For the latter, personal preference or convenience can be a matter of luck when information on a new posting arrives, often out of the blue and conflicting with personal/ family situations. Even if the stars align and a move dovetails with the needs of everyone in the family (country, schooling, job opportunities) every expat knows that sometimes a posting can turn out to have unexpected and unwanted hiccups.
For Laura J Stephens and her family, a move to Houston was an adventure, a positive for everyone. After an expat posting to Asia, followed by a stint in her home country where she trained as a psychotherapist, she believed a move to Houston would be straightforward, or as straightforward as these moves can be.
She couldn’t have been more wrong.
As she struggled with a loss of identity, she found herself adrift and lost in a new country. Slowly sinking into depression she was unable to confide her confusion and sense of loss to her expat peers, afraid of appearing negative or weak. She wanted to discover the underlying causes for her depression, why here? why now? and find her way back – to herself, her family and her marriage.
How many therapists would admit to not coping and losing their hold on life, let alone write a book about it? Laura has done just that with wit, candour, humour and honesty, in the hopes of shining a light on this ‘brushed under the carpet’ aspect of expat life.
It will resonate with anyone struggling with loss (of identity, of home, of family), feelings of hopelessness, away from home, loved ones and familiar faces. Her insights throughout the book will be light bulb moments for many, and her journey to recovery offers hope to anyone lost in the inertia of depression.
Although principally a memoir, the book contains a comprehensive self-help section with tips on building emotional resilience while on the move, recognising depression and the ‘Do’s and Don’ts’ of a depressive episode – written by the therapist who has been there.
The book has one of the best sections I’ve seen for recommended resources, both online and in print. I would recommend this book to anyone facing a move – read it before you need it; it is excellent lifestyle advice for any expat.
Although Laura’s depression occurred during an expat move, the book will strike a chord with anyone who has found themselves adrift in new surroundings, unable to move forward and engage in life around them.
It is brave, inspiring and beautifully written, reading more like a novel than a memoir. Laura could be you or I – none of us know what’s around the corner, when we’ll have our own ‘inconvenient posting’.
- Paperback: 310 pages
- Publisher: Summertime Publishing (30 Sep 2012)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1904881807
- ISBN-13: 978-1904881803
- Available in paperback and Kindle www.Amazon.co.uk/ http://www.Amazon.com
website: www.Laura J Stephens.com