How not to be lonely

Giac has left for Italy on Thursday which is five days ago, and he will be back on the 7th which is in eight days. This means I’m home alone for thirteen whole days. This is quite a big deal for someone like me, who jumps at every suspicious squeaky noise, switches one room’s light on before switching the other room’s light off, and generally is afraid of their own shadow.

I absolutely hate being home alone. My anxiety escalates to a whole new level. Plus, I feel lonely as heck (in spite of being a huuuge introvert). But mainly I have mini panic attacks over the stupidest things.

When I was younger and my parents went on holidays leaving me alone for like a month, instead of turning into a party animal, inviting all my friends over, trashing the house and getting smashed, I would pretty much never leave my room, envisioning the worst case scenario of me dying in the most horrible circumstances and nobody finding my rotting body for weeks. I would have a very hard time sleeping, ending up spending the night on Tumblr and eating cold pizza at 3am.

The things I’m normally terrified of include being murdered, being robbed, slipping on the bathroom floor and banging my head, having a heart attack, fainting, in fact having any medical condition that will lead to my death, leaving the gas running, setting the house on fire, chocking on food, locking myself out, not being able to open a jar and consequently starving to death, spiders.

Since I now live in Wellington I felt obliged to add “dying all alone in an earthquake” to the list.

These are all things that I genuinely believe could happen. And now I’m home alone with so much time on my hand and too much time to think and I haven’t freaked out yet but I know it will happen so how to cope?

I made a list.

  • Don’t oversleep
    I’m doing my best to get out of bet at 7.30 every morning, because if I snooze and snooze I end up wasting my morning and messing up my entire day. Being by myself doesn’t mean that I don’t have to stick to a schedule.
  • Stick to a schedule
    A.k.a. Carry on with your life.
    For some reason, the fact that Giac is away makes me feel like I’m on holidays a little bit. But the reality is that I do have things to do (job hunting, mainly), so I’m trying to stick to my regular schedule – which als0 means that I only have time to remember that I’m alone once the day is over.
  • Get dressed
    Even if I’m not going anywhere, the moment I get up I make a point of changing into something that is not my pyjamas. This helps me not to feel too sluggish and be more productive throughout the day.
  • Get out
    Even if it’s just for a quick morning walk, getting some fresh air is super duper important. I try my best not to be home all day. In fact, unless I’ve got something to do at home, I’d go to the library and get some stuff done there.
  • Shower
    It’s so easy to bask in my own filth for days since I don’t have to share my living space with anyone and I can avoid being around people. But showering reminds me how to be a functional human being, so I make sure I scrub myself head to toe at least once a day.
  • Brush your teeth
    As part of the personal hygiene scheme, brushing my teeth after every meal is also something I need to remind myself. Again, not being around people doesn’t mean that you can neglect your oral care.

(I am aware that these are very basic actions that anyone with a grain of common sense would perform on a daily basis without the need of a reminder, but you have no idea how easy it is for me to let myself go when I’m home alone for longer than two days.)

  • Keep yourself entertained
    So important! There’s nothing worse than being bored when you already feel lonely. Since Giac left I’ve been out of the house almost all day every day, sunbathing, picking strawberries, making art … Plus I’ve been going to the gym/running/longboarding every single day. If I keep it up I’ll be fit as heck when he comes back.
  • Eat
    Food is a big deal for me, because when I’m home alone I tend to either forget to eat or eat too much, and when I do eat it normally happens not at a table but standing by the kitchen sink, shoving cold pasta in my face straight from the tupperware. Not good. So I’ve planned every single meal I’m having until Giac is back, and I also prepped everything so even if I’m starving I’m not tempted to just eat plain bread but I’ll make sure I have a whole balanced and nutritious meal ready to go in the fridge.
  • Be home when it’s dark
    Not that there’s anything to worry about in New Zealand, where the average of homicides per year is 72 in the whole country (it’s 137 in London alone). But when I do have my mini panic attacks, they always happen when it’s dark. So at least if I’m home I know I can just go to bed, or make myself a cup of tea, or watch some funny YouTube videos, and feel safe.
    (Plus I’m blind as a bat in the dark.)
  • Treat yoself
    What better excuse to make yourself feel special than thinking you’ve been abandoned? Of course that’s not the case, but it sure helps justifying the fact that you’re eating at Burger Fuel for the third time in four days.
  • See friends
    No boyfriend = more time to spend with your friends! I don’t have many but I’m seeing them as much as I can. Especially those who are also jobless, so we can keep each other company heehee.
    Also did I say boyfriend? I meant husband. (Or roommate.)
  • Explore
    So many new places! I made a list (duh) of all the places I want to walk to or eat at or shop from, and I’ slowly ticking them off. You don’t need an excuse to go exploring but for me it’s more of another thing to do to keep myself busy, and have new places to take Giac when he’s back.

Fun fact: The first night I was by myself I locked the door with an extra door chain just to feel safe, then found out the next morning that I’d left the key in the keyhole outside the whole time.

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