my baby girl too much, so do her brothers. Facetime, phone calls and WhatsApp is just not enough I just end up in tears when I hang up, so we are returning summer this year flights pending (fingers crossed). 

So yes I understand you dilemma but for me, its not worked out, so I'm heading back, 

Good luck to you x

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Sometimes you have to look a little further than your own back yard to realise that you had everything in the first place!!! A valued life experience learnt!!! :yes:

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My only suggestion regarding going back would be not to "burn your bridges", i.e. don't sell your house in OZ (if you have one) until after you have settled into life back in the UK.  I went back to England for twelve years and I rented my flat out in Sydney, and then repeated the process when I came back to Sydney - rented my house out in England. The only thing I may have mucked myself up with was to pack my loft in England with personal effects and I'm not sure what to do with them now. I just emailed my solicitor actually wondering what I had done with my house deeds? Not packed into the loft but in their office which is good to know. 

My experience of going to both England and Australia after long periods away is that it is like emigrating each time or "pulling a tree up by its roots and then replanting it again". Is that a reasonable analogy? I've done it a fourth time, moving from Sydney to Surfers Paradise but this time I've left my home in Sydney as it is with a mate house-sitting.

Possible scenarios:

You love England and have no desire to return to Australia other than for holidays.

You love England but miss your family back here in Australia so for that reason return to Australia. No problem with that scenario. It's the reason I came back to Sydney after my parents died and I had two brothers in Australia.

You don't like it in England and realize that life in Australia is better after all.

There's another possible scenario and I don't know how important that might be; what happens if one of you is ill. That is when it's good to have family around you. I came to Surfers to live with my brother because I could not face another lockdown on my own. If my brother was to move on then I might return to Sydney to be close to my other brother

I loved living in England by the way. Had my brothers been living there I would have stayed there. I love living in Australia too!

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On 09/02/2021 at 02:24, Lady Tottington said:

Hi Fergie,

I know where you are coming from, we lived on the Gold Coast for near 10 years, loved so much of the place, our daughter was 13 when we arrived, during our time there we added two boys to the family, I didnt start feeling home sick for the first 6 years it was after our first trip home. Then in 2018 we moved back to the UK. I missed my mum so much (we were very close, we used to send her a ticket for Oz every year to come over to us for a couple of months) as time went on I too suffered terribly with anxiety, palpitations, tears upon tears, felt like I didn't want to be there. So we moved back to UK leaving my daughter over in Oz at Uni, with her friends, boyfriend, she too didn't want to return.

I arrived back with a hole in my heart, missing my daughter so much, its made me ill, in a way I feel like we made the right decision at the time, I managed to spend a quality couple of years with my mum, we crammed so many memories into a short space of time, but April last year she contracted Covid 19, unfortunately claiming her life. I feel very blessed that I could be with her right at the end, to tell her our goodbyes, and how much she was loved, I would never of had that had I been in Oz. but now I just want to get back to Australia, I don't feel settled here at all, I miss my baby girl too much, so do her brothers. Facetime, phone calls and WhatsApp is just not enough I just end up in tears when I hang up, so we are returning summer this year flights pending (fingers crossed). 

So yes I understand you dilemma but for me, its not worked out, so I'm heading back, 

Good luck to you x

I used to go back and forth to England to see my parents and they used to do the same to Australia to see me and my two brothers.  (Should that be "My two brothers and me?") I don't know why they never moved to Australia permanently? They bought a house and came out for 18 months.

In 1996 I lost my job after 15 years (my only "relationship!" Sad!) but my parents were in England so I went back for a holiday and ended up staying for 12 years. I was there to help them, especially my Dad in his later years, although he probably helped me more. Once they both passed, I could have stayed in England. I liked it there and got used to living on my own, which is my "default" position anyway. But it is also nice to have family around which is why I came back to Sydney.

Now I'm in Surfers living with one brother. Perhaps I'd be better living in my own place nearby, or, if he moves on, going back to Sydney to live closer to my other brother, who now has grandkids.

