“Only you, in the entire universe, believe that somehow you are to blame…Perhaps it’s time to let that go—that lie.” ~ The Shack by William Paul Young
The last few weeks have been hard. Things have happened in my world that have left me feeling tired, stressed, and feeling like I’m the only one who can deal with the problems that have cropped up in my world. I have let myself go into a funk about these issues in my life and it’s a pretty bleak place to be.
I am single and the easy answer is that I feel alone because I’m not in a relationship. There are days when it would be the greatest relief in the world to have another person to lean on who’s equally vested in the outcome. Hell, there are days it would be a huge gift to have someone simply offer to take the trash out for me.
When I’m eating out by myself, I frequently see couples dining out together who never look at each other and who rarely exchange a word. They watch nearby televisions or check their phones during the entire meal. They simply co-exist in the same space and time. They are no longer relating to each other. I have been in that place and I choose never to go back there.
Being single is not the reason I hit the wall sometimes. I don’t know of many people my age who think a relationship is the answer to their problems. Often, it just complicates the problems you already have. I have been a participant in relationships where the two of us have been together every single day and there were still times when I felt completely alone.
I don’t feel alone because I don’t have family who are there for me whenever I need them. At least two of my daughters would willingly drop whatever they have going on to be there for me. I have other family members who are always there to listen and help whenever they can.
I don’t feel alone because I don’t have accessible friends. I always have people I can call who will pick up the phone day or night. They may be busy sometimes, and they may not say the words I want to hear, but they’re there for me.
I have a strong support system, but there are times I feel absolutely, completely alone. I know I’m not, but I still feel that way. You see, in order for all these people to be there for me, I have to reach out to them.
I have a strong need to not feel like I’m burdening other people with my problems. I recognize that there’s more than a little bit of a martyr complex in being willing to take on the pain others experience while not being willing to share my pain with them. God forbid I allow myself to show weakness.
In a healing session a few years back, I was reduced to a sobbing mess while trying to say the words; “My voice is as important as anyone else’s.” That sentence felt selfish and impolite to me. I laid there and cried while listing all the reasons I couldn’t say that simple sentence. I thought I had gotten past that block, but obviously, despite all the work I have tried to do on myself, the feeling is still there. I can chalk it up to any number of reasons, but it’s still something I need to move past to move forward in health.
While my friends and family are there to support me, there is one person in my life who is a cold, heartless critic of everything I do that she considers “wrong.” That person is me. We hear a lot about how our inner voice is so much harsher than any voice we would use towards others; for me, this is achingly true.
When I’m feeling bad, I even criticize myself for letting myself feel that way. I accuse myself of holding a pity party and relentlessly judge myself for feeling sad or lonely or weak. My inner voice yells that feeling sorry for myself doesn’t change a damn thing.
I can’t imagine ever letting another person in my life who judges me the way I judge myself. I have put in the work and effort to know that I need to change how I relate to myself. I know I need to nurture my inner child. I know I need to do affirmations on a daily basis to move past these low times.
99% of the time, I follow these paths to lift myself up and they help. 99% of the time I am optimistic and look for the positive. 99% of the time I live by the midnight rule and don’t let myself drag the negative of one day into the next. Unfortunately, that other 1% is there and it sucks.
Tomorrow will be better and I will be able to see ways to get through my challenges. I’ll laugh and be goofy and I might even wonder why I let myself get so low. Right now though, I am tired, stressed, and ready to build a blanket fort to hide in. Until tomorrow, you’ll know where to find me.