For the past month, I’ve dealt with homesickness by not dealing with it. I’d wake up each morning, make my breakfast, go about my day. There’s a kind of peace in pretending you’re fine. When asked if I miss home, my answer became: “Oh, I’m not thinking about it too much.”
Yesterday I woke up with my third migraine of the summer. It’s much dryer out here, so I keep forgetting to drink enough water. The dehydration is killing me and the migraines are set off from that and the stress of living alone and working. I’ve never lived alone, except for one month in the dormitory my freshman year of college. The altitude messes with a lot of things. I’m a mile higher than normal, and the daily nosebleeds are annoying at best, infuriating at worst.
Physically, I’m exhausted with all these pointless little changes. My body doesn’t have time to really get used to it, so there’s no real joy in it getting better.
Emotionally, I’ve feigned strength long enough that the façade has started cracking. Added stressors from roommate frustrations haven’t helped. I don’t really cry, I just get distracted by nothing. I accidently spend hours just surfing the web, feeling nothing. What is someone supposed to feel when they’re alone most the time?
My studio apartment is fine, but it’s lonely. I sit in my apartment, I snack, I watch Netflix. I play video games. The Dragon Age series has been especially nice. I play as my character, and they are constantly surrounded by their friends. So my virtual friends and I go on pathetic little escapist adventures so I can temporarily forget that I’m just alone.
I don’t do well with loneliness. I know I’m not alone in the loneliness, but that doesn’t make it better. I appreciate my co-workers, but we don’t talk. We sit in our cubicles and work on our projects. When we do speak, I speak too much, sort of desperate for human contact.
My boyfriend calls, and he’s mostly good at pretending he’s fine. He’ll occasionally slip up and mention how much he misses me. Maybe we’re co-dependent; maybe we just love having each other around. We both have trouble sleeping knowing how far apart we are.
I miss church a lot right now. Last summer when I was terribly lonely, I adored going to our weekly “stay-cation” group activity. I loved seeing people and having that connection. Right now I really wish I had that. I wish I could go to some church thing and just talk to people. My mother would call that “double-dipping,” or getting the benefits from believing without actually believing. She’s right; it’d be disingenuous to go to a church just to see other people.
Selfishly, I hate feeling isolated. I feel so “other” right now. With the fighting with my mother and the constant little awkward feelings with my family, it’s easy to feel like the odd one out or like a mistake.
I’m too political, I’m too angry, I’m too non-religious. I feel like I don’t belong anywhere right now. I started culling friends who I felt weren’t good for me, and then I was suddenly shocked when I had few friends. Not only am I temperamental, it appears that I’m also just stupid.
It’s easy to self-loathe on days like these. I look at my friends and outer circle of acquaintances and decide they all hate me. Why wouldn’t they hate me? I’m a gossip and a busy-body. I make up stupid scenarios in my head to push through the boredom.
Right now, I wish I could pray. I wish I could pray and believe it’d all get better. I know that’s logically inconsistent; how could I want to pray when I think it doesn’t work? I want that comfort, I want the short-term relief that comes from “handing your problems over to God.” Doing that never fixed things for me when I believed, but I wish I could do it now.
I wish I could just breathe and find comfort in the nothingness that I’m dealing with. I wish I could find peace in the solitude and that I could use this temporary frustration to gain spiritual wisdom, but I can’t.
I know this is exactly popular with non-believers, the idea of missing the faith. Most the time I am happier that I no longer believe; there’s a lot of peace when you stop lying about your beliefs, but right now I’m not the super confident, peaceful person. Right now I’m sad and alone and I wish I could call on Jesus or Ganesha to take my pain and remove obstacles in my path. Right now I wish I could call out to something for peace.
I’m missing the faith today. I miss reading the Bible’s positive verses and feeling that joy. Missing those things doesn’t mean I suddenly believe or regret being a non-believer, but I don’t want to lie about it. I miss finding peace there when I needed it. I miss being able to ask for prayers and thinking that it helped.
I’d ask for good vibes, which would make me feel better, but many would take that as my return to the fold; that this little lost sheep had been found. I don’ t want to get their hopes up just to hurt them again.
So I’m going to sit in Denver, Colorado with no friends and a bad attitude (at least for today). Hope y’all are having a better day than me.
Photo Credit: Videogame Photography