Having been through the landing process I can talk about it first hand. Also I have heard from a number of successful applicants who have experienced similar feelings.
So what do I mean by Post-Landing-Depression? Well I suppose it is very similar to Post-Natal(Partum) Depression. In fact the more I think about it the more it compares!
Some of us embark on this with careful thought and planning, sometimes the immigration process is the result of falling in love ..sometimes it is a spur of the moment thing after a few beers hey it happens both with pregnancy and immigration! and sometimes it is simply the right thing to do at the time. Both processes involves medicals and being healthy. Both processes involve large sums of hard earned cash. Both processes get strong minded reactions from relatives - either for or against - usually split evenly down the middle.
Certainly the time span involved is similar. Of course some lucky applicants get by with a four month ' pregnancy' but for most of us it is a minimum of nine months and often as much as two years (or even three) which is comparable in duration, stress and agony to giving birth to an elephant!
Once the process is underway we put our lives on hold while we wait for the delivery of the brown envelope. We plan our future based on an unknown fact - will we/won't we be delivered safely and successfully? We tell our friends and relatives of our plans and then go through months of polite inquiries which we can't answer with anything more than 'Well it could be anytime soon now!'
Then, the waters break and the final contractions begin the envelope arrives, we must 'land/deliver' within one year of the medical and considering usual the waiting period that deadline can be alarmingly soon! So it's time to leap into whatever mode of transport we are using, wave goodbye to the ones staying behind and off we go.
Now here I have to admit that the actual landing process involved a lot less puffing, panting, rolling around and screaming than delivery - or conception even! ..grin when you think about it both acts have a lot of similarities only hopefully there are usually less people watching as you conceive than when you deliver ..... unless of course you are into that .... but enough of that analysis and back to the landing process.
So you hold your breath and push on up to the Immigration Official clutching your passport and papers. Then you puff and pant as you push your bags/suitcases/furniture etc. into Canada. Just as when our babies were born Alan smiled at each other, kissed and even shed a couple of tears. We had delivered/landed! We were in Canada!
And just like coming home with a new baby the reality then sets in.. and THAT'S when the Post-Landing -Depression hits. Suddenly the costs are mounting as unexpected expenses hit. Finding a job and a roof are equal to the enormity of being responsible for a new life. There are no friends or family nearby. You feel isolated, scared, worried that you are not up to the responsibility, anxious to do the right thing - sound familiar? And you can't complain! After all, you HAVE what you wanted, what you have been waiting and hoping for all these months! No one will understand if you complain. In fact they will probably be insulted. And anyway, you're not really complaining. I mean, you love the new baby, new country. It just takes time to adjust.
Just as in life, the kids adjust the fastest. They adapt, learn the language - yes even English speaking people have to learn a new language. It's the adults who worry and lie awake at night thinking about the enormity of it all.
But I can tell you that it gets better. The depression recedes. I have raised two sons to adulthood without actually killing either one of them either accidentally or deliberately and have a third well on his way. Just as I discovered that babies are not quite as fragile as they look, that you don't have to sterilise everything and that they even sometimes bounce and that nothing, no problem they come up with is ever too serious that it can't be solved with a good night's sleep and lots of love. I have discovered that immigrating to Canada works the same way. We make a few mistakes, but the sun still comes up the next morning. We grumble about the expense/taxes but overall we would rather have the kids/be here than not. And sometimes we even need a little break from the kids/new country and just hang out with other parents/new immigrants and moan about the whole process. It doesn't mean we don't love the children/Canada. It just means we are normal human beings.
So if you are newly arrived and feeling guilty about feeling depressed. Please don't. You are perfectly normal and will have a great life here.
Unlike childbirth I think immigration should be a one time thing. Actually I seem to remember that during my second and third childbirth deliveries I hit a point where I thought 'Oh my God! I remember now why I swore I would never do this again! I want to go home!' quickly followed by grabbing Alan by his hospital gown and having the pleasure of knowing I was ripping hairs out of his chest with the words 'And this is all your fault!'
So if you have successfully immigrated to Canada and are thinking of moving on again .... remember the agony! Do you really want to do that all over again?
Thanks for listening, good luck to applicants and welcome to new arrivals. It is worth the effort, I promise.
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