Loneliness in Short

Definition of lonely

lonelierloneliest

1a :being without company :lone 

  • too many lonely nights at home

b :cut off from others :solitary

  • the train stopped frequently at lonely little stations
  •  —Robert Hichens

2:not frequented by human beings :desolate 

  • lonely spot in the woods

3:sad from being alone :lonesome 

  • He was feeling lonely without his wife and children.

4:producing a feeling of bleakness or desolation

  • it’s a lonely thing to be a champion
  •  —G. B. Shaw

Merriam Webster

It’s a shadow to your steps, so easy to appear, so difficult to dissipate.  I find myself staring blankly at the wall or a screen and just feeling lost and incomplete.  It’s not only a desire to speak to someone, it’s the desire to speak to someone in particular.

I’ve had a few friends who have been in close contact with me recently, yet, over the last few days, that communication has simply ceased.  This isn’t from a fight or any drama–at least, not between the people involved.  It simply is.

My mental health has been shaky over the last week, so I’ve been the one to disappear from the computer.  Compounding that has been the loneliness.  The desire to speak to these particular people and just not being able to do so.

Who are you missing today?  Together, let’s reach out to those we love, even with a simple message of I care and I’m thinking of you.  Thank you, dear traveller, for existing, for choosing to continue to exist.  You are a part of why the world is so wonderful.

Discovering Blindness

As a child of divorce, I remember the fighting and tension rampant throughout the household.  I remember a father who seemed absent.  I remember my mother’s distance and unhappiness.  I remember being lonely, feeling different from everyone else.  I remember acting the clown.  I remember the day I hugged my mother tightly and was told, “You give the best hugs.”

To this day, I hug with my whole being.

There are many factors I neither knew nor understood as a child.  My father’s anger and frustration, for instance, was not directed at me for being different from him and also similar to my mother in many ways.  He did not disapprove of who I was.  He was hurting, deeply so, and scared for me.  My mother’s distance wasn’t because I wasn’t worth loving, it was the pain and confusion of discovering a new facet of who she could be.

They say that hindsight is 20/20, yet there are times that it’s often more than the inability to see all of the details: it’s the inability to see anything at all.  We are inherently blind to the world around us until something, an event, person, situation, forces our eyes to open.

To what might you be blind to, dear traveller?  Are there circumstances that you may not understand or see?  Is there a reason that you react in a certain–perhaps extreme–way to a situation that may not warrant it?  Clear eyes, to you and to me, throughout this week.  I pray that we begin to see, at least dimly, some new aspect of the world around us.

A Feeling of Worth

Looking back at my last post, I don’t feel like I offered anything to you, traveller.  For that, I apologize.  The bottom line question has worth, but the journey to get there was just as confused as my mind is on a day to day basis.  Welcome to my world?  A jest of sorts, for the both of us.

I have been wrestling, as you’ve no doubt guessed, with what to do about a particular set of circumstances in my life.  That prompted the last post, and is the basis of this and probably next week’s as well.  The price of sanity, wellness, and worth are not easily weighed.

When I was a child, I did not understand the intricacies and difficulties of losing one of the definitions of oneself.  I have recently left a job I’ve held– I feel successfully–for years, a job tied with a project I’ve been a part of since the very beginning, seven years ago.

I find myself adrift in this transition, uncertain of how I feel and, more worrisome, who I am.  When I think about it, I am overwhelmed.  I swim in a sea of confusion, fear, and, yes, grief.  The only answer I have is to go into this ocean of emotion and then break free of it, distracting myself with silly tv shows and lovely video games.  All with the knowledge that in another hour, or the  next day I must leap in again and try again to orient who and what I am within this new existence.

I am struggling, to be perfectly honest.  I feel so lost and alone right now, even surrounded as I am by loved ones.  I fear a piece of me has been ripped off with this transition, and I fear it was a bit of the core of who I am.  A part of me that I’ve always been proud of and admired in myself.  It feels gone now, this little chip of myself.

I hope this helps someone.  I hope there is a resonance or a memory being made for further down the road for someone out there.  It feels impossible, this ocean, but we are uniquely crafted to swim within it.

As ever, may your mind be clear, may your heart be full, and may you remember that you are a person of worth.  Live your life as though you are valuable, for you truly are worth everything.

Sanity’s Worth

Every day is it’s own kind of crisis.  As of late, each day has been its own special flavour of ‘nightmare’.  From the driver who nearly killed me twice on the highway to the catastrophic fail on the back end of a site I managed, each evening I am utterly drained.  I am guilty, currently, of focusing exclusively on the problems, enough so that I’ve let all else fall to the wayside: my writing, my self-care, my family.

It’s difficult to see this ‘failure’ in how I’ve been dealing with these different things in my life.   It’s harder to have your child agree that you’ve been short-tempered.  Even though my dear Spawn openly admitted that I had snapped at him, he also gracefully accepted my apology.

