The Sadness of Being Away and How Writing Might Help

I have some financial problems that I had left in my country. If not, I’m not here in Saudi Arabia typing these words in the first place.

Me and many overseas workers have to endure the sadness of not being physically present with our loved ones. The truth, some families didn’t survive the long-distance relationship even in this digital age. With social media sites and video-chatting, still, nothing beats personal human interaction. Nothing would. Nothing should.

Since I got here, not once did I video-chat my family. For the record, I just called my mother on her mobile phone thrice and all of them last not more than ten minutes. From time-to-time, I send private messages to her to make her at peace.

Why is that? Firstly, I don’t want to give my family every detail of my life because I don’t want them to worry much. Yep, even them might not be aware that this blog exists as of now. Secondly, I want to budget money by limiting my internet data consumption, one way is by not doing video chatting.

Yes, we can do cash advances. But, we didn’t get our first salary yet. I can’t afford to be careless with my money. I don’t want to get nothing in my first salary.

The absence of our residence IDs called Iqama disabled us to buy good internet prepaid cards. With three months unlimited surfing. With a faster connection, too. Never in my wildest dreams that I would encounter a country that requires a residence permit just to buy the best internet sim card. There’s nothing I can do about it anyway.

Photo Credit: Casey Jones via 500px cc

Photo Credit: Casey Jones via 500px cc

My Tank Is Empty

Over time I felt that home-sickness is kicking, I tried my best to forget my sadness by doing something else. I sweep and mop the floor. I laundry my clothes. I tried to talk to anyone even if it is just a small talk. I go to the rooftop. I go outside. I read the ebook. I listen to music. I dance with the music. I play Pou (virtual pet) on my tablet. I lift dumbbells (4 kilograms only, no more than that!). I journal in Diaro app. I pray silently. I pray with a Holy Rosary.

Last Friday, I did something for the first time at least in this country — I cooked. I did fried rice. Then yesterday, I did fried fish. “Fried” becomes my pride.

In short, I have to find anything as good sad-relievers. To fill up my emptiness.

I read in one of Jeff Goin’s blog posts that writer’s block is different from emptiness. I can spend hours thinking about what to write and be frustrated for non-existent words. Unless I do some refills, my writing is as empty as my imaginary container of self-esteem.

Writing Is Pain That Heals

If you want to write and you’re out of words, maybe you need to fill-up yourself first. Dr. John Gray coined it as ” filling your love tank.” After that, only then maybe you can write.

Writing is one of my best allies. It gives me some perspectives of where I am in life now. To see things as it is, and not worse than it is. And see things as it is, and better than it is. (this idea I got from Tony Robbins).

Many times, writing is like going back to the pain that you don’t want to feel anymore. Well, unless you’re a masochist, it’s normal to dismember the pain of the past.

Why do we love stories? Even sad and painful ones? I think because the pain adds color. Life is not a black-and-white clunky old TV set. Life is the latest slim LED HD TV model full with vibrant colors.

Most of us appreciate the rainbow more than the rain. One reason is that rainbow is obviously more colorful. As nature speaks, the rainbow follows after the rain. And if the rain is our pain, then the rainbow is our life stories. So our lives were painted in different colors of painful experiences.

Genuine joy is sometimes the offspring of our deepest sadness. We can enjoy many things when we came from nothing. We put more value to winning because of our losses.

The same way as I put a value into writing because it’s cathartic. I felt like a fraud using that “c” word but I think it’s the most appropriate.

Putting to the consciousness of our pain through writing seems unhealthy. Based on my years of writing journals, I got healed actually. I healed my inner wounds.

Writing is pain that heals. If it works for me, then it could also work for you. Much better, your pain can heal others as well.

Writing helped me defeat temptations. Especially in my situation now that I’m almost on my own, writing keeps me aware of my frailness and vulnerability. Fortunately, I’m locked in one of the world’s most conservative Islamic country. The country’s numerous restrictions forced me to behave accordingly. Or else, I don’t want to even think of the consequences.

To be fair, I’m in a peaceful place by the way. Sometimes, I’m thinking it’s much peaceful here than my home country.

Obviously, writing is not always painful so as life is.

I also believe writing is not always the solution. In whatever ways, always remember to fill your love tank.

Either it’s by writing or not, just always fill your empty self.


4 thoughts on “The Sadness of Being Away and How Writing Might Help

  1. Mimic Nature

    Writing helps me as well! You are right, joy is the product of our deepest sadness…how would we know joy without sadness? How would we know love without hate? It may seem like duality but it’s not, it’s all lessons for us to learn and discover our true self.


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