I am a lonely person. I have done a lot of stupid things because I was lonely and wanted someone, anyone, to keep me company. I learned my lesson when I used that mentality to date someone who was horrible for me and I generally maintained the single label until I began dating Chris.
I thrive in relationships. This isn’t to say that I need to be in a relationship. Rather, it is a part of me I know. I enjoy taking care of others. I enjoy giving. Chris and I were very much a mutual relationship. We took care of each other. We both thrived having someone to love and love us selflessly in return. He, honestly, taught me what unconditional love (outside family) was.
So now, here I am, almost 4 months into this new chapter of my life. A season in which the loneliness feels like it is going to swallow me whole. I feel like there is this black pit that I am falling into and I am grasping at the edges, so tightly wanting someone, anyone, to save me. To just be with me.
I tell people – “I need you to text me. I need you there at 3 am when the lonely feels like it is all consuming. I need you there at 1 pm when tears start falling because I am selfishly sad that I am physically alone again. I need you to just be. To understand that to clear my head, to help the lonely, I need to feel like someone is there. Even if you don’t respond. But please respond if you can. I need you because I don’t have him.”
Even then, it takes over at times. Yesterday, before darkness even hit, I was in a store when I just felt completely alone. I was within arms reach of my cousin, yet I felt the world fall away as I was overtaken with the blackness that is life without Chris.
To be completely honest, I am terrified this is how it will always be. That Chris was it, that the lonely is going to overtake me forever. While I know in my heart that is unlikely, my head knows it is possible. It is very possible that I will find no one who understands that Chris is part of my life and will stay such. That no one will understand why his writing is inked into my skin and why I keep the lock around my neck.
This is a whole new level of lonely as i wasn’t alone for a couple of years. I’d found my partner and he is gone. He made it very clear that I wouldn’t be alone, that should something happen he knew I wouldn’t remain physically alone forever. Yet that fear is there.
However, I am starting to realize that may be my reality romantically. There are relationships, though. There are those who I can text at all hours and ask to ‘talk talk’ when it’s too much. There are those who stay up until 5 am just to Skype with me so I don’t feel alone. There are those who stop everything to come see me when I tell them i can’t stop crying. There are those who know when I will really be physically alone and offer to come stay with me.
So while this is a whole new level of lonely, it is also a whole new level of understanding. It is a whole new level of realizing who is in my corner and who isn’t. Its a lonely time, yes, but it is also a growing time. So in this month of thanks, I am slowly learning to at least let myself begin to understand the lonely.