I often question what I’m doing with my life.  Playing around with entertainment sites rather than focusing on my projects.  I dug out my partial manuscripts–some more partial than others–and discovered I have eleven projects in various stages of completion.  Those sites, however, bring me pleasure and a sense of community, both key parts to self care.

Is it worth the time, energy, and emotion I put into it?  That’s the question, isn’t it?  Is there something in your life, dear reader, that seems to be a soul sucker rather than a spirit lifter? Is it worth your sanity to continue?

May your week be filled with peace and clarity.  May doors be open and your path enticing.

Yet Another BuJoer

I will admit to it.  I use a bullet journal.  For those who don’t know–and don’t quite want to follow the link to the system creator’s site currently–a bullet journal is a notebook used to swift daily/weekly/monthly planning and note taking.  I also use mine for journaling and my therapy homework.  Which simply proves the versatility of a bullet journal: you can use it any way that works for you.

There are so many videos about the how of a bujo and even different set-up ideas.  I highly recommend Boho Berry‘s series on them.  Of course, there’s also always Pinterest and Instagram for other ideas, too!

So here’s my why of my bujos.  Yes, I’ve upgraded to two, recently!

The first reason is that I have a mind like a sieve.  There have been numerous studies showing that writing things down is incredibly important for information retention.  The action of writing causes something very impressive and scientific that really sets the information in your mind.  I have always been exceedingly absent-minded.  Having a child made that worse.  My family often jokes about Momnesia, though I maintain my Spawn sucked out my brain juices whilst he was in the womb.  (He certainly obliterated my ability to handle caffeine, even now!)

A second reason is that I am visually inclined.  I like to see things written down and, in particular, pretty things.  So I have coloured pens and different sized black pens so I can make interesting designs and patterns to keep me engaged in keeping up with my bullet journals.  There’s also the ability to add in inspiring quotes and interesting thoughts and factoids.

Thirdly, my bujo is used for gentle daily planning.  Because I struggle with anxiety and depression, making a daily log is useful for keeping track of my GRAPES–if you have not read that post, I strongly suggest you do as it is incredibly useful tool to help with overall mental health, whether or not you’ve been diagnosed with anything!  Daily logs also help me to choose realistic goals for the day.  Writing ‘clean the entire house’ does nothing but overwhelm me, yet writing down that one of my long term goals is to get the house cleaned up, I can then break it down into smaller tasks that I can work on one at a time.  Those who are like me in the overwhelmed department will be able to see why such a tool is useful!

The final reason that I bullet journal is to keep a record of the things I’ve done.  My accomplishments are listed within those covers, and my ‘failures’ which show me what does and doesn’t work for me.  Life is a grand experiment, travelers!  And each day is an opportunity to learn more about yourself, who you are and who you want to be.

30 Definitions of Why

The last week has been filled with an incredibly amount of stress and frustration.  Of course that then feeds into the anxiety and depression, which increases the stress, and bam! Welcome back to the vicious cycle.

I have many therapy tools to help with the anxiety and depression, and it’s certainly time to put some into use.  Gratitude lists are a tool that I often see used particularly in bullet journals.  Today is the day to begin one: fostering the positives in my life rather than only the negatives.

Why don’t you make one for yourself today as well, dear traveller?  Together let’s find the things worth continuing on for.  Below you’ll find the start of my gratitude list, thirty reasons my life is worth living.

  1. Cloudy and overcast days
  2. Friends who listen to rants
  3. The warmth of an early day sun
  4. The incredible hard work of my staff members
  5. YouTubers
  6. My dogs
  7. Pancakes
  8. A delicious cup of tea in the mornings
  9. My spouse playing video games with me
  10. Volunteers and donations
  11. Wonderful books, new and re-reads
  12. Cute shirts
  13. Amazing therapists
  14. Couples counseling
  15. The Oxford comma
  16. DnD groups
  17. Brand new contacts
  18. When my favoured songs play on the radio
  19. Starbomb
  20. Brushing my teeth
  21. The moment when I realize I’m recovered from a sickness or injury
  22. Unsolicited hugs from my Spawn
  23. Writing the stories hidden within my mind
  24. The sound of pages printing
  25. Peel “pr0n” (This is not adult-rated content! lol)
  26. Puns
  27. Giving my dogs new bones
  28. Wood turning pens
  29. Sewing dragons
  30. The hope that my blog posts will someday help others

Within the Space Between

Boundaries are important.  They tell us where something begins and something ends.  I spend a lot of time thinking about these lines of demarcation.  One issue I struggle with is being aware and respectful of where responsibilities lie.  It is incredibly simple for me to take on projects and problems that aren’t mine.  Through (quite a bit of) therapy, it’s become easier to be aware of where others end and I begin.

As one therapist explained it, we act like pendulums.  We’re at one extreme or the other.  In this example, it’s taking on the entirety of a project versus not taking any of it at all.  To get to the middle ground means aiming towards the other–oft incredibly uncomfortable–extreme.  We must swing to the other side in order to find the balance in the middle.

