First, I would like to preface this post by saying that I know EVERYONE has lonely nights.
I am not bemoaning my circumstances. In fact, I know that I am so blessed. But, if you find yourself in my situation, maybe this post will help you. Or if you find yourself in a similar situation, maybe it will help you, too!
There is no way that it is ‘lonelier’ being alone married, nor that it is lonelier being alone while single. I don’t mean to negate anyone’s situation in life, nor make it seem like we should all have a pity party for me because I have a husband who works a full-time job.
Theo just got hired full time as an EMT. There are many jobs out there that are 24/7, and EMT is one of them. If you have an emergency in the middle of the night, the first responders will be there just as fast as if it was the middle of the afternoon. That’s what my husband does. (His company does not respond to 911 calls, but they transport anyone who is stable from hospital to hospital, from nursing home to hospital, from hospital to home, from home to treatments at the hospital, etc.) That being said, when Theo got hired full time, he took on 24-hr shifts on a regular basis. He works at least two 24-hr shifts a week. It actually works out wonderful and he loves it, so we have NOTHING to complain about it.
But it does get hard for me when Theo is gone and I am at home alone. Usually, evenings and bedtime are the worst for me. Here are a couple of tips that I have found for anyone who may be in a similar situation as me…alone several nights of the week.
One. Have someone stay over, or stay at someones else’s place. This can happen on a regular basis with someone (like your parents or in-laws, a best friend) or with different friends each week. It is hard for me since Theo works a rotating schedule (M, Th one week, T F the next, etc), but it is really good advice and a way to not get mopey and lonely.
Two. Have a weapon, just to rest your mind. Ok, don’t judge me. I have a gun. It literally helps me sleep at night. It is always locked, and kept somewhere that cannot be seen or tampered with. I know exactly where it is, and my husband has taught me how to use and how not to use it. When I start to overthink being alone, I just rest my mind by saying “IF anything were to happen, this is what I can do…”
Three. Give yourself something to look forward to. Kind of like a little “guilty pleasure”. No, I don’t mean that loneliness is an excuse for sin, or doing whatever you want because there is no one around. NOT. AT. ALL. But I like to do something that Theo doesn’t so much enjoy doing with me. For example, I will watch the Bachlorette, or another “girly” show. I normally wouldn’t watch it, but I save it for the evening that Theo is gone. That way I actually have something to look “forward” to on that night. Or I will fix myself a NICE dinner using ingredients that I know Theo isn’t a fan of. Or drink a coke that night, just as a treat. Treat yo’self, it really helps!
Four. Stay on schedule and stay busy. It really doesn’t help to mope around. It does help to get out of the house. I save my grocery shopping for the afternoon that Theo is gone, that way I’m out of the house and not thinking about how empty it is. I also make sure I complete at least one chore for the day and make sure to make dinner. Going on a run is also a helpful time taker-upper. It’s so easy to just sit down at the computer and not get back up again when there is no one there to do anything with.
Five. Don’t think about it. This one really goes with the above one. If I start to mope, it goes downhill fast. Instead, I just need to keep myself and enjoy doing the things that I can’t do when Theo is around (like extra long journaling, reading, watching that show, completing that Pinterest project, or just browsing Pinterest in general). It really doesn’t help matters at all to think about and constantly dwell on it. I find that when I am trying to NOT think about something in particular, I need to replace it with something else. These can be hobbies, like I mentioned above, but it can also be praying for others, writing letters/notes/emails, calling a friend or anything that keeps the mind focused on something different.
What about you? How do you get through nights alone- whether you are single, married, separated, living at home? Got any advice for me?
P.S. #Six: GET A CAT!!! I can’t believe I forgot to include this one! I suppose you could also get a dog. Moose is such a comfort when I am home alone. He gives me someone to talk to, a warm cuddly body at night and he always stays with me when Theo is gone!