I am realizing that hardly anything makes you feel more lonely than being sick while actually being alone.
Being alone hardly ever equals loneliness for me. But I couldn't quite figure out why, after such a fun and super social weekend, Sunday ended and my Monday started with such an unshakable feeling of loneliness. I couldn't come up with a solid reason for feeling lonely (which I feel like I should always have for any unusual and unfavorable emotion), but then I drew the connection to how I'd been feeling physically. It was as early as Friday that I had not been feeling so hot; work had left me feeling totally beat, and I continued to have low energy all weekend which grew to a stronger fatigue as Sunday waned and I could do nothing for a couple hours but lay around, which then became a penetrating headache all day today that no medicine would dull. So whenever I was alone, my listlessness and lack of energy would weigh upon me and exacerbate any feelings of loneliness, which are usually fleeting and hardly noticeable (but which come with the territory of living alone, I would say).
And so then it all peaked this afternoon, after I'd left work hours early to lie down here at home. No one really knew I was home alone with a splitting headache. A few months ago, my roommates would have known or my boyfriend. Not so now.
After setting up a dinner with an old friend passing through town, things were started to look a little less bleak. I hoped the headache would subside just for an hour or two so I could get that social dose which seems to always do more for me than a few advil can. But what really shook me out of my funk was discovering someone had known I wasn't feeling well, and had been concerned.
I walked out of my place, down the path and across the front yard to my car. I could hear the door of the main house open. Oh, I hoped my sweet landlords didn't want to chat, that would hurt my head and make me later for dinner than I already was. I looked back as I reached my car, and there he was. I waved and smiled. He said, "How are you doing?" It was not a howsitgoing question, it was an areyouokay question. My voice was hoarse as I replied across the yard, "Well, um..."
"Not great?" he said. "Yeah..." I said and told briefly of how I'd been feeling all weekend and today. He nodded with concern and said "good" when I said I'd left work early and would see how I felt about going tomorrow. The exchange ended with him encouraging me to take it easy. It initally appeared like he had walked out of the house to get something from the car, but as I drove away, I could see him turn back to the house before even getting to the driveway. I realized he'd likely heard or seen me leaving, and came out to ask after me. It wouldn't have been the first time. They know I'm usually out and about all weekend, and at work til past 5, and my car being here for most of the afternoon and evening yesterday and today had tipped him off. So he'd pursued his concern and let me know that he'd noticed.
I drove away biting my tongue to keep my eyes from getting moist, but with, I swear, not only less ache in my head but feeling healed from my bout with loneliness.