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Back To Where It All Started: Istanbul

Istanbul was my first solo trip in 2006 out of the African content. I spent three months in it, made new friends and Turkish people hosted me with the big warm heart it felt like a second home. The reason I kept coming back through the years since then. I can not even count how many times I kept coming back to Turkey in general, sometimes was just on vacation, some was when I moved and worked here during the war. 

In Turkey, I worked with tourism, real estate, sales representative, translation, and gaming industry. My language skills were needed in here as its an international attraction. Before I leave in 2012 I got a job offer in the Maldives but I moved to Sweden instead hehe.. So I consider Istanbul a good luck charm place where I find opportunities as well as harmony and inner peace even that I had some tough days but things kept turning out just fine. 

I have lots of friends here and we are planning get-togethers this week to catch up after all those years. When I arrived I felt as If I only was here yesterday. The language came back to me right away. The streets are packed with happy people, music, food smells, and the air is between warm and cold. You could walk back and forth in Istiklal street all evening long without seeing the same thing twice.

I will be going back to my Turkish simple pleasures, taking in our Mediterranean/oriental culture, and enjoying as much as I can before going back to Västernorland where my little pearl is.  

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In A Week

Part of me wants the time to pass fast so that I can go back to my princess, hold her deep and have back our cozy mom and daughter days, even if that means going back to the war zone. Walking around and seeing moms with their kids make me miss her even more. But at the same time I know I really needed this break after the two intense years. 

Motherhood experience varies from "whom" you are with! and from one culture to another. I wouldn't have dared to become a mom if I was somewhere else in this world. Thanks to the Swedish laws and the previous job income/insurance I managed to earn a good maternity leave which allowed me to be with Julia for one year and a half (this is considered common in Sweden as its a child's right). Since her dad couldn't do his maternity leave part as he is residence in Finland, I earned his days as well. After that I started being a part-time student on distance with a grant and my studies will last until October. 

Couldn't have been more thankful for these blessings which helped me maintain my financial stability and grounding. Now the only frustration I referred to in previous posts is having to compromise for us to be together in a nearby location when it comes to my career choices and personal growth. I am aiming to give Sweden a chance for about a year, otherwise, I got better opportunities where my skills, languages, and experience is actually appreciated and needed. 

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My Way Or The Highway

It's weird how heartbreak can flip one from a good life partner/wife to a rolling stone in no time! I let you imagine what type of heartbreak that can be. When your life goal of having a family and a comfort zone turned out to be a nightmare, and I guess I do not need to go deeper...

I also feel the need to express myself as everyone we know got questions marks and they think I am the one that was left out in the cold, or I am just a heartless person who lost her mind. Once I figured I got nothing to lose, cuz I lost everything already. As for some current people is always " My way or the highway"... Then I would rather choose the way where I can gain myself back even if I have to start from scratch.

I've been busy lately traveling, moving around, making new friends, meeting old ones and catching up on life how I left it when I decided to enter someone else's. Becuase I am one of them Women who love too much on a selfless level. Then they hit a wall..

To correct you all, it's not about the conditions, never been... never will be! When I had good living conditions, I was feeling empty and lonely inside. Now my conditions are in repair but I feel whole inside and complete. The home within is the place that no one can take from you. Here is one of the most read and honest blog posts I wrote last summer: Lesson learned 

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A Friend Indeed

Hi dear readers. I've been busy lately so I did not have the chance to update the blog. I spent 3 days in Dubai and two more in Abu Dhabi and tomorrow I am heading back to Stockholm to get some stuff done. I wished I could extend my trip here but unfortunately, there is the profession stuff waiting for me to handle.

My desrest friend who invited me here did all her best to make this trip joyful and stressfree. She helped me relax and take time to recharge and reconsider things that are going on at the moment. We spent hours chatting, having fun, laughing and hanging out just like our old days.. eating good food and she took me to explore nice places in UAE. I can not be more thankful for these 6 days I spent here with her. I was not so interested in the touristic side of the trip here. All I needed is a good quality time with my friend. 

