I’ve been thinking a lot about loneliness and how layered it is.
My brain keeps calling it ’emotional lasagna’.
When it comes up for me, it ranges from biting and sharp to a dull ache that persists for days. Sometimes loneliness is like a slap in the face laced with a stark emptiness and despair. Then there are the times when it feels like a thick blanket around me – a safe space to sit with my aloneness and my solitude. I think that this emotion is perhaps one of the most complex and varied. From the subtle way it can creep in like an old friend or punch you in the gut when you least expect it to.
Loneliness seems to me like the gateway emotion to other emotions. Sadness (this HURTS). Worry (will I be alone FOREVER). Anger (It wasn’t SUPPOSED to be like this).
Regret – so much regret.
I have come to accept loneliness as a part of my life; at least for now. And, as long as it is in its gentle form, I can manage it. When it hits me hard and unexpectedly, it can leave me crippled for days. Coming home last weekend from California to an empty house hit me hard. I sobbed. I ached for my family and my children. It felt like there were ghosts everywhere. Arms that were supposed to wrap themselves around me when I walked through that door. Shouts of, “Mommy is HOME!”. Not silence.
So much silence.
I expect my loneliness to be there when I wake up in my bed and there is a space next to me that used to be warm with someone else’s body. That ache ceased to surprise me months ago; it is familiar, predictable. I expect it to be there when I am out and about and see other families doing things together. When I am home alone and watching a movie on the couch with my dogs, it’s there beside me.
Holidays, birthdays, all of the special days. I will be alone for some of these.
Maybe someday I won’t feel lonely anymore. Maybe there will be a time when I really am all that I need. But hell, isn’t it nice to have someone to hug and hold onto? Isn’t that all a person really wants at the end of a long day?
Someone to talk to and share with. Someone to parent with and decompress about the day with. Someone there who sees you. Values you. Understands you. And loves you.