cut off

Week Two of being a recluse and there have been emotions too lengthy to name – from despair and regret to exhaustion and relief.

I’m getting into a routine of sorts. There has been a lot of lying in bed but at least 50% of that time has been sleeping. Despite two front doors – an inner wooden one that automatically locks and an outer metal one plus the main (locked) door to the building itself, I can only relax at night with something shoved against the door. The clothes horse slots in perfectly between the door and the cupboard and with that in place, I have finally managed a few decent sleeps of 5 hours or more. I still wake up regularly but go back to sleep quickly as a rule.

At around 8.30, I wake up and get up long enough to flick the switch on the water heater. It takes about 2 hours to warm up the water so I get back into bed. I drift in and out of sleep then check emails, the news, Facebook. Maybe read a little, although reading is still something I struggle to focus on.

Once I get up for the day, I take things slowly. There is so much time to fill when you have nothing to do so no need to rush. I shower and get dressed as I promised myself I would every day. It was the only promise I made and I’ve kept to it. I try to prepare a healthy breakfast and do a bit of light cleaning. There’s no washing machine so most days I hand wash a few clothes and hang them to dry.

Then I start to fill my time. I watch some TV, I write, I do some Spanish or free online courses. It mostly works. If I have to go to the supermarket, I try to go around 2 or 3 in the afternoon. Siesta time is always quieter.

The rest of the time, I cook meals (trying to be healthy) and try to train my mind to not make plans. It’s hard. I find myself browsing job websites and master courses and travel websites. Browsing is fine but no decisions yet.

I haven’t been too good at getting out and it’s very lonely being a recluse (who knew?!) but as I settle into the second week, the uncertainties of Week One behind me, I am hopeful.

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