(Daily Prompt 7:) When was the last time you felt really, truly lonely?
I put down my collection of Anne Sexton poems, turn down the volume of my favorite The Smith’s album (the world won’t listen) and think: I can’t really remember – I only ever feel really, truly lonely between 5 and 11 pm on weekdays and between 11 am and 12 pm on weekends.
Alright, that was my first reaction to the prompt – a coping mechanism: when it’s too difficult to face reality (I feel really, truly lonely too often; I feel really truly lonely right now), resort to humor/sarcasm and laugh at it instead. I always hope it might get annoyed and just go away. Of course, it never does. It’s a true pain in the a**.
This isn’t a blog post I meant to write. Right now, though, I can’t write anything else. So I’m writing this, sometimes you have to surrender to the words that want out the most to move on.
I’m just not sure whether I’ll publish it.
Some bits and pieces – realities that won’t go away:
If anyone ever cared to look close enough, they would see the scars on my shoulders (not the ones on my hips, the ones in the crook of my arm – and the ones on the soles of my feet, they healed quickly). They’re the remains of other times, times when I felt really, truly lonely, when I looked for someone to blame, someone to take it out on. In the end, I only took it out on myself.
These are old scars. That’s why sometimes I trick myself into thinking: I’m different now. I have learned how to hurt without hurting myself. Yesterday wasn’t a good day, this isn’t a good morning. It’s still early and I’m about to smoke my third cigarette for the day. Yes, I’m different now. But I haven’t yet learned how to hurt without hurting myself.
It’s funny how some things are more socially acceptable than others, even though in the end, they mean the same. It’s funny how no one ever cares to look close enough.
It’s funny how some things never change.
Loss: a lack, an absence somewhere inside – something you can’t quite locate.
Or maybe not.
Loss: a weight, something growing inside. Something spreading out until you don’t know where it ends and you begin, where you end and it begins, until it begins where you begin and it ends where you end, until you feel so heavy you wish you could truly lose: this feeling.
It doesn’t leave room for anything else: no room to think, to feel, to breath.
Loss: it’s hard to let go, even though all you want is to feel light again.
What does it mean to really, truly feel lonely? What does it mean to really, truly struggle? I’m struggling: I’m trying to see things how they are. I’m trying not to look for problems where there aren’t any. No real ones, at least.
A hurricane that sweeps across a city and leaves behind nothing but damage: a real problem. Flooded streets, destroyed homes, no electricity, death even: real problems. Is a hurricane that sweeps across your soul a real problem? Is the metaphor weary? Should I simply pull my sh** together and be thankful for the roof over my head?
Something I’d say to a friend: If you’re hurting – it’s very real. I don’t know if I should believe myself. I don’t know, but: the struggle, at least, seems very real. It always has.
I’m spending so much time cleaning up wreckage. This is not the best way to look for perspective.
How to deal.
I’m not my scars and my history, she sings. For a second I believe her: I can be different. But the feeling quickly fades. I don’t really believe it. I’ve been trying to run away from the scars, all the pieces of my history (maybe I love traveling so much because I’m constantly looking for a place free of all the things that could remind me of them).
Yet, they’ve always come back to haunt me: there may have been different stories along the road, but in the end, hurt always sat in the same places. Like picking at wounds you thought healed long ago to find them bleeding all over again. I have patterns I can’t break: I find myself caught up time after time and all that breaks is something in my chest – a red mass splintering like glass or broken bones.
I’ve been wondering: maybe it’s not really about getting rid of them anyways. Maybe it’s more about accepting them and accepting that, despite of everything, there is still room for more. Room to heal. Second chances. I’ve been wondering.
Do I really believe all this?
Conclusion (sort of).
Do I feel really, truly lonely? Today, I know I do. Tomorrow might be different. There’s room for more.