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UAE Trip

Hello again! you guys must have seen from my Instagram photos that I am in Dubai / Abu Dhabi this week. It feels amazing to be back to one's first culture and language. It's been ages!!! and add up on it meeting my best old friend whom I haven't seen in 8 years. 

It's so lovely in here and I gotta admit I was lucky with such amazing weather, not too hot at all or humid. I decided I just want to spend quality girls time with my gf so I did not plan lots of sightseeing and activities around here thinking I will for sure come back another time when the conditions are much better. 

We stayed in a nice hotel Aloft Palm. Ate in a lot of nice restaurants, been to lounges and tried a beauty salon experience where the staff was very professional and caring. I did not take the camera with me this trip so I collected these photos from Pinterest.  Gratitude!

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Duck Syndrome

Duck syndrome, also referred to as the Stanford duck syndrome or ugly duckling syndrome, is not formally recognized as a mental illness but refers to a phenomenon that has primarily been described in college students. Specifically, it is thought to afflict students who are overly invested in looking like they have it all together, and like a duck, appear to be calm and placid on a superficial level but are paddling frantically to "stay above water" in terms of meeting the academic, social, and community demands of getting a college education or beyond. Duck syndrome seems to be one way that depression, anxiety, or the initial stages of many mental illnesses can appear (manifest), usually in reaction to stress. Due to the known potentially devastating consequences of depression or anxiety, duck syndrome should be taken quite seriously and aggressively treated. Read more here

What is the treatment for duck syndrome?

Treatment for duck syndrome may include alleviating any medical condition that causes or worsens the associated depression, anxiety, or other mental illness. For example, a person who is found to have largely fluctuating blood sugar levels might receive medication to keep their blood sugar levels stable. Other aspects of treatment may include supportive therapy, like lifestyle and behavioral changes, psychotherapy, and possibly medication for moderate to severe emotional symptoms. If symptoms are severe enough that treatment with medication is appropriate, the individual will likely improve faster, more robustly, and for longer when medication is combined with psychotherapy.

Psychotherapy ("talk therapy") is a kind of mental-health counseling that entails working with a trained therapist to figure out ways to solve problems and cope with depression. It can be a powerfully effective intervention, even resulting in positive biochemical changes in the brain. Two major kinds of psychotherapy are commonly used to treat depression, anxiety, and other mental-health conditions and are therefore likely an effective intervention for duck syndrome: interpersonal psychotherapy and cognitive behavioral therapy. In general, these forms of treatment take weeks to months to complete and have a goal of alleviating depressive or anxiety symptoms. More intensive psychotherapy may be needed for longer when treating very severe mental-health symptoms.

Interpersonal therapy (IPT): This form of psychotherapy seeks to alleviate depressive or anxiety symptoms associated with duck syndrome by helping the sufferer develop more effective skills for coping with their emotions and relationships. IPT uses two strategies to achieve those goals:

  • Educating the person about the nature of their emotional symptoms: The therapist will reassure the sufferer that stress is a common phenomenon and that most people tend to improve with treatment.
  • Defining problems (such low self-confidence or relationship problems): Once problems are defined, the therapist can help the individual set realistic goals for solving these problems and work with him or her using different treatment techniques to reach these goals.
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT): This approach to psychotherapy can help decrease the depression or anxiety that often presents as duck syndrome and the likelihood it will come back by helping a duck syndrome sufferer change his or her way of thinking about certain issues. In CBT, the therapist uses three techniques to achieve these goals.
  • Didactic component: This phase helps to establish positive expectations for treatment and promote the person's investment in the treatment process.
  • Cognitive component: This encourages understanding the thoughts and assumptions that play a role in the individual's behaviors, especially those that may predispose the sufferer to be depressed, anxious, or otherwise stressed.
  • Behavioral component: This uses behavior-modification techniques to teach the duck syndrome to suffer healthier, more effective ways of coping with problems.

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