I know that I can use "since" at the beginning when I want to mean "because". Can I do the same when I want to refer to a time-moment? I feel like if I use "since" at the beginning of a sentence, people can think that I mean "because" despite the fact that I don't mean "because". For example if I say "Since I came back home, I feel happy", I think that people can think that I meant "I feel happy because I came back home" despite the fact that I meant "Since the time I came back home...". I know that I can use the emphasized version "ever since" at the beginning of a sentence by the way. Can I do the same with "since"? Or if I use it at the beginning, do I have to use the phrase "the time" after it like "Since the time I did.." instead of "Since I did..."?
I actually just noticed that the meaning of "since" can be mistaken for "because" when it's in the middle of a sentence too. How can you native speakers differentiate the meanings?