Being Alone and Single, A Downside

I’m weeks into a disgusting illness. “Everyone is sick nowadays. Something’s going around, luckily you don’t have Covid.” I heard this mumbling the other day when I visited the emergency room because I could barely breathe. Was that supposed to make me feel better? Because it didn’t. Not one bit.

I am sick. And I can honestly say, I’ve never been this sick in…forever!  And it seems impossible to be left alone to rest. It’s my own fault, I keep answering the phone, the emails, the text messages.  Luckily for me, at some point, I was coughing so badly that my caretaker (sister-in-law) took my phone and turned off the computer, and ordered me to bed. It was everything to convince her to just give me a book to read. As much as I know I should be trying to sleep – it was midday, I’m congested, wheezing and bored out of my mind. I can’t really sleep. Finally, she relented.

It’s tough when you live alone and get sick. Even though there are many blessings and joys to being single and alone when you’re sick -especially, really sick, it’s a tough one. Luckily, I’m blessed with an amazing group of friends and family – and I am grateful. I even had family members from back East order groceries for me at my local Whole Foods and had it delivered. I mean, technology is amazing, and having people in your life who care that much, is more than a blessing. I don’t take that for granted.

But when you live alone and find yourself not feeling so great, there are things that happen that remind you of the negative sides of living by yourself. 

When I had surgery a little over a year ago, one of my best friends stayed with me to help through the recovery process (Thank you Ons!). But when she left, when I was doing better and on my own, it was still hard to do little things. It takes time to recover for sure, but your confidence changes when there is no one around to help you if you fall. There’s something scary about it. I wore my phone around my waist, even walking in my tiny apartment because I feared falling and… wait for it… not being able to get up on my own. That old-school commercial rings in my ear: “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up.”  (Yikes!)  

Last night, as I sat here alone, sniffling and still feeling bad, I realized it was time to take some of the many prescriptions I’d been given and as I tried to open one of the prescription bottles, I couldn’t. It has a child-proof lock of such ridiculousness it literally brought me to tears. I was so tired. And weak. And finally, after trying so many ways to open the bottle, it exploded, and the pills scattered everywhere around the living room floor.

I never felt more “old” and alone in my entire life than at that moment. I sat there, coughing, breathing heavily, and crying. I picked up two pills that landed on my lap and left the rest because I didn’t have the energy to pick them up.  I fell asleep on the couch and I woke this early morning to the pills still scattered across the floor.

I’m still debating whether to pick them up all at once or as needed.

Stay Strong, Stay in Joy,


9 thoughts on “Being Alone and Single, A Downside

  1. First I hope you feel better. Than I know what you described, I lived as single for decades. Now, since 22 years married (very lucky, it took time but I found the right person) and much older, with health starting to deteriorating is nice to have someone on you side. This is true for both of us. WE only hope not to get sick both in the same time!
    And yes, those child proof bottles are…terrible!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I am on the mend and much better today. Thank you. I love that you found that right person! Gives me hope. I’m not opposed to finding that same thing, just not overly sad about my single-ness, and yes, it is hard alone when sick! Here’s to both of you never getting sick at the same time! And yet, I still think that would be a little comforting still… to be together. Thank you Robert. 😊


  2. Much as I love loving alone, some things are scary. Like everything you mentioned, including falling and not being able to get up again. The only thing that gives me marginal relief is having a smartwatch that monitors such things and will call an ambulance and my point of contact person if ever I topple over.

    I really REALLY hope you feel better soon Carmen.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. “This too shall end,” is something one of the Star Wars characters might have said. (Or was that from the Bible? King James version for the sickly?)
    I hate those child-proof bottle caps. I have trouble with them too.
    Just hang in there girl. And rest up. You deserve to take a break every once in a while!

    Liked by 1 person


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