It’s a little late, past my creative bedtime, but I wanted to see if I could squeak out a little something that crept into my consciousness by way of experience this evening.

This morning I was invited to dinner at my neighbor’s house, the total sum of us being herself, her husband, one overly zealous Miniature Pinscher dog, and myself. It was her husband’s birthday, and he was cooking up stir-fry. My immediate apprehension and urge to question was, “Is there anything you’re making that will cause me to break out in a rash or vomit because I’m barely hanging on here as it is… better yet can I just check the ingredients you’re using it will just make it easier?” Along with that came the evening hour progressing and how I felt increasingly awful, as I so often do. Quite frankly, I didn’t want to go. I struggled to find something clean to wear, as I was still waiting for help with my laundry. (See previous post Panning for Powerlessness.)

Even when I did sift out something “less dirty” than the rest, but I still fought waves of nausea and the bizarre pulsatile tinnitus, (the sensation of hearing a rhythmic noise, swooshing or whooshing, from no external source), that pounds like an ultrasound in my ears. It was growing louder by the moment. I finally succumbed and sat down on the couch, enveloped in soft sobs as I pleaded with the powers that be to make me whole.

After a moment I glanced over and my eye caught a sign on my refrigerator, which reminds me, in no uncertain terms, not to be the source of my own issue. So from some unknown source of energy I took a deep breath, put on my puffer jacket and black beanie, slipped on my shoes, and very gingerly started down the stairs and then to their apartment.

It was an awkward transition to the outside world, and admittedly, when I first arrived on their doorstep I couldn’t wait for it to be over so I could turn around and leave. But after I sat down and as the minutes went by things became easier, the conversation became smoother, and I noticed my inner nervous system begin to soothe ever so slightly. On occasion I had to stand when my body rebelled with spasms of pain, but when the next instance of laughter came in conversation it aided in a way that I was so unprepared for and as a result I noticed something so critically important.

I was starving to death.

It wasn’t the food I was starving for it was the humanness, the emotional bonding, the connection. Even the ever agitated Miniature Pinscher jumping from lap to lap provided another warm, living, breathing, bodily soul with which I was desperately missing and crucial to my health and whole being.

I needed to find connection.

And there are so many of us out here, there, everywhere who are living alone or in isolation either by choice, chance, or circumstance. If this is you, if like me, you are housebound, try to find a neighbor, friend, or relative to visit for a couple of hours. And if there is no one, and I truly mean no one, call your insurance company, as I did, for community resources. There are home care services who will come sit and visit with you for a couple of hours, and sometimes, they will even do it for free.

Because we are more than just organic physical matter. We are emotional and spiritual beings who need each other. Often more than we know or will admit to.

“God’s dream is that you and I and all of us will realize that we are family, that we are made for togetherness, for goodness, and for compassion.”
—Desmond Tutu