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One year in Sweden

It’s a year since we emigrated to Sweden. The milestone has taken me by surprise, and caused me to reflect on the last year: my attempts to learn Swedish, and my work towards setting up practice as an English-speaking therapist in Stockholm. I’ve missed working face to face with clients, I am thankful that I’ve been able to continue working with my clients in the UK, and I look forward to the time when I’m fully open for business here.

I expected so much of myself in this first year. I expected to be fluent in Swedish, when in reality I speak toddler Swedish. I expected to have bought a house half a year ago, and we’ve only just found somewhere. I expected both kids to quickly be in school – it took three months for the eldest and a year for the youngest. Following the uncertainties of the COVID years, finding stability and security here, finding ‘knowns’ wherever we can, has been vital for my sanity.

I’ve been learning how to better support myself and others with issues arising from high energy and subsequent crashes, sensory overload, selective eating, difficulties with impulse control.

I’ve understood with greater clarity the difference between being a conformist and a non-conformist (or neurotypical and neurodivergent), and how being able to love your non-conformist self in a conformist world is a blessing. It is a gift I want to give my children; and to anyone who seeks me out as a therapist – the knowledge that they can be who they are with me, genuinely and without judgement.

The attitudes by the health and education systems here has been wonderful: that people are individuals, that they have a right to be individuals, and that environments must be altered to better fit everyone.

It has been a year of revelations, realisations, finding solutions. It’s been exhausting getting to this point and there’s a long way to go; but I’m still on the path, I haven’t fallen. So, here’s to our second year in Sweden!

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