At 50 I’m Realizing I’m Not Made To Live Alone

Most of the time, these days, I live alone. My mental health is suffering from it.

Photo by Dan Gribbin on Unsplash

I initially wrote this article in March 2023. I’m republishing it here with minimal edits. I’ll provide an update at the end.

This is a realization that came to me only very recently… during the past few weeks, actually. I was glad when I separated from my ex-wife, because it meant getting some degree of freedom. Little did I realize that I was headed for mental health issues.

One recent realization is that I’ve never lived alone for long stretches of time. I did not think about it before recently. My trajectory regarding my living arrangements went like this:

  1. From birth, I lived with my father or my mother.
  2. At 19, I moved out to go to the university, but I had roommates.
  3. At 24, I met my ex-wife. During our first year, we lived apart, but I was living at my mother’s place, so I was not alone.
  4. At 25, I moved to the US. My ex-wife and I were not living together at first, but we saw each other quite regularly. Every week, most of the time.
  5. At 27, I moved in with my ex-wife.
  6. At 50, I separated from my ex-wife, in November 2022.

While I was living with my ex-wife, I had stints where I studied in other cities, and I had rooms there. However, I typically came back home every week. Even when I was studying abroad, and couldn’t fly back home, I had one or multiple roommates. So, while I was away from my ex-wife, I was not alone.

All this to say that I’ve never lived alone for any appreciable time, until I separated from my ex-wife.

I’m currently in a fallow period, friend-wise. Most of the friends I had took my ex-wife’s side, and I lost them in the divorce. So it is not like I can just “grab a beer” with a friend. Besides, I don’t drink alcohol, so grabbing beers in any circumstances is a no-go.

I’m also partially deaf, which can make public events really challenging. I do have a hearing aid that I almost never wear. (I know. I know.) Even when I wear it, however, if the place I’m in is echo-y my hearing aid has trouble compensating.

I do have my girlfriend. I love her dearly, and I know that she loves me. However, her mental illness makes her unavailable to me for significant stretches of time. Moreover, the fact that I don’t drink, I am partially deaf, and our age gap makes her reluctant to just introduce me to her friends.


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This is doing a number on my mental health. I’m sure the divorce and the fact that I had cancer, and I’m currently disabled does not help. However, these are not the only issues. Regarding the cancer, I’ve been in remission for two years, and I have no evidence of disease as of January 2023.

So I’m thinking that I’m mildly depressed because I live alone. On the worst days, I need multiple naps, and I go to bed pretty damn early. I just don’t feel great the rest of the time. At the same time, I think my case is rather situational. I can have fun and be happy. It just seems to happen less often these days.

I also have to say that my situation is much milder than when I was under the influence of famotidine last Summer. At that time, I did not want to even get off the couch. I’m mostly functional right now, just not doing great, energy-wise.

I like to brag that my energy is not a problem when I have a partner around. This is entirely true. When a partner  is around, I don’t need naps, and I can go to bed late without forcing myself to stay awake. These facts are difficult to explain unless I’m suffering from depression when I’m alone.

So when I don’t have a partner around, I’m depressed, but, when I do have a partner around, I’m fine. However, from past experience, I suppose that a roommate, or a friend would be just as good to deal with my depression.

I’ve also become a caregiver Dom last year. A caregiver Dom who cannot give face-to-face care to his loved ones is a sorry Dom indeed. However, for this I’d need more than a roommate or just a friend. I have my girlfriend, but, again, her mental health keeps her away from me.

I recently saw a psychiatric nurse. He decided to put me on lamotrigine to deal with my bouts of irascibility, my anxiety, and my mild depression. I’ve just started to take this medicine. I’m happy to report that no tentacles are sprouting out of my head yet, but it can easily take a month before it takes effect.

He also gave me the reference to a queer therapist who deals with social anxiety. He looked perfect on paper. However, I sent him an email this morning and I got an automated reply that he’s on leave for a month!

Bloody hell! 🤬

Finding mental health help can be so hard!

I’ve considered again trying to find roommates, but that’s a very long shot. I’m queer. I’m polyamorous. I’m 50. I’m disabled. That’s a lot of baggage in the eyes of other people. I’m also not looking to sneak into a house with roommates and hide my real identity. Only for them to discover later who I really am and give me grief over it.

So I’ve decided to move closer to my girlfriend, in an apartment. It won’t bring roommates into my life, but it will bring me closer to her and have more access to her. I will also live closer to the big city and this will improve my chances at finding friends, and other partners.

“How about you find a job?” you ask. Yes, I would have coworkers then.

Well, with my social anxiety, and my disability, I’m still waiting to look for another proper job. My job right now is to write. I talked about it to my psychiatric nurse, and he’s of the opinion that it is too early to figure out the job issue. He wants me to work on my social anxiety first.

Maybe in time, I’ll kick this depression, and my social anxiety.

I sure hope so.

My mother was not so fortunate, but her case was chronic depression and alcoholism, and not at all situational.


Little did I know when I was writing this article that I was on the verge of going through hell. The girlfriend I mentioned above? Yeah. She broke up with me shortly after I published this article. Then she revealed that she had backstabbed me. I cried a river over this breakup. I’m no longer in hell, but I went through a really tough period.

I still need naps. However, I don’t need them as much as I used to, and what I need now I do chalk up to me being autistic.

I did not know yet that I was autistic when I wrote this. I’d say that this article is a good illustration of the problem that undiagnosed autistic people face. We have difficulties, but we cannot identify why. This just makes us feel broken in some strange way.

I’m no longer in a fallow period regarding friends. The benefits that I mentioned about moving closer to the city did materialize, except for being closer to my ex-girlfriend. I regularly go to events in town. I also have a cat.

My situation has definitely improved. I’m happy about this. However, I’m still searching for stable partners. I need to care for someone.






4 responses to “At 50 I’m Realizing I’m Not Made To Live Alone”

  1. Debbie Hazelton Avatar

    @yourautisticlife Hi, I think that is a whole lot to deal with. What about a support group, or even a virtual one if there's nothing in your area? A job of some sorts would give you people contact. Even if you feel alone, you're not alone. Many fully-functioning people feel alone. I think most people need and want community. I'm glad you wrote this. Please take care of you. You are more resilient than you realize. 🙂

    1. yourautisticlife Avatar

      Thank you. I do have a couple of support groups for people with autism. My job is writing for this blog, and tutoring. The tutoring job does provide for contact with some folks.

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