Loneliness

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“But even so, every now and then I would feel a violent stab of loneliness. The very water I drink, the very air I breathe, would feel like long, sharp needles. The pages of a book in my hands would take on the threatening metallic gleam of razor blades. I could hear the roots of loneliness creeping through me when the world was hushed at four o’clock in the morning.”
Haruki Murakami, The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle

I believe that loneliness is one of the biggest enemies that every foreigner has to deal with. I cannot speak for everybody, but I can speak for myself and for a lot of people that I know. When I first came to Japan, I had my two sisters and my father living here, so I was surrounded by my family the whole time. I was excited about living in a different country and having different opportunities in my life. I made some good friends at work and would go out with them every single weekend. Yes, I lived the best of my life and enjoyed while I could. But then, time happened. First, my father went back to Brazil. Then, one of my sisters got married, had a kid and went back to Brazil with her husband. And then, my Mom passed away, and my other sister decided to go back to Brazil and live there, indefinitely. So here I was, from having half of my family with me all the time to being all alone, since my closest friends were also in Brazil. I didn’t have my cat, I didn’t have dreams, I had only my solitude. Don’t take me wrong, I love being alone, but I believe there is a huge difference between feeling lonely and being alone. I can feel alone inside a freaking mall full of people that I know, but don’t trust, and I can be alone when I’m inside my bedroom, reading a good book and drinking a hot cup of chamomile tea. I am the kind of girl who needs some time alone because I feel good with silence and quietness. But it doesn’t mean that I never cried before for feeling lonely, alone in the world. Here, in Japan, my life was only working, home, sleep. From Monday to Saturday, and on Sunday, I’d sleep all day because I was always feeling too freaking tired. I didn’t have time for anything else, but even so, at most of the nights, I’d cry while trying to sleep. I missed my family and my friends. I missed having someone to talk to about my constant nightmares and fears. I missed having someone to share my heart with, and that was killing me. I let the routine consumes my whole body and mind, and I was slowly dying. I believe that my depression started gaining life because of that, because of loneliness. Honestly, I think that there are a LOT OF loners here in Japan. Not only foreigners but Japanese people as well. The suicidal rate here is scaring, and the stress, the shaming, and the loneliness are huge contributors for that. I feel blessed for being saved before coming to that extreme, but I lost count of how many times I was close to it. If I’m 100% honest, sometimes, even today, I feel lonely. I feel so lonely that it scares the shit out of me, because I’m afraid that this feeling will never go away. But hey, I’m not alone. I’m never alone. Sometimes I think that I sabotage myself and lock everybody else far away from me, because I’m afraid of opening up and getting hurt. I know, it’s bullshit, but for now, it’s part of who I am and what I need to deal with. But once again, I’m not alone, like you are not alone. We are never alone. We have each other, but we still don’t know it. Not until now. 🙂

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Rosanna M.I.

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