Homesick: What To Do When I Miss Me

We can also be homesick from ourselves.

One of my closest friends partook in mass migration during the pandemic. Anywhere outside of New York seemed much more appealing to raise a family. We were on Facetime one day after work and she most dramatically counted the many ways in which she missed New York.

Sidenote: If you had a mid-to-long-term relationship with NY lifestyle and food you'd understand the need for the drama. This is no regular relationship. NY is no regular state. 

She expressed how difficult it was to feel at home. But most of all, she missed herself. At that point, I realized had missed me too.

I felt distressed, and less grounded than I've ever felt. I was physically at home, but emotionally I was not in a place that felt familiar.


We were both homesick.


When we think of being homesick, it's often applied to its most typical definition. The emotional distress that you feel when you're away from home or in an unfamiliar environment away from home.

By its true definition, we can also be homesick from ourselves. When someone says I miss me, it can be a symptom of homesickness from self.

A sense of longing that makes of us feel like we are no longer feel grounded in who we are. We crave the person we used to be, the positive feelings we once had, and perhaps the life we used to live.


So how do we emotionally find our way home?

Here's what I did.

 

 

Define the feeling. 

Being homesick is a bit different from dissociation.

Dissociation is a natural response to trauma that makes you fee disconnected from the world around you. You may feel uncertain of yourself, have multiple personalities, and even a reduced emotional response to pain. Being homesick is a feeling of longing, searching to re-identify or re-unite with your sense of self, and love for self.

Homesickness can at times be confused with dissociation, however if you feel more of the latter, we recommend seeking professional help.

 

 

Determine what changed.

Life is meant to change and we are meant to evolve. But inherently we tend to maintain the same needs emotionally. Did working from home disconnect you from the social life you've once had? Did starting a family or business lead to less me-time? 

 

 

Write a letter to your future self. 

Keep it short-termed. This would enable you to celebrate the little wins along the way.

 

 

Post reminders, to do something you enjoy. 

Reminders to connect with someone you love. Reminders to be calm, stop, and listen to the world around you. 

 

 

Treat yourself. 

When I identified the feeling, I made myself responsible for the sense of self-loss I felt. I approached it as a romantic relationship where I wanted to rekindle the love that seemingly began to wither. 

I started by sending a gift to myself with the note " to the woman I love, from the person who misses you".

This gift can be something like a bouquet. I sent myself a 3 pack assortment of Belmont Peanuts. Still the best peanuts I've ever had.

That was 5 years ago and I still have that note as a reminder of the relationship I've built with myself.

 

 

Burn a candle. 

This one is optional.

A practice of multiple cultures and religions involves burning a candle. It can symbolize a memory, it can honor someone, or even symbolize a new beginning.

In our case, the candle serves two purposes. It is a gauntlet for grief and a vessel for a new beginning. By lighting a candle we can grieve the person we miss, the life we used to have, and the relationships that may have molded us. And in doing so it opens up a channel for us to refocus on the person we want to become or return to. 

Burning a candle allows us to calmly experience these states.


Being homesick is a common and often ignored feeling. Remember that it's always possible to find your way back to you.


As a nudge to an item we love, a Homesick Candle has been added to the Feel Good Giveaway. Feel Lucky? Enter here.

 

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