Have you ever been with someone and never felt more alone?
I have been in several relationships that I would consider “serious.” Sure, I am only 27 but I have been dating since I was 15 and every boy/man I dated I thought I was FOR SURE going to marry him.
The thing is, within all these relationships, I was with ‘him’ but I was still lonely.
I felt this crippling anxiety when he didn’t text me in the morning.
I felt abrupt alienation post sex.
I felt the utmost annoyance when the deep feelings I had were not reciprocated.
I felt gloomy even when the sun was shining.
I thought that my day began with him and my night ended with his satisfaction.
Loneliness is paralyzing. Combine loneliness with depression, PTSD and panic disorder and you have a cocktail for a shitty life.
I remember laying in bed, staring at the back of his head while he slept soundly.
“why doesn’t he understand me?”
“why doesn’t he care about me in the same intensity as I do him?”
“when will he start treating me better?”
“when will he realize that what he says hurts me?”
“how can I get him to respect me?”
“does he do this on purpose?”
“will I ever be enough?”
After these relationships, I would quickly gravitate toward the next man. It was like an addiction trying to fill a void. Swipe left, swipe right, who is next?
The problem is that I always ended up feeling empty. Sex would fill me to just below the brim, but not the whole cup. Companionship would get me through a few months and provide laughter, but my pot wasn’t boiling over like I craved. The joy of getting to know someone was a quick ignite but also a quick burn out after I realized that they just truly fucking suck.
After I realized that nothing will truly fill me except me, I made the decision to take a break. I am taking a break from searching for a man. I am taking a break to heal past wounds. I am taking a break from the feeling of being at the beck and call of a man. You can read about why I am taking a 6 month break from relationships here.
So while I used to feel lonely in and outside of a relationship, now I am just alone. I don’t feel emptiness, I don’t feel like I need to search and I don’t feel like I want someone checking on me. When I started therapy I had told my therapist that I truly did not know what people did who were not in relationships. I couldn’t imagine that their lives could be fulfilling. Now, I can’t imagine sharing my life with someone because I am so busy doing my own things. I actually feel annoyed when men want to share in my joy (Yes, sure, I will talk to my therapist about this but just let me marvel in this for a bit).
Standing alone can be challenging, right? It isn’t all sunshine and rainbows (though lets just think about sitting on the back porch, reading a great book by yourself, basking in the morning sun and then you see a mother-fucking rainbow..wow, perfection).
It is rough to create content without a sounding board of a significant other. It can also be super empowering to be like “I created this and I don’t need to feel like I need permission to post it.”
I have found that through this journey of being alone, my standards of people who I want around me are much higher. I can’t handle the soul sucking negativity. I can’t listen to the boring and mundane chatter of men from dating apps. I am not interested in moving on to the next person when I am truly not even over the first. Healing takes time and I am the only person who can give myself the freedom to take the time.
Being alone is a choice, loneliness is debilitating feeling and a mindset. Being alone can be empowering and challenging and it is much better than trying to fill up within a relationship where I know I will end up feeling lonelier than ever.