Sitting in My Loneliness
Ever since I was a kid, I had trouble making friends. I was the lone wolf who knew a lot of people and bounced from one group to another. My gift for gab and fixation on certain interests (I’m still a Celine Dion fan, by the way) gave the impression that I was never alone. From age 11, I made it a practice of mine to always be nice to others. My reason was that I knew people could hide their inner feelings just as I had. The truth is everyone is wearing a mask to get through the day. So, it is important to be nice to others because everyone has a breaking point, and I didn’t want to be anyone’s breaking point.
Throughout my adolescence, I toyed with the idea of escaping the sadness I was feeling. I felt sad because I never felt I could really get close to anyone, and I wanted to stop the pain. A few times, I believed suicide would alleviate what I was feeling. Now that I am older, my thought process is to hold on for something better. I have trained myself to believe that what I am searching for has not arrived yet. So, I continue holding on. When I think about the life I have planned in my mind’s eye, it brings me so much joy.
I do still feel pain sometimes though due to the lack of closeness. Honestly, I do not think anyone can really read me well. When I interact with people, they feel comfortable opening up to me and being close with me by sharing their innermost thoughts and secrets. A few people have told me that they felt like I could read their minds. I never felt that way about anyone.
These past few years have been especially hard on me. Eight years ago, I walked away from the religion and community I grew up in, losing all of my friends that I grew up with and developing distance from my family. As a result, I spent my first year as a new mom completely isolated. A year after that, I moved to a foreign country for love and found that what I thought I had was not fulfilling what I really needed. Fast-forward to the pandemic and my plans of building new friendships were dashed. So, yeah, now is definitely a hard time. I keep holding on, though, believing that the life I want is in some not too distant future.
A few years ago, I went to a funeral for a young man. I didn’t know him, but I knew his grandmother which is why I was there. Everyone was talking about what a joyful young man he was and how they were confused about his death. It did not take long for me to deduce that this young man took his life. At the time, I was in the closet. So, I was going through some difficult feelings myself. I would spend moments alone crying to relieve pressure from feeling sad about the fact that if I ever came out I would lose my family.
Listening to everyone talk about this man I didn’t know made me feel for him because I knew what it was like to hide behind a smile. Everyone said that if they knew how he was feeling they would have reached out to him. They felt like he should have told them. I understood why he did not reach out, though. No one wants to be a burden. When you consider ending your life, you believe you are removing a burden. At least, that is how I saw it. After that funeral, though, I realized that suicide adds more burden. The people you love are hurting and blaming themselves for your death.
This time of year after the Christmas and New Years' holidays is hard for many people. It is definitely hard for me. However, I always remind myself that life is a marathon, not a sprint. So, I keep going. If you feel like it is hard to keep going, I just want to remind you to give yourself a bit more time to stop hurting. Take a hot shower and go to bed. Maybe tomorrow will feel better. If that does not work, go for a walk. Call a friend. Journal. Binge a show on Netflix. If you still cannot hold on, reach out to a suicide prevention hotline. I know it can be hard to hold on, but the despair and pain you are feeling will pass. If you have ever fractured a bone in your body, you know that pain is temporary. You just have to see it through.