I know that for some people "the place is more important than living close to your family". It's just hard to get my head around because humans are naturally social beings i.e. we get lonely!? Plus if you are ill, then hopefully, your family will rally around, as you would too of course.

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Hi Maryrose02

ive thought of all those scenarios,  but I’m thinking unless I give it a go I’ll never know.  Have you no preference to Uk or Australia?  Being back in Uk what are the things you loved or hated that you’d forgotten about while living in Oz? 
I actually live about an hours drive from my oldest 2, (they live closer to Brisbane) I live on mount tamborine ( you will know the mountain if you live in surfers) as it’s cooler, I hate the humidity and intense heat down there, lol.  So it’s not just a pop down the road, it’s always a pre arranged visit either way. Doesn’t stop us seeing each other a couple of times a month. It’s beautiful up here, but with the Uk it’s a longing I just can’t get away from,  it’s scary because it’s been going on so long, about 13 years actually, I’m concerned in my head the Uk is the answer to everything and Australia the reason for everything, if that makes sense. When you’ve  struggled  with something for so long, in the end you go round in circles, should we, shouldn’t we, what if’s, will we love it/ hate it. The kids, the NHS when we get old, what happens when we are to old to travel, what if we don’t go back and I regret it as I get older and leave it to late. It’s all swirling round in my head everyday for over a decade. Hence the anxiety etc

 

    .  

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1 hour ago, MARYROSE02 said:

My only suggestion regarding going back would be not to "burn your bridges", i.e. don't sell your house in OZ (if you have one) until after you have settled into life back in the UK.  I went back to England for twelve years and I rented my flat out in Sydney, and then repeated the process when I came back to Sydney - rented my house out in England. The only thing I may have mucked myself up with was to pack my loft in England with personal effects and I'm not sure what to do with them now. I just emailed my solicitor actually wondering what I had done with my house deeds? Not packed into the loft but in their office which is good to know. 

My experience of going to both England and Australia after long periods away is that it is like emigrating each time or "pulling a tree up by its roots and then replanting it again"

The problem is that you are equally happy (or unhappy) in both countries, so your experirence isn't terribly relevant.  You've never experienced that deep, aching longing to be back "home" and frankly, in many of your posts, you seem to imply people who do feel that way are imagining things.  They're not. 

Edited by Marisawright
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Scot by birth, emigrated 1985 | Aussie husband applied UK spouse visa Jan 2015, granted March 2015, moved to UK May 2015 | Returned to Oz June 2016

"The stranger who comes home does not make himself at home but makes home itself strange." -- Rainer Maria Rilke

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Hi marisawright 

don’t think I’ve implied anyone else feels anything, I’ve only expressed how I feel. There are many reasons people move to different countries. I would suggest you

re-read my posts. 

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1 minute ago, Fergie said:

don’t think I’ve implied anyone else feels anything,

@Fergie, no, you certainly haven't. My post was addressed to MaryRose02, not you

I've never felt that awful longing to go back home - I took to Australia like a duck to water.  But I've met enough people now, to understand that for some people, that intense homesickness is very real and deeply felt, and I tend to get irritated with people who question whether it's genuine.

Edited by Marisawright
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Scot by birth, emigrated 1985 | Aussie husband applied UK spouse visa Jan 2015, granted March 2015, moved to UK May 2015 | Returned to Oz June 2016

"The stranger who comes home does not make himself at home but makes home itself strange." -- Rainer Maria Rilke

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4 minutes ago, Fergie said:

Oops sorry!

I’m new to this, apologies 

No probs.


