Saturday, May 3, 2008

Thoughts on being "Homeless"

First, note that homeless is in parenthesis. I am in no way comparing myself to those individuals who are truly homeless. I am so very lucky to be in the position that I now find myself.

I have been asked what it’s like to travel by myself. I’ve glibly replied that I am just another of the homeless masses. Being who I am, I’ve given the subject some thought in the last couple months.

I am, in some ways, homeless. I have no brick and mortar building to call home. That is not to say that I don’t have a (leaky) roof over my head. I have a bed, a kitchen, a bathroom – all of the comforts of home (except a recliner).

In the past I have had abodes - stick built apartments, duplexes, town homes and a single family residence – but not a home. Not since my little family group was taken from me.

Losing my family through separation and divorce was the worst thing that has happened to me in my life. I became a failure overnight. That was years ago and it still affects my daily life.

Separation anxiety. That’s what the psychiatrist called it. She offered drugs and therapy, but was more fixated on whether or not I had thoughts of suicide. I gained 90 pounds, did nothing beyond what was required. Go to work, go home, eat, drink, sleep, get up and do it again. Friends and determination got me through the worst part. Friends that got me out of the house. Friends that got me on the tennis court and the golf course. Friends that helped me rekindle my interests. The determination to not eat when there was nothing better to do. Boredom when you are alone is a killer.

Now I am as alone as I have ever been. My traveling partners have gone their way and I’ve gone mine. Being sick, in a strange city and alone is no fun. Thanks to modern technology I’ll never really be alone again. I can reach out to friends and family anytime I want and I know that they will be there for me. It was that way during the bad times, too. I just didn’t realize it.

On a happier note, Mary reminded me that Monday is Cinco de Mayo and that I should go to Old Town Albuquerque and participate. I think I will.


Anonymous said...

Pretty deep stuff there kiddo. I hope you are feeling better and can enjoy Cinco de Mayo. I survived the first day of the 'wool and pull' and am going back for more. I'll let Dave tell you about his trip to NY....he probably wishes he was with you!!

Frank said...

Beautifully said, Scott. You can be alone at a huge party or you can be happily socialized when you're all by yourself.

It's kinda like a Zen koan!

I can't imagine the difficulties of your divorce but I can see how much your kids love you and how happy they are when they're with you. I guarantee we're always there with you, looking over your shoulder, metaphysically speaking.

Your (older) nephew-in-law, Frank!

Anonymous said...

Scott....reading your "Homeless" post was a little sad. I too went through a divorce in 98 after a marriage that should have ended 10 years earlier. But I stuck it out for my children. It eventually was my children who encouraged me to leave their mother. Little did I know that when I proposed a divorce my ex-wife told me that she had been wanting me to do this for years. How blind was I to all that.

Well we parted amicablly and I received a tremendous amount of support from my kids and family. It was tough being alone at first and I did feel sorry for myself a lot of the time. At 55 I wondered who would be attracted to me. I too went through some therapy and my therapist put me into a support group with 5 other men and it was then that my world opened up. I won't go into details but I learned from these men how to stand on my own and feel good about myself. It was a great time of my life and carried me through until I met the new woman in my life who I've been married to for seven of the most wonderful years.

But what I learned through all of this was that I was okay. I just didn't know how to be myself again. When I learned that I kept myself busy and afford myself opportunities I had never experienced before. I was always on the look out for new and exciting things to do. And I was always looking for new and exciting people to fill my life.

So you are not the first person to ever feel like you do. But you are not alone either. You've got a network of friends that still stick by you and like you for who you are. I consider myself one of those friends....Alain

Scott said...

I never found the companion that was so companionable as solitude. We are for the most part more lonely when we go abroad among men than when we stay in our chambers. ~Henry David Thoreau, "Solitude," Walden, 1854

Anonymous said...

Hey Handsome! Thoughts on being alone.......deeep thoughts (by Jack Handley) Here's mine
I'd rather be ALONE by myself, than be alone with someone. and... then there's pink floyd, the album with the prism on it, the song begins with the sound of alarm clocks going off...."you're never really alone, we're all here...Love Deborah

Anonymous said...

Nice Post.

I agree with the comments too,


"Pretty deep stuff there kiddo."

"Beautifully said"

But most of all remember:

"You've got a network of friends that still stick by you and like you for who you are."

Amen to that.

Come home and bug the daylights out of us any time.