I have never really been a lonely person. I have been told I am a bit of a loner at times but have always felt surrounded by family and friends. I would say I am lucky to have lifelong friends that will always support and love me. As for my parents, well, they are the most beautiful people in my world and have loved me the way humans are meant to love their children. There was an incident at age 13 where I was nothing short of a little lunatic. I was mad at my mom for something, funny how we can never remember what. Standing across the kitchen from her, I blurted out, “you’re such a bitch!”. The way that word dripped off my tongue with such venom, hate, and animosity was quickly replaced with stunned silence. She came across that floor like a ninja and slapped me square in my mouth. Sitting there on my ass, I had the first realization that maybe there are lines that can be crossed even if someone loves you dearly. Even given that early lesson, I never felt anything other than complete devotion from them.
All through my adult life, I collected strays. People and animals. Even when I was alone, I wasn’t really isolated. I could be happy sitting in a restaurant, reading a book, enjoying the solitude. Or, I could be whooping it up in a bar, dancing the night away with countless friends. I used to jump in the car to take ‘road trips’. If anyone wanted to come for the adventure, great. If not, I would be just as happy. Not having the phone ring for days, no problem, I would entertain myself and revel in the non-responsibility of someone else’s whims. If I had company, I would try to make that experience mutually satisfying. I was able to do that quite well with humor, liquor, physical activity, and at all times having a huge pair of shoulders to lean on. I loved to throw parties. Don’t bring a thing, just yourself. Afterward, I would revel in the quietness that followed knowing that fun was had by all.
Isolation was not a burden back then. It followed a whirlwind of good times and was a healthy way of recharging for the next escapade. It was self-imposed isolation. A tool used to distance myself and just feel me. A chance to reflect on what social crimes I may have committed. Time to examine my lifestyle and if it was satisfying or not. A moment to understand the importance of friends. I felt loved. And most of all, for me, to try to figure out what I bring to the table of life. I never thought it would be any different.
Today, isolation is a burden.
It is no longer self-regulated. It is a symptom of this sucky disease. It is not a choice. It is a sentence handed down by the fates. Sure, I could still reach out to people with my god-given talents, whatever those may be, but it appears, it’s not enough. The nature of this beast does not lend to happy, good times. There is no spur of the moment. Try to plan something for the future, probably not going to happen. Wanting desperately for others to understand what you go through on a daily basis is just sheer torture. Wanting to be happy for them and their totally healthy lifestyles and continuing growth in life knowing they can’t reciprocate, makes me want to stick a fork in my eye. The guilt of those feeling run deep. It is hard to justify the selfishness of it all. I have to live myself 24/7. I have to address my medical condition 24/7. It does not go away. Isolation is a burden.
My world is no longer inviting. I am not the initiator. I am the unpopular girl at the high school dance. I watch the world move around me through windows. When I feel the tinge of loneliness, I try with all my might to shove it down. It is uncomfortable. It leaves a bad taste in my mouth and makes my heart hurt. My fear is that it will become less so as time goes on. The isolation will become my friend. I will welcome it as I used to welcome all into my home.
I have parents and a caveman who do their best and love me without limits but they too feel the burden of my isolation. Sometimes I recognize that they are impacted as much as I am by it. For that reason, I will continue to fight this and I have hope that this is just a short sentence with this prison disease.