Loneliness is a sad, sorry state. I’ve always been wary of being alone. I left my family when I was relatively young, but I was lucky enough and patient enough to build strong relationships with friends and long-distance relationships with family because I never wanted to be alone. I got married, started a family of my own and thought I really would never be alone. But then, years in, I realized that we are, in fact, always alone.
Someone once said to me that I needed to harden myself against this fear because in the end everyone dies alone and there’s neither shame nor sorrow in living alone. This thought always made me a little sad. Then something happens, in my case it was the Husband’s illness… and I’m back at the idea of being alone.
The reality of this phase in our lives is that he’s alone with his illness, his recovery, his fight I can only sit by and observe, try to help, but in the end I can’t really know how he feels and by the same token, I’m alone on my end, he doesn’t know how I feel, how it’s affected me nor does he, or probably should he, care.
How to deal, how to claw my way out of this incomparable sadness, out of this quite possibly unjustified sadness, is a mystery to me. I often find myself looking at my life like I’m looking in a mirror towards a parallel dimension, another me, smiling, taking care of her children, her family, doing everyday mundane things, enjoying a holiday, talking to friends, and then there’s me, looking through the glass, a little sad, a little melancholic a knot in my throat that won’t let me cry but won’t go away either. A constant undercurrent of tension, clenched teeth, always, slightly on edge, possibly not enough to warrant real worry, but just enough to take the joy out of things.
I’m often confronted by the idea that the person I married, my other half, isn’t there for me, can’t be there for me, not right now anyway and I wonder what to do when I’m the one adrift. I don’t want to whine, I don’t want to assign blame where no blame can be assigned, but I feel how I feel and there’s not an awful lot I can do about it. So what do I do about it?
I find myself looking at other people now, people around me, working, living, smiling, doing their thing and I wonder if maybe they’re a little sad too, I search strangers’ faces wondering if maybe their smile doesn’t quite reach their eyes, and wondering how they do it, how they plod through their days, how they sleep through their nights. And I feel guilty (when don’t I?) because I think how lucky we are, the husband’s here, with us, my children are healthy and a joy to raise, we’re solvent, we have jobs to go to, a roof over our heads, no major crises befall us and yet the constant, relentless sadness sucking at my soul, making me feel so lonely I could cry but actually can’t. It’s inexplicable and inescapable and leaves me wondering what I should do.