By: Reza Nemati (Solace Psychotherapist)

Immigration is a strange experience with so many pros and cons, but when it is not your choice then it is much more complicated.

Lost, is the first experience for everybody who leaves her or his own country.

Lost, not only your family but your friends,

Lost, not only your Job or positions but your hobbies and ….

Lost, not only your belongings and assets but also all your beautiful childhood memories.  

It is just a tornado in your life that takes everything from you, in a blink, and suddenly you find yourself alone in a not so wonderful wonderland!

This wonderland, you have no idea about. You do not know if it is a dream or you died, and this is your reincarnation.

Sometimes you feel, you are walking in dark woods on a muddy sticky footpath which disappears into thick fog ahead.  The road is slippery, and with any step forward you may fall down into the dirt and mud.

You cry for help hopelessly and helplessly, no ears to hear your voice or worse no familiar voice to be heard.

Now and then people pass you by,  some seem deaf and blind, you feel you may not exist and you live in an illusion, some others look at you strangely, you feel you have come from another planet. Sometimes they keep a distance, you feel sick about yourself. Sometimes whispering something and going away leaves you in confusion. Sometimes they look angry and swear at you. Sometimes you feel they want to rob something from you.

Even though there are always kind people who may feel sorry about you, but they cannot do more than pity for you.   

But my goodness, in this darkness, there are some angels, who care about you. The people who offer a helping hand, they have light in their hands, smiles on their faces and hope in their hearts as a gift to you.

I have seen them many, you just need to be lucky to meet at the right time hopefully, when you need them.

I found many of these angels in Solace, the people who care about you, no matter who you are, where you come from, what your colour, sex, gender or religion is.

Humans are sociable creatures, losing connection is the most harm anybody can experience; nobody likes a luxury life in heaven on their own.

We need to share.

Share our experience,

Share our fears,

Share our love,

Share our emotions and happiness.

In the absence of your family and community, a supportive group may decrease and divide your adversities and the pains. If they cannot diminish the pain, they may reduce the size of the burden on your tired exhausted shoulders.

And the miracle of unity in a group can increase and reproduce your happiness as much as the people you share your happiness with.

Losing this connection, and the lack of communication in English causes our clients to be isolated. It is a shame for them that they cannot communicate and share with others, their deepest feeling and emotions.

They feel lonely, however, they are living in a big busy city. 

This pandemic gives many people the sense of what it feels like to be a refugee for a while. To see how having no connection with people can make you feel down and miserable, even while you are living in a home that belongs to you; with the people who are not strangers to you and you are not a stranger to them.

This idea of the group therapy has come from this view that we may get help from technology to make the connection.

To join, to unite, to talk with the language we are familiar with and confident in.

To join the people, who do not judge you as they have many things in common.

We all know that solitary confinement is one of the brain-washing techniques that has been used in some prisons to take control of the prisoners.

We needed a prison break; many clients see themselves as isolated, imprisoned bodies surrounded, desperate, despairing in constant discomfort.

So, we come together to share. Share not the sadness, that we all got tired of, but the joy, not despair but the hope, not the lost but the gain and achievements.

We come together to create happiness, by recalling the good days, to give our minds a chance to rest and remind ourselves the life, the joyfulness and happiness.

We talk about the beautiful, bright memories in our life. We talk about the things that we are proud of as our permanent assets. We even talk about our funny mistakes, with no shame. We have an open discussion about everything that can help us feel refreshed and alive in this couple of hours.

It is a joyful time for us all and I hope it would be a small lantern in the darkness of our loneliness.