I haven’t kept up with my blogging schedule at all this week because I have been sick. Sinus issues, headaches, hot/cold flashes, throat that feels (and sounds) like I swallowed gravel, a deep need to sleep for hours while only being able to stay unconscious for a two or three hours at a time… It’s been awful.
So, I’ve been consuming large quantities of chamomile with honey and generic NyQuil and passing out cocooned in a comforter while watching PBS documentaries (not because they’re boring, but because I find them comforting).
While being sick, I’ve had a lot of time to think about this whole living alone thing. In general, I love living by myself. I need copious amounts of time to myself, so it’s nice to have that whenever I want. I can decorate however I please. The cleanliness or messiness of my living space is determined solely by me. I can sing in the shower without shame. The list goes on.
However, over the past few days I have realized a few downsides.
5 Reasons Living Alone Sucks
1) Taking care of myself
Feeling so sick that you literally can’t get out of bed? Better turn that literal into a figurative or hope that your phone is within reaching distance and there’s a friend or relative within driving distance to take pity on you because otherwise you’re going to die alone and in agony.
Wow, that sounds harsh, but I’ve realized that it’s really true. When I had my wisdom teeth out last spring, my pain meds made me sick and I couldn’t stand up for more than two minutes without a) collapsing and/or b) vomiting. Luckily, I had a roommate at the time, and he was kind enough to bring me mashed potatoes which helped the situation immeasurably.
I don’t have that anymore. If I “can’t” get out of bed, I still have to get out of bed. There’s nobody to bring me KFC mashed potatoes with gravy. Or even chicken noodle soup from the Kitchen for that matter.
2) No one to run errands/take me places
This is related to the last point. When I’m too sick to drive, I better hope I had the foresight to stock the pantry with chicken noodle soup and tea because I can’t go to the store to get some.
Or if I decide that maybe I really am dying and it’s probably time to see a doctor, I can’t just drive myself. This should convince me to see a doctor before it gets to that point, but so far it has done no such thing.
Also, if something happens to my car, like one of the terrible drivers that live in my apartment complex hits it or I have a flat, I guess it’s good that I live within (technical) walking distance of my job because there’s no one to give me a lift.
3) Scary noises
Being sick makes me feel vulnerable. Hearing a strange noise in the living room while I’m confined to my bed is terrifying.
But this isn’t restricted to when I’m ill. Last week my neighbor told me that somebody in our apartment complex was robbed at gunpoint in the parking lot. I like to think that I’m safety conscious and self-sufficient, but at the same time, I’m a tiny female.
My old roommate is a large male. Even though he is an insanely heavy sleeper and doesn’t wake up for anything, I felt safer knowing that he was within screaming distance.
Now I just have a stuffed Darth Vader and a two-inch pocket knife. I’m not sure how much help either of those will be.
4) Carrying groceries
I tend to go all out on my grocery trips. This is usually because I wait until there’s no food in my apartment before I go shopping (I’ve made some great concoctions from this habit, which I’ll probably share on Foodie Fun). I also live on the second floor.
As much as I admire the “no second trip” rule, it’s rarely practical. With my roomie, I could just pull him away from the video games to help me for a minute.
Granted, I do have a neighbor who has indicated a willingness to help, but I really hate to impose on her when I know she’s having knee surgery soon.
5) Making plans
When I had a roommate, he was pretty much always home, so if I was lonely, I just had to go in the living room. He’s a really obliging person so he would usually stop whatever video game he was playing or show he watching to put something on Netflix that we both like.
We made it through 5 seasons of Stargate: SG-1 in like two months because of that. Now if we’re going to watch it, we have to actually plan a night when we both have a few hours to devote to marathoning the show. It has taken us six months to get through 2.5 more seasons this way.
Now, I know some of this is a bit alarmist. And I know that I do have friends within a 20 minute drive who if I thought I was really dying/desperate would come as soon as they could. I’m not completely cut off. However, if my plans to move out of state in the next year reach fruition, I could lose that safety net.
Still, none of these things are dealbreakers for living alone. I’m still really happy with my decision to have my own place. I’m a largely self-sufficient and healthy 20-something, and my youth requires that I believe I am capable of anything and largely impervious to harm.
But what do you think? Did I miss any other major downsides to single-living?