Moving overseas is hard enough – leaving friends and family behind to reside in a brand new and completely different culture is simply no easy task. In the midst of your adjusting, having a spouse deploy can be the straw that breaks the camel’s back, so to speak – you find yourself lonely and depressed. Everyone, whether an introvert or extrovert, needs a sense of community and a support network. So, what do you do when you feel stuck without one overseas?
Reconnect with Family and Friends Back Home
The first thing you should do is find someone to connect with immediately, preferably someone you’ve connected with before, like a close family member or friend back home. You need encouragement, you need motivation, and you need someone to speak to you in a way that will empower you to find that same sense of community and support nearby. Connecting via a phone call or a Skype session will work wonders for your soul – you’ll likely find that you want to do it more often anyway, and the person on the other end will fuel you to get out there to build a local support network even more. It’s a way to build a support network right in your own living room, while being encouraged to go build one locally.
Get to Learning the Language
Local support can be found, it just takes a little effort. If you consider all of the people around you – what you have in common with these people, and your differences, there are likely thousands of people who would be great friends for you. You’ll never tap this local support, though, without learning bits and pieces of the language. Sign up for a class, buy a book, or find an audio resource to help you start this journey.
Reach Out to the Base
If you’re on or nearby to your spouse’s base, you’ll find that you’re one of many who are in the same situation. Your spouse likely isn’t the only one who deployed – you may find there are dozens of others who are lonely and looking for support. This will likely be huge for you, as you’ll be able to connect with other men and women who are not only looking for support, but who understand what you’re going through.
Get Out of Your Comfort Zone
Sometimes the best things happen when you’re outside of your comfort zone. It may feel a little odd at first, but you’ll quickly adapt and be glad you did when you venture out into the community to find some recreational things you enjoy… a yoga class, for example. You don’t have to know the language to follow an instructor, or to meet some people who enjoy the same things as you. Before you know it, you’ve planted seeds that will grow when you consider learning the language and bonding with these new friends in the meantime.
Support is all around you, it just takes a little more effort to find it and feel it when you’re overseas without an ability to speak the language.