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I know it all to well how just being in a certain place can reduce your anxiety. It was Helsinki for me. I am from Moscow, and before coming to Helsinki I never even realized how much “background stress” I was experiencing just by being there, until I came to Helsinki for 3 days vacation.

It did not occur to me right when we landed, no, but I started feeling it when we sat in the taxi to our hotel. It felt like weight has been lifted from my shoulders, and if some hole appeared in me. It can be that it was also effect of medication, that I was taking at the time, that helping me recover from burnout (and helping with bipolar, too, although I did not know about it yet), but later when I moved here… It was the same.

I still feel much lighter compared to my time in Moscow. And I even feel lighter than how I felt in 2021, when I just moved in. Again there is medication, which does help a lot with controlling bipolar disorder, but I think it just helps me… Heal, I guess.

I am not an outdoorsy person, really, I do prefer sitting at home, and it took me awhile to realize, that part of the reason was the anxiety, that I felt when I go outside. That anxiety is not gone, especially since I still cannot speak Finnish (just a few phrases and some random words), so there is anxiety from that (like fear of someone not understanding me, or me not understanding them), but it feels so… Distant. Small.

Last week I went out with a friend, and I went through some streets where I’ve never been before, and on those streets I felt calmer than on familiar streets back in Moscow. If that kind of calmness is not a reason enough to stay somewhere, I do not what is.

And yet, new Finnish government seems to want to eliminate that. They propose quite a few things which will affect immigrants, including work immigrants. Personally, I can accept increase for the time you need to stay for citizenship (from 4 to 8 years), and adding another exam for it. It's not ideal, obviously, it will make a lot of people look for other opportunities, but I can understand it. I can even understand desire to add a language test for permanent residence permit, at least, if the required proficiency level is A1, that is like basics of the basics. But 3 months to find a job... No. Just no.

I am not a niche specialist, and my experience is pretty obvious from the resume, but I spent almost a year looking for a job, and there was not much hope till Signant Health took me in. I mean, I literally was ready to return to Russia, once my current permit expires. And that would be fine, even if sad. But 3 months would be impossible, especially since I started searching at the end of May right before the summer holidays.

If these "ideas" become a law, I will not be able to to sat calm, because I would not be able to feel safe. It would mean, that if I lose my job due to whatever reason not dependent on me, it would probably be reasonable to just pack up my bags, because there are not that many companies looking for expensive tech support specialists, since tech support does not bring in revenue.

And I do understand why they want these things to be implemented: so that unemployed people do not abuse the system, which, apparently, is possible. But... Why not ask why a certain person is unable to find a job and help resolve that? I know of people who can't get an official job, because then they will be left with significantly less money to live with because of the debts before the government, that for some reason cannot be restructured. Why not address these cases? I mean, there is a "person first" approach with homelessness, right, why not do the same with [some] unemployment cases?

So, if you are living in Finland, and you do want people here to feel safe, even when their life is uprooted, join respective Telegram channel, it has most, if not all important links related to the matter, including link to the main channel, too.