Ben Alagnam - MeMovingToCanada

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Monday, January 7, 2019

Health Issues and Options for Overseas Foreign Workers in Singapore

From the streets of Jurong West 64 to the Pioneer Rd North, down to Boon Lay Way up to Jurong Point Mall, that was my route while walking to get out of sadness.


I did it almost everyday, for a year. My body weight dropped from 190lbs to ideal. My body structure was at the right statistics, but my mind was unhealthy.

That’s right, I felt lonely and sad for the two reasons, which I wanted to share in this post.

As an overseas foreign worker in Singapore, I know how it feels to be in this situation. Wherever we are in this planet, we feel the same way. Specially if we left our family behind in our country.

The scene of me hugging my 9 and 3 year-old son was dwelling on my mind while walking the kilometres. My wife, which I dearly missed, was always in my heart, longing for her physical care.

I miss them a lot!

Effects of Constant Stress 
Although I have those friends who invited me for DOTA, a computer game where players fight each other through medieval themed creatures, I still have issues sleeping after the game.

When going home after a good game, I prepare to sleep by looking at the ceiling for several hours until I shut my eyes at 3am. The daily routine and habit irritated my stomach, literally.

I started to feel a pain in my stomach regardless of when I'm hungry and full.

As soon as I swallow the food, I can feel it rubbing my esophagus and down to my stomach. Pain starts to trigger my nerves, giving me a head start to curl my body because of the unbearable pain. 

The Doctor said that my gallbladder releases significant amount of bile, which goes back to my stomach lining, thus irritating it. “Are you stressed?”, he calmly asked. He said that this kind of symptoms occur if so much production of bile is found in the stomach lining, is when you’re stressed.

Why Am I Stressed Out?
Then I realized that I was so stressed for years due to the constant anxiety regarding my permanent residence application to Canada and eagerness to be reunited with my family in the Philippines.

The constant communication through social media and Skype was not enough to pacify my sadness. I was given prescriptions from the doctor and even consulted with the Chinese herbal doctors in Jurong.

The medicines helped me for a while but my gastritis was getting worse. The constant checking of the flights to Philippines and looking at the reminders from the airline email notifications became my daily habit.

I was so eager to go back to Philippines. If only I could go back once a week, I will. I thought of starting a business there however it takes me, just to be physically present with my family. I was about to give up my perfect job in Singapore. My wife may have gone deaf by my constant rants and complaining about my lonely lifestyle.


The Great News!
This is who I am! I’m one of the persons who treat family as comfort regardless of location. I believe that most of us do. Without them, I will be weak and feeling worthless and sad.

I’ll be constantly anxious if my boss in Singapore plans a trip for me to visit our customers in Southeast Asia countries. For others, it’s a perfect assignment, for me, it’s another days of loneliness. 

One day, the pain that I’m going through was diminished by a one single email. I was at the airport, waiting to board my flight to Philippines, when I saw the email. It came from the office of the Canadian Embassy. It stated that our Canada Permanent Residence application were approved.

They requested to submit our passports for Visa stamping. It seemed that the whole world, for me, is rejoicing. After all the hardships, loneliness, anxiety, and etc.., will finally put to end. I can now hug my sons and wife everyday.

That was four years ago and seems like yesterday. Looking back at the memories make me grateful of what we have today. We know that working and living away from our loved ones is sad. Still, we do it for so many different reasons.

I get it! But, do we need to stay in that situation for a long time?

Other Options 
I was so glad that I applied for a permanent residency in Canada. If it’s not for this country, I will never be with my family and have the same lifestyle in a first world country.

While you are young and capable of doing other things than sacrificing the joy with your loved ones, start finding ways on how to be with them. There are other countries that offers residential stability.

Grab the opportunity! It’s time to change things to the better.

Did you experience the same or similar issue?

Ask questions on how to immigrate to Canada. There are many immigrants that can provide you information about their experiences.

Join forums and network with people like the community at https://www.memovingtocanada.com/forums.

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