A lot of the days that have come to pass were spent alone. Internal struggles of putting forth the effort to get out there and be part of the world, connect with others feels like a bitter obligation. It is easier to stay in, I rationalize on most days until the stretch of days spread out over weeks and then months.
I got dressed, took the dogs and went to the park to walk ( and be around other people ) after two weeks of isolating. As I walked, I verbally acknowledged other walkers usually met with the same in return but nothing more as footsteps led me away to further aloneness. I noticed that some I encountered I didn’t feel like putting in the effort to say “hello” as they walked past. Why would this be? Because I knew it would lead to nothing more or I wanted someone else to make the effort toward me? Getting back in the car and emptiness sat down behind the wheel with me.
Surely, I am not the only person who lives alone, is alone, stays alone most of the time.
While I continue to battle with the idea of putting forth more of an effort to live and enjoy my life these are the things that end up occupying my mind:
I don’t really know how to go forward in a conversation with strangers after the initial exchanges, even when there are shared interests. I reflect on the many times at a party or gathering where standing alone after introductions was the norm and I wanted to just disappear. I would slink out the door and return home to my safe place.
I reflect on my time spent in graduate school where I was suddenly thrust into a room full of people and the thrill of it brought about a strange kind of joy that effected me in an unhealthy and compulsive way, I was the one in the room who always talked, volunteered, raised their hand, etc… annoying most of those around me, yet I felt compelled to behave in this manner with obvious difficulties surrounding impulse control. I ended up not making friends. Reflecting back, it was like I was being obnoxious intentionally to keep other’s away? Or that I was so happy to be part of something so dynamic and around other intelligent people that I almost felt manic for the few years I spent time in those classes. Maybe it was a misguided attempt to display that I was happy, outgoing and ready to participate. Maybe all of these elements were at play. I do recall toward the end of the graduate program stress that the end was near troubled me as I feared the return of my alone-ness. I just wanted to be liked and noticed and for others to want to be my friend, that didnt’ happen even after I tried to befriend others by taking those first steps.
This state of being is not new for me. I recall working in jobs that I dreaded each morning and other jobs that were more bearable only to find that at the end of the day, feeling exhausted I would return home and lie for hours in front of the T.V. Fridays were the worst, not because I liked working but because I knew that I would lay around in my home all alone for the next couple of days until the dreaded Monday morning would return and it all started over again. Ugly cycle of life.
I have taken classes to meet others while pursuing vague interests with no friends to speak of as I would drag my tired and depressed body to the appointed time and place. The one instance where I did make a friend, in the end I was greatly betrayed.