Medicating the Soul

Saudi is a brutal place mentally.  You have so little control, so many restrictions and so much stress.  Stress personally or the absorption of stress from a spouse pushed to the brink.  There are no releases.  You cannot grab coffee or go for a drive yelling at the top of your voice without wearing an abaya or terrifying your mandatory driver.  One of my good friends was a trauma nurse for over 20 years and is now on anxiety meds.  She has never touched them, she has lived here less than one year.  So, we all try to find way to absorb the shock.  Medications are the answer for some, exercise for others, and still others flounder.  It is not the Middle East situation that drives this but rather the lack of control of any aspect of life.  But the people you are randomly assigned to in your compound are your primary help strategy .  It is amazing the strength a random collection of different individuals can provide.  But, for those people used to protecting their solitary burdens reaching out to the petri-dish of a compound is not an advisable strategy.  It is a broken road for everyone, at least we have company together.