On the topic of loneliness

I’ve spent the better part of the last six months by myself.

Separation is a hard transition. There were nights when I couldn’t comprehend what it meant to lie in a bed alone. There were days when I would start to cook for two, realizing it was just me needing to eat. I was alone.

There were days sitting on the couch when I thought I couldn’t be any more alone – but as the days turned into weeks and weeks turned into months I’ve found I crave that time by myself.

And as I look back, I was never more alone than when I was in a relationship.

The scary part about being in a relationship with an alcoholic is the effect is has on the people who care about the alcoholic. I didn’t know it at the time, but I was even more alone with someone than without someone. Now that it’s over, there’s so much clarity in the silence.

I’ve gone from being alone and scared to simply being alone. It was a mixed bag at the time – relief and sadness, clarity and longing.

But something clicked in the last two months… I control when I’m alone. This isn’t loneliness, but rather a sense of understanding what I control and what I don’t control.

And if there’s anything I can share from this it’s you have to understand what you have the ability to control. You’ll never be able to change someone. The only thing you can control is your reactions to things that happen around you.

 

I just wanted you to know I’ve never been less alone than I am right now.

 

“How could I have thought that I needed to cure myself in order to fit into the ‘real’ world? I didn’t need curing, and the world didn’t, either; the only thing that did need curing was my understanding of my place in it. Without that understanding – without a sense of belonging to the real world – it was impossible to thrive in an imagined one.”
Jonathan Franzen, How to Be Alone
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On the topic of loneliness