May 2018 be the year I stop living in my head.
May 2018 be the year I stop feeling lonely because I will not let anybody in.
I am packing for the first trip home in over a year, and I am reflecting on how lonely I feel. I feel lonely with my husband in the next room. I feel lonely even after text and FB conversations with my best friends today. I feel lonely even after messages from people ecstatic to see me this coming week.
And I think about messaging some other people. People I shouldn’t necessarily message. People who are celebrating Christmas Eve with their families. And even if… even if I mentally place myself with them – I am still lonely.
I am lonely if I am at my friend Alan’s house with his giant family and perfect dog and his girlfriend and his amazing Mom who would wrap me presents and treat me to gifts like I am one of her own kids. I was invited there and if I wasn’t going back that’s where I would be. But I would still be lonely.
I would be lonely if I was with my own family tonight.
I would be lonely if I was in Africa, visiting Kenya, another place I was invited but cannot afford to be right now. I would be in the warm and sunshine with four pseudo siblings and another set of parents so excited to add to their Christmas and treating me like I am one of their own.
No matter where I am today, I would feel lonely.
A work friend, a very good work friend I’ve referred to here before (can’t remember the name I gave him) made a great observation last week. I wasn’t feel great, had been kind of walking around aimlessly at work and ended up sitting by his desk. He said “need to talk?” And I said “no.” He said “let’s go” and we went to a boardroom and he said:
It must be so incredibly lonely to be you. You know you needed to talk. You still won’t tell me what. And yet I am here, we are friends, and even if you want to share – you won’t. People like you. People love you. People respect you. There are so many people in your life who care. And until you let them in, you’re going to keep being lonely.
And this has stuck with me.
And he is correct.
So may 2018 be the year I let down my guard, may it be the year I learn to let people close. May it be the year I confront the anger and grief I have over so much of my childhood. And may it be the year I learn to let in these emotions and when they rise to the surface give voice to them instead of run from them, or bury them in alcohol.
As an article I just read states:
“It’s very important that you take it easy, and allow blocked feelings to slowly surface. And then have supportive people to discuss those feelings with. Unfortunately, you usually have to feel a significantly worse before you can feel better. But you will feel better.”
I shared that with a friend, someone I am letting in to this pain and process, tentatively. Because I am afraid. He said:
As hard as it is the thing to remember is that it is only at first, it’s won’t be shitty forever. And I promise that even though 2018 will start shitty we are gonna make sure that it ends with you better.
We are going to make sure it ends with you better.
2018 is the year I stop feeling lonely when I am surrounded by people who care.
There are people who love me. People who want to help. People who are there right now and two people (my husband and Lu) who have patiently been loving me for so long now.
It’s time to add to that arsenal and let the feelings rise up.
It’s time to stop living in my head.