Sunday, January 09, 2005

On loneliness

I know what depression is. I’ve been there. I was on paxil, zoloft, and elavil (not at the same time) for about 2 years during my marriage. It sucks to be depressed. I’m glad I’m not living in that state any more. Yes, I still have bad days once in a while. And missing Marty makes it difficult sometimes, but I have learned that my happiness can’t be based on another person. I read an article the other day that made a good point about that. It said,
“It’s when you view yourself as powerless, with your worth dependent on how someone else treats you, that love gets corruppted. Letting men determine who we are is the negative hinge that turns desire into vulnerability, changes our bodies from sites of pleasure to sites of betrayal, and transforms solitude into loneliness. I think that when people say they’re lonley, what they’re really saying is that they don’t like their own company. And something should be done about that, because if you don’t like your own company, then you’re the victim of whoever passes by.”

A while back I had a conversation with Patrick about being lonely. He seemed to think that all it would take is having someone special in his life, someone to love to be happy. I think that if he really feels that his happiness is based on that, he’s in for a huge surprise. I’m glad that he’s found someone and it seems to be going well for him, but he needs to learn to love himself too. (Sorry Patrick)

I am glad to have found Marty. I am happy with him. Sometimes I’m frustrated by him. He brings a smile to my face and makes me feel good. But even without him I would be o.k. (No, we’re not breaking up or anything) But the point is that even if we did, it would be painful and hurt for a while, but I would still live and move on. Just as I know he would. (Though I would personally hope that he’d be miserable and couldn’t live without me.) I read several other blogs and see other’s frustrations and pains. We all have them. But sometimes it’s really a matter of perspective sometimes.

I read a blog called “The Grumpy Old Man” written by a not so old guy dealing with some hard stuff right now including a battle with mental illness. He posted about being lonely today. I hope he doesn’t mind, but I’m quoting his blog here and putting in my two cents worth. My words will be in italics.

"Loneliness is…."

Sitting here in front of this stupid computer reading about other people’s lives and feeling left out.
Sitting here in front of this stupid computer reading about other people’s lives and feeling lucky to be able to do so. To explore a world that isn’t mine. Having the hope of what could be or being thankful that it’s not.

Having so much to give and no one to give it to.
Having so much to give and doing what I can to give to whomever will take it. And if not, save it up until someone comes along.

Being in a crowd of people and feeling uncomfortable about it.
Being in a crowd of people and realizing that even though I’m uncomfortable, I’m there for a reason and it could be worse.

Listening to your favorite song and others think it is crap.
Listening to your favorite song and not caring what anyone else thinks. It’s my opinion that matters.

Not being in a majority.
Happy that I’m not conforming to the majority because I have my own ideas, opinions and am a free thinker.

Having five dollars in my billfold until Monday.
Thankful I have five dollars in my billfold until Monday. I’ve done with much less on welfare and would have been happy to have even that at times. After all, it’s better than nothing. Think of the people hit by the tsunami that have lost their families and everything.

Having someone say they love you and you don’t feel the same in return.
To be so lucky to be loved by another. Even when you don’t feel the same, surely it’s good to mean something to someone.

Looking up at a dark winter’s sky and realizing how small you really are as an individual.
Looking up at a dark winter’s sky and realizing how lucky you are to be in this world and have it out there to enjoy.

Cooking a great meal and there is only you to enjoy it.
Cooking a great meal and being thankful you don’t have to share it.

Lying in a warm bed late at night with only your thoughts to keep you company.
Lying in a warm bed thankful it’s warm having thoughts where you can figure things out, imagine the possibilities, and keep it all to yourself.

Having a best friend that is a cat whom you do not own and he drives you nuts.
Having a best friend that is a cat because they give you unconditional love despite the fact he can drive you nuts.

Watching your neighbor’s friends come and go by the number of revolving cars in their driveway.
Watching your neighbor’s friends come and go and be thankful you don’t always have to have the house clean with so many people coming by.

Looking in the mirror and realizing you have aged.
Looking in the mirror and realizing you have aged, but you still have your health and know that it’s a part of life.

Getting all dressed up with no where to go.
Getting dressed up just because it makes you feel good.

Picking up the phone and having second thoughts about calling.
Picking up the phone and having second thoughts about calling and being glad that you caught yourself before saying something you regret.

Turning on the TV just for background noise.
Turning on the TV just for background noise and glad to have it.

Having an illness that few understand.
Having an illness that few understand, but realize there are far worse illnesses out there and happy that you’re dealing with it as best you can.

Being in a family of extremely social ladder climbers and you are afraid of heights.
Being in a family of extremely social ladder climbers and though you’re afraid of heights, realize that there is a wider world out there without ladders and be content to explore it as you are.

I am by no means an expert in happiness. I have my share of bad days like anyone else. I've had my own pity parties and written whiney blogs. But when it comes to being lonely, I find it sad. I've been there too. It's not a fun place to be. If you don't want to be there, though, you have to change your thinking. And when you have been thinking a certain way for a long time, it's difficult. If you want something more, you'll have do something about it. I get tired of people whining "nobody loves me" when they hate themselves. When they say they don't have any friends when they never leave the house. When they're unsatisfied with their lives and yet they live the same way day after day. Loneliness isn't a way of life. It's a state of mind.

O.k. I'll get off my soapbox now.


Andrew said...

Hey Annabel,

I enjoyed reading this and didn’t mind you commenting at all. If you could see me a year ago and how far I have come you would be amazed. My failing health, my divorce, and the subsequent homelessness devastated me. I usually don’t have a problem with depression any more.

Last night, I had just spent all evening with my family and hated to be home alone. I was having a rare pity party for me and you will not see many posts like that on my blog. It felt good to bitch and moan and air my feelings last night openly. I really don’t know why I hit publish on that post. I almost took in down early this morning as I realize it came across as whiney and stupid.

I am immensely grateful for the good things I have and I have come a long way. I have rebuilt all the burned bridges between me and my family. I now have a medication that gives me, for the most part, a “normal” life. I have bought a new modest home and am working on improving it. I am back in school and working part time. I feel in control of my destiny again after a year of hard work; working on me.

I have the opportunity for having a significant other in my life at this time but choose not to. I am just not ready for the complications a relationship can bring. I have enough on my plate as it is. I am content most days with being single and do not measure my worth or well being by another human being or girlfriend.

Anyways, thanks for reading and thanks for adding your views and commentary on my little pity party last night. I am in a completely different frame of mind tonight than from last night. Take care, Annabel and kept up the good blogging.

Cary said...

And it's also nice to know when we're dealing with the most difficult parts of our life, and when we share it hereabouts, we have those in the blogging community both other authors and as lurkers who sympathize with us and understand what we are going through, offering support and a good word.

Then I don't feel quite as lonely.