I can probably count the number of close friends I have had in my life on two hands. These are the friends that I know will be there for me through thick and thin. They are the ones with a box of tissues or a bottle of wine and they are the ones that remind me that I can have a dream and turn it into a reality and they will be right beside me to cheer me on. These friends, these soul mates, these are the people that I miss more than anything living here in Turkey.
Sure I have The Turk’s family. They have welcomed me with open arms but they are not my girlfriends, the ones you tell your deepest secrets to (although I think we can all agree my life is a pretty open book – or blog). Plus that whole pesky issue of not speaking the language makes it tough to form close bonds.
With The Turk away I have become increasingly lonely and with the Daughter at school during the day I find myself mind numbly bored. I have come to the realisation that I must actually like him (at least a little bit). His health scare certainly scared the shit out of me and now I am just waiting for him to get the all-clear from his doctor before he can come home.
I am told that an overwhelming sense of emptiness and loneliness is normal for an expat and the waves of loneliness comes and goes leaving you either gutted or living on a high. Being so far away from home the onset of depression can occur suddenly, the tiniest thing will set me off and when that happens the most I can hope for is to be left alone in my blackness until clarity re-sets. I think if I lived in a more expat friendly city I would thrive but living here in Mersin it can be an incredibly hard slog.
It is my own fault you know. Having this blog has opened up a huge window of contacts but I squandered the opportunities that I had and did not go out of my way to cultivate friendships and relationships with people. I was always too busy and I know how difficult it can be to form friendships. It can be a hard slog but do you know what else I have realised? I realised that if I don’t make the effort then nothing in my life will change. Deep I know.
So this is what I did. I got off my ass. I made contact with people. Plans were made. Dates were set and I can happily say that I now have a great little group of friends to play with. I have learned that I am not the only one that suffers from the blues living so far away from home. We are all missing our family and our friends. A support system needs to be in place for us expats. We need to be each other’s family and to step in and be that shoulder to lean on when needed. Coffee in Carsi? Sure. BBQ in Yenikoy? Definitely. Drinks in Viransehir? Of course! Also I need to be friends with someone who can get me ham and yes there is such a person here in Mersin – hello Danny Boy!
Like I said it can bloody difficult living here.
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