LONELINESS: I lost my sense of who I was. I felt alone and empty in a world that kept moving.
HOW I COPED: I remember returning to New York after living in Milwaukee for 9 weeks. It was strange to return to a city that used to give me so much energy and now made me feel depleted and abnormal. I felt like my new self didn’t translate, which made me feel lonely and depressed. To combat this I made sure that I prepared myself for the hustle and bustle when I went outside and established a breathing exercise that would calm me when I felt anxious or nervous. I gave myself permission to go home whenever I felt overwhelmed. To help my friends understand my behavior, I warned them that I might be unreliable. Preparing them for the fact that I might arrive late, leave early, or cancel at the last minute helped them understand and accept my behavior. This allowed me to slowly acclimate to life and feel comfortable again in my own skin.