Nadine, age 5

I’m keeping busy spending absolutely every last bit of my energy trying to be positive. It’s hard constantly fighting a sick urge to throw a tantrum, scream and punch somebody. That’s what I really want to do, but I don’t because I know it won’t help. Instead I spend my days smiling and nodding, laughing and pretending.

"How’s the job hunt going? Any luck? Chin up, Nadine, it will happen. Maybe you should just stay in Norway? Why don’t you study nursing instead?"

"Dear Nadine Ramsberg, Thank you for your recent application. I’m afraid on this occasion we will not be progressing any further with your application."

I’m so worried that I’ll start yelling at people, that I’ve developed a smile-and-nod routine for dealing with, uhm, life. If I just shut up, smile and nod, I can pretend that everything is OK. It’s the perfect reply to compassionate questions from people who show that they care, and it works well when faced with an unsuccessful job application.

But everything is not OK. Everything is boring. Too easy. I’m in autopilot mode. My brain is evaporating out of boredom. So I keep busy channeling happy thoughts, I smile and nod, and fight the urge to chuck my toys out of the pram.