Scot by birth, emigrated 1985 | Aussie husband applied UK spouse visa Jan 2015, granted March 2015, moved to UK May 2015 | Returned to Oz June 2016

"The stranger who comes home does not make himself at home but makes home itself strange." -- Rainer Maria Rilke

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Ah Fergie! No sensible advice to give apart from the say you are not alone in your thoughts and concerns. My story is very similar - I came to Brisbane 13 years ago - and I was the one that instigated the move - felt like an adventure which it was. I was on a temp visa and my mistake was not making firm plans to return to UK. My daughter and hubby love it here. A bit of fishing and the odd beach trip suits my husband. He has no need for close relationships outside family. My son hates the weather but gets great mental health support here - so will stay but maybe move down South. I did a police check the other day and had to re-read my diaries to work out where I lived when (we’ve shifted rentals a lot). The difference between the entries in QLD and those made on my regular trips to UK is shocking. And that’s not just holiday mode - I went back for a work contract and rented a room for 6 months - happy as a pig in muck! I’m anxious, anti-social and depressed here and while a lot of that may just be me, it melts away when I’m back home. I like me so much better there! I know I should be grateful but I just feel stuck - has anyone found that counselling helps? I’ve been avoiding it as a) I’m worried it won’t work and b) I suppress these feelings most of the time and am scared to acknowledge them. 

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7 minutes ago, Chortlepuss said:

Ah Fergie! No sensible advice to give apart from the say you are not alone in your thoughts and concerns. My story is very similar - I came to Brisbane 13 years ago - and I was the one that instigated the move - felt like an adventure which it was. I was on a temp visa and my mistake was not making firm plans to return to UK. My daughter and hubby love it here. A bit of fishing and the odd beach trip suits my husband. He has no need for close relationships outside family. My son hates the weather but gets great mental health support here - so will stay but maybe move down South. I did a police check the other day and had to re-read my diaries to work out where I lived when (we’ve shifted rentals a lot). The difference between the entries in QLD and those made on my regular trips to UK is shocking. And that’s not just holiday mode - I went back for a work contract and rented a room for 6 months - happy as a pig in muck! I’m anxious, anti-social and depressed here and while a lot of that may just be me, it melts away when I’m back home. I like me so much better there! I know I should be grateful but I just feel stuck - has anyone found that counselling helps? I’ve been avoiding it as a) I’m worried it won’t work and b) I suppress these feelings most of the time and am scared to acknowledge them. 

You're acknowledging them here. 😉

If you feel it helps to get your feelings off your chest here in the forums, then you'll find visiting a counsellor even more effective.  Having a real person lend a sympathetic ear helps, even if they're only being paid to do it.    I know Quoll found that CBT helps a lot, so perhaps find someone who offers that. 


Scot by birth, emigrated 1985 | Aussie husband applied UK spouse visa Jan 2015, granted March 2015, moved to UK May 2015 | Returned to Oz June 2016

"The stranger who comes home does not make himself at home but makes home itself strange." -- Rainer Maria Rilke

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Hi chortlepuss 

it is truly awful to  feel this way, and I 100% get what you mean about feeling normal back in the Uk.  I have been to counseling about 3 times over the years, the first 2 did nothing except enabled me to get it all off my chest and I cried the whole time. The 3rd bloke was better, he was more about CBT and it helped abit , I’m no expert but you sound like you have situational anxiety, which I believe I have to.  How old are your kids? Have you talked it over with your hubby? 

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7 hours ago, Chortlepuss said:

Ah Fergie! No sensible advice to give apart from the say you are not alone in your thoughts and concerns. My story is very similar - I came to Brisbane 13 years ago - and I was the one that instigated the move - felt like an adventure which it was. I was on a temp visa and my mistake was not making firm plans to return to UK. My daughter and hubby love it here. A bit of fishing and the odd beach trip suits my husband. He has no need for close relationships outside family. My son hates the weather but gets great mental health support here - so will stay but maybe move down South. I did a police check the other day and had to re-read my diaries to work out where I lived when (we’ve shifted rentals a lot). The difference between the entries in QLD and those made on my regular trips to UK is shocking. And that’s not just holiday mode - I went back for a work contract and rented a room for 6 months - happy as a pig in muck! I’m anxious, anti-social and depressed here and while a lot of that may just be me, it melts away when I’m back home. I like me so much better there! I know I should be grateful but I just feel stuck - has anyone found that counselling helps? I’ve been avoiding it as a) I’m worried it won’t work and b) I suppress these feelings most of the time and am scared to acknowledge them. 