“Existing in the space between” has been in my mind for a few days.  I sip cherry lemonade, stare out the window at the junk in our backyard because we migrated it all over in front of my window during another project.  I think about the boundaries around myself, the boundaries defining who and what I want to be.  Life, they say, is a never ending struggle.  There is no ending point throughout life.  Yes, besides death, you sassy traveller.

We swing on our pendulums, seeking perfect balance.  We can never reach perfection.  Our growth exists within the space that surrounds what we are and where we want to be.  It’s scary there, as though it is the cold reaches of space.  It’s a place of the deep black of uncertainty, punctuated by the stars that are our goals.  Do we have enough propulsion to get where we want to go?  Will we be sidetracked by another star?  Or sent askew by an unexpected asteroid?

I want to not be afraid of what awaits me in the sky.  Yet another pendulum that I follow from one way to the next, never stopping.

This week, locate your stars.  Let’s swing towards those goals, fair journeyers.  Follow the light through the dark expanses, knowing that you get to decide in which direction you swing.  And that this metaphor got a little complicated.

I May Be Wrong, But I’m Not Stupid

I find myself often in the peculiar place of being an author with no words.

Many times I struggle to articulate though I am a writer.  Words are my lifeblood.  Yet people often hear from me “I swear, English is my first language.”  It feels as though there is no excuse for my inability to convey concepts clearly.  And then it’s followed by such beautiful alliteration: ‘convey concepts clearly’.

Another piece of the duality of our nature, perhaps.  Or simply the existence of what we are.  ‘To err is human’, says Alexander Pope.  Is that the only way we can define ourselves?  Through our mistakes?  Through that which we aren’t?

Fairly recently–in the sieve that is often my mind that might mean three months or three years ago–a friend was talking with me about the scientific process.  People believe that scientists come up with a hypothesis and set to prove it.  The opposite is true.  They have an idea and proceed to try to disprove it.  It is the gaps between the knowledge that helps us define just what a thing is.

In American culture, we define failure as something bad.  It means that you are wrong, that you are the failure.  We have been trained that our worth is based on what we have done–good or bad.  But to err is human, and that is what each of us are.

That seems to be a saving grace.  When we err, we are defining some portion of ourselves.  No, that’s inaccurate.  Each mistake made is a precise moment that we see the edge of our boundary between us and not us.

Experimentation, my dear travellers.  Let us be as scientists and see what we can learn through the disproving of ourselves, the ‘failures’ and ‘mistakes’.  Let’s discover what we can of the big picture of ourselves and our world.

The Excitement Can Never End

A return to something is an unknown.  It’s like pressing through the glass of a mirror that is both you and not you.  You are Schrödinger’s cat, for better or worse.  You are a possibility as you stand on the cusp of possibility.

It’s no wonder to me that we love to lose ourselves in other worlds, just as the familiar trope of going through a glass to another land exists so strongly.  I am fascinated by the idea of going to a new place that is as familiar as it is unfamiliar–though anxiety often prevents me from seeking those opportunities in my real life.  Dare I dream a better world?  Or do I sink into the knowledge that I–in the cyclical nature of depression–will never find the happy endings I see in others?

There are many things I desire through my site, through this blog.  I desire to be heard in a world that loves its own voice.  I desire to help others, lost or not, who seek to reach out to find something both familiar and sane.  I desire to share the strange things that live in my head that, by definition, can only be the recycled remains of other ideas.  I desire to be original where there is no such thing as originality of thought; everything in our minds has been thought by another at some point in history.  I desire to normalize the fears that lurk inside your or others’ minds, fears such as anxiety and depression.  I desire to decrease world suck, as nerdfighteria says.  I desire to be known despite a strong fear of rejection.

I attempt again, therefore, to update this regularly, moving–for now–to a simpler schedule of once a week.  I seek to set the habit and be accountable.  So I hold myself accountable to you, traveller of the unknown, and seek to be a person you can count on.

Step forth into the world, into your possibilities, knowing that nothing is at simple as it seems and that is a large piece of the beauty in the world.

Entry to a Dark Place

Many times, I feel like two separate people: the familiar failure and the capable stranger.

I see myself and my life thus far and find myself lacking.  Personally, I never finished college, I didn’t go into an ‘accepted’ career, I never settled down fully into the role of mother.  I have a published novella that feels like an unhappy accident.  Daily I wrestle with anxiety and depression; there is a general and long lasting sense of hopelessness.  What chance have I, my own familiar failure, of ever being good enough?  Of accomplishing something real and true?

On a weekly basis, I attend quite a bit of therapy.  Currently I’m in an IOP program again.  This is my third bout.  My capable stranger is the one who attends.  That woman learns the tools, knows that not only are there good things on the horizon, but also that she can and will deal with the bad.  She exists in my mind, but when I look in the mirror I can find no trace of her.

I know these two entities coexist within me.  I understand that they don’t have to be mutually exclusive, that, in fact, it’s impossible for them to be.  Whatever you are today, whoever you’ve been in the past, there is always still the hope of your future and what light will enfold you there.

Safe journeys, dear travellers.