- Approach: Build up social contacts from my own home
How incredibly lucky! Living in your own house with friendly neighbors! At first I was afraid of being judged, but I have been accepted and I feel comfortable talking to them.
Loneliness at home is now my challenge. To avoid alcohol consumption, I no longer go to certain places.
I like plants, and my house is full of plants. Plants that others gave me or that I found myself. It takes time to furnish my home together with others. Fortunately I am very handy.
The feeling of loneliness
From the moment I moved into my house I experienced a feeling of loneliness. Whenever I was tempted to drink, I recognized that the struggle against this temptation will last forever. But this struggle will now bring me a lot, just like talking and dealing with people brings me a lot instead of experiencing it as a struggle.
When I first moved into my house I experienced a kind of forced loneliness. I could choose; it was either the feeling of loneliness or I started drinking again. In the first few months I spent a lot of time between four walls.
I felt lonely at night. I was used to the constant noise of the place where I lived on the street.
I also thought that my children would come right back, and that they would be with me more from the start. That was not the case and that threw me off balance a bit.
I was afraid that boredom would eat me and I would revert to my old behavior. But I also had the feeling that I wasn't anymore. Besides, I was suddenly ashamed of what the neighbors thought, now that I was suddenly a neighbor myself.
I had the same with Nela and Juan, my personal guides, because I could not disappoint them. It was a mixture of all kinds of thoughts and emotions.
I began to rediscover my real needs in my new life and realized that the street and alcohol had taken a lot from me without me realizing it. I was again interested in myself and in the pleasure of things I liked. But I also realized that I needed some money for that, even if it wasn't much. I must say that the TRANSPORT BONUS marked that change.
It gives me the freedom to move where I want. Sometimes I just go to the mall for a walk and that suits me. Besides, I can see my daughter with her mother-in-law and go for a walk.
I have applied for the IMV and once I get it in full (currently I receive 90 euros/month minus the contribution to the program), I will feel more independent. The scholarship is fine, but I want my own money to be able to invite my kids to come and eat more often, buy myself clothes and do the things everyone else would do.
Now I know more people in the area where I live. People are getting more and more connected with me. That's going very well, I think because I'm myself. At first I was ashamed, but now I exchange phone numbers with the neighbors and they sincerely ask me how I'm doing.
Having dogs has helped me a lot and thereby talking to people around who also have a dog. Little by little we build a bond. I was very restless and wanted everything at once, but things take time...
I've mainly tried to make friends outside the home. My home is my own safe space. I only want to let few people into my house now that I have a house of my own.
That's only if I don't go out and talk to people anymore. Then the supermarket cashier is crazy enough to come in front of my house. And recently a neighbor called me to take me by car to run errands, and I loved it!!
And with my children it's slowly getting better. I see my daughter more often. This is thanks to my son-in-law, who is adorable and insists on contact between me and my daughter. We then go out to eat or go for a walk. It's a little different with my son, but I see him every now and then. Usually I see him with his partner. I think I still need to settle things from the past with my kids. So one of the things I want to do as soon as I get the help is go camping with them for a whole weekend and spend time with them and see what happens.