There’s no need to sink


ducks

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WE all have up-and-down-moments in our lives. The “up ones” are great!  They make us feel grateful; they make us happy. Don’t we all love them? But the “down ones”—the ones that make us feel like we’re sinking deeper and deeper—are a real test of our strength and endurance [the ability to endure or keep going].     

     My biggest sinking experience happened a few months after moving to America. After the first excitement of my new country and new home, I felt lost and lonely. Don’t get me wrong, I had a wonderful family here: my young daughter and the most kind and supportive husband one could ever wish for. But leaving my past behind turned out to be a difficult task.

     I missed my family and friends back in my home country. I missed my work, my colleagues and the students I taught at a wonderful university. I wanted to go back where everything was familiar. I cried when nobody was around me. I felt so helpless and weak. In the meantime, I knew that I had obligations [things I must do] to help my daughter and my husband. So I had to put my feet back on the ground.

     What kept me going? First of all, taking care of my new family here kept me going—and helping my daughter adjust to her new life. It also helped knowing that my extended family and friends back in my home country were only a phone call away and that I could call them anytime I needed. If you only knew how many phone calls I made through that challenging time—talking with them, complaining, sharing my impressions, crying and laughing! Those phone calls gave me huge emotional relief [comfort]. Of course, it came at a big price, literally: a big phone bill! Oh, my poor husband. . . .

     Another thing that helped me through that time was keeping myself busy, such as learning a language and new customs, learning to drive, starting work, meeting wonderful people here, and making new friends. Meeting families who were in the same situation as me and who knew exactly how I felt was also a big help. We became a support group for each other.  

     This way, little by little, I became more confident and happy. I have learned a few things from my “sinking” experience: to be patient, look for help, and never give up.   —Luda

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 ©InterestEng. July 2013  §  The stories in the magazine portion of the site are written by English language learners. Stories are corrected by a native English speaker.  § Photos are staff or used with permission.  §  To contact us:  go.gently.on@gmail.com