By Finder blogger: Andrea McKenna
I'm pleased that I am a part of a new book out about expat women. Dear Ms Expat goes on sale in Singapore in June and it features 10 of us expat ladies who have overcome obstacles and built our lives here in Singapore.
My story talks about my mental health setbacks with bipolar disorder and how I came to be an expat in Singapore.
It brings to the table the reality of living with a mental illness and how important it is to share the knowledge, beat stigma and help some other people who may be struggling. I do this because there is hope, always, hope, to get better and live a normal life. It takes commitment to treatment and some personal development, but it can be done.
There’s a real variety of women, aside from me as a mental health advocate, including an actress, businesswomen, moms and more. The two authors, Sushmita and Savitha, also are expats, both of whom are journalists hailing from India.
Sharing our stories in the expat world is key to encouraging other ladies here to get it together, solve problems and have a happy life here.
We all know what it’s like to live in Singapore, to move here and be isolated, to doubt oneself because we left friends and careers behind, to fear starting over because we stayed home with the kids or because our first round of expat friends have all gone home.
We know what it’s like to not be able to go home or how difficult it is to take that long-haul trip back to the hometown.
Things bring up challenges such as time changes with kids in tow and the inevitably awkward discussions of what it’s like to have a maid, paying $26 for a cocktail, only taking Uber to get around because cars are too expensive and other “First World” Problems that our friends at home just don’t get.
We know that we are a fairly small minority in a major metropolitan, modern, ever-changing city that prides itself on driving values that we may or may not share.
We know a lot about life here and it behooves us all to share, share and share the experience so we can help each other navigate the path of life here.
If you would like to meet me and the other women in the book in person and hear our stories, please come to the Red Sea Gallery on May 20, 2017, 2-4 pm for the book launch. Hope to see you there!
About Andrea McKenna
image: E. Chiau
Andrea McKenna Brankin is journalist and author from the United States who lives a full life with bipolar disorder. Her book, Bipolar Phoenix, is awaiting a publishing contract. She is also currently a volunteer at the DaySpring Residential Treatment Centre for teen girls in Singapore, providing befriending-family support, therapeutic writing and rugby coaching.