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First post: Lacking sense of meaning/purpose in life in Australia

Community Member

Hi everyone,


Greatly appreciate anyone reading this. 


It feels surreal writing my first post here, but I realised lately I really need professional help with my mental health which I struggled with on/off for the past years.


I moved to Australia from overseas just over 5 years ago. I am a citizen of another country and applying for permanent residence with my Australian husband soon.


I lived in Australia previously when I was younger and always wanted to come and live here. I love living in Australia, but moving here has meant I have gone through some big life changes that have had a detrimental impact on my mental health, especially on my confidence, self-esteem and self-worth.


I am by nature a very open and social person and come from a culture where it is culturally accepted to show vulnerability publicly, however I find this is different in Australia and struggle to feel accepted/understood by people here. I generally have good people around me to listen and support, but I do not want to overload them with my anxious and negative emotions which means I suppress my anxiety at times.


My anxiety is caused from a variety of reasons but particularly from lacking a sense of deeper purpose/meaning in my life in Australia (I find my current job very mentally and socially isolating - I am in academia) and suffering from trust issues with my husband that are trigged because of past experiences in our relationship and in the difficult relationship I had at times with my dad growing up in my home country.


I cannot support myself on my current wage which means I have had to rely on my husband financially for almost 3 years now. This has and continues to be challenging for me because I always financially supported myself prior to meeting him.


We met just before the first Covid-19 lockdown in Australia and since we moved in together quickly because of this, it has meant I have grown emotionally co-dependent on him. We have moved around quite a bit as well we work in two different states which at times has made it hard for me to form long lasting friendships.


Last year, we went through a traumatic work related experience together that really became the catalyst for my distrust in him. We have been in therapy together previously to address the issues outlined above, and while my anxiety has gotten better in the last 6 months, the catastrophising thoughts still dominate my external/internal perception. 


Thanks for reading and for your understanding.

2 Replies 2

Community Member

Welcome to the forums.


Catastrophising is so awful. I do it, too. Sometimes I have to remind myself that it IS me catastrophising and what I'm imagining is the least likely scenario. Have you tried this approach?


I note you and your husband are in therapy. Is this a type of marriage counselling? If you guys end up separating, could a local women's shelter or community services help you with accommodation?


Have you spoken to your GP about having a mental health care plan drawn up to allow you to access psychological services with Medicare rebate? This could prove very helpful and comforting. 


What about your place of work? Could you access the Employee Assistance Program for counselling?


What about your hobbies and interests? Are there any community groups where you live that you might be able to join? Maybe even a book club - you would have something else to focus on and meet some new people.


Good luck. Hugs.

Community Member

Hi there,


Thanks so much for your kind reply.


Yes, I do remind myself of that especially when I am in a mentally good place. I also try to remind myself of all the wonderful people I have around me who support me in the best way they can.


No, it is nothing like that with my husband. My husband and I have a very strong and loving relationship. We love each other dearly. I am sorry if I did not communicate the situation of our relationship clearly enough in my first post. It can be difficult explaining your situation to people that do not know you, your circumstances or your life story.


We only been to therapy once but we did that to strengthen our already loving relationship. So it was not marriage counselling or anything like that. We are in the complete opposite end of that. Our relationship is amazing 99% of the time, however as most other couples we have some challenges we are trying to overcome because we want a healthy and long lasting relationship with continued trust between each other in the future - that is why we went to therapy. 


I appreciate your help however my situation is nothing as you outline above. Not sure if my post came across worse than it actually is? Again, my apologies if I did not communicated my circumstances clearly enough in my earlier post. I got good finances etc., I am just in a temporary job situation where I have had to reply on my husband financially for a few years. This was my choice as this was the only way really I could stay in Australia at the time before Covid. My financial reliance on him however is coming to an end in a few months as I soon will be starting a new job.


It can be really difficult explaining your circumstances to essentially strangers on the internet when you want to remain fully anonymous at the same time. I guess when it comes to anxiety etc., it can also be difficult explaining your experience of this to other people because we all have a tendency to project our own experiences on to others.


Kind regards,