Ah, counselling - actually I have never done it because I used to be one and, fortunately, had some friends whose judgment I valued and we batted a few things back and forth.  Being aware of CBT I did it off my own bat and some strategies worked better than others but I found they kept me essentially sane.  Mindfulness doesnt work for me but ACT {Acceptance and Commitment Therapy) might work for you.  

I think, probably, the most powerful part of the process is the relationship you have with your counsellor - they should be working to empower you, not wallowing, stringing you along with $100+ visits every week for the next 6 years (I know of some who pride themselves on doing that!!!!); you should value their input/character/persona whatever and their professional judgment.  It may work, it may not - if you go in with the "I'm not going to play this game" mind set then it wont work.  If you are open and honest then it has every chance of being helpful.  What do you have to lose except your money (or you could get your GP to stump up for a mental health plan in which case you get it on Medicare)?  

Finding a counsellor who is going to be good for you is a bit of a vexed question - it helps being in the business because you know what people are saying and doing and you can judge if you trust them and their approach.  You could start small - perhaps a call to Lifeline might be a good start - gives you chance to rehearse what you want to say, may prepare you for the sort of response you may get.  They are required to ask if you are contemplating suicide but they will talk to you regardless and it might help you begin to think about the best way to say things and what strategies you have tried, what's worked and what's not.  They're not psychologists but they're a good starting point.  They wont be able to make local recommendations to you but they may have general resources you could check out.  Michael Yapko who is a good bloke on Depression, said - a counsellor has 1.6 sessions with a client to demonstrate that they can make a difference so there is nothing wrong at all with trying one and seeing if they gel - if not, get another or move on.

Bottom line though, exogenous depression is not something fixed by medication or talking, it is fixed by removing the exogenous stimulus which is prompting the "depressive feelings",  It's not like it's a chemical imbalance.  If you cant remove the negative stimulus then the next best thing is to learn how to cope with it.  Would I recommend counselling?  Probably yes, if what is ailing you is impacting your every day life.  You are a strong person who deserves the best out of life - sometimes just talking to someone and letting the pus out of the festering wound is very cathartic and gives you the strength to carry on further!!!!

 

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Hi Fergie.... i think if you really want to go you should go. Staying for others does not work believe i have done that, it is no good at all. Make your plans and just look forward who knows what is around the corner, you need to live for you.

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Hi scousers 

I know you are right and that would be my advice to, it’s just so hard when it’s your kids. We will go back over the coming years,  I know it will be hard initially, but I’m hoping things will settle down in my head and I can lose the guilt for leaving. I think sometimes it’s the agony of making the decision and not being able to do anything for years because of circumstances that sends you mad , round in circles and second guessing yourself

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7 hours ago, Fergie said:

Hi scousers 

I know you are right and that would be my advice to, it’s just so hard when it’s your kids. We will go back over the coming years,  I know it will be hard initially, but I’m hoping things will settle down in my head and I can lose the guilt for leaving. I think sometimes it’s the agony of making the decision and not being able to do anything for years because of circumstances that sends you mad , round in circles and second guessing yourself

You get used to not having your kids around. These days it is a whole lot easier than it was back 40 years ago, even.  At the moment I am helping with my grandson's homeschooling in London!  My parents were lucky if they got a letter every 6 months!  I dont think you have much to lose except some money really.  If it works, you win and if it doesnt work then you can return, it's one of the bonuses of being dual citizens.  It's really weird that everyone cheers if a young couple decide they want to move to Australia and take the kids away from their grandparents but if olds choose to move away then they're the villains - a real double standard.  I say the need to be where you want to be works both ways.

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