This morning, I've said exactly five words ... out loud. That's it. In the past 3 and a half hours that I've been awake, all I've said is five words.
For many people, this is perfectly normal. But for someone that craves human contact (and let's face it, we all do in some form or fashion), five words in 3 and a half hour is excruciating. I've never made this public before, but I relate so much to the elderly lady whose friends have all died, and she's left alone. Okay, yes, this sounds a bit melodramatic, but it's really true. When you are a single, and the great majority of your friends are younger than you or are married with children, life is often very isolating. I begin to look forward to the teeny, tiny interaction I get with the store clerk ringing up my groceries, sad as that sounds.
Mine can be a solitary life. The older I get, it seems the more solitary life becomes. I've recently become aware of a thought process that, now that I examine it, was probably there all along, but I just didn't realize it to the extent that it exists. The thought process is this, that if you've managed to travel through your adult life without a significant relationship, there must be something wrong with you ... that there is some sort of fatal flaw that lives deep inside that causes people to not want to commit to you for the long haul -- or even for a short haul. When you're not living within the confines of a society's expectations, no matter how ridiculous those might be, then the logical conclusion seems to be "there's something wrong with that non-conformist."
I love my life. I have a good life ... I have sought out adventures ... they aren't others' adventures, but they are mine... I own them. I've traveled the road less traveled, and I've become a better person for it.
However, I've come to the conclusion that I need to be honest with myself. I don't like my solitary singleness ... not one bit. Hear me when I say this: it doesn't mean that I feel the need to find someone to complete me. Wrong! I am, in fact, complete. No, what I'm saying is that I absolutely do not like the isolation that is a single life. For me, it's not fun. For me, it's pushed me, unknowingly, toward ways to find comfort.
I am publicly calling myself out by saying that I turned to food to help ease the empty feeling that solitariness caused. Before I knew what was happening, I was powerless to stop the addiction that was filling my feelings of loneliness. What I turned to had made me even more of a social outcast, because being fat separates you that much further from the accepted social norms of our world. I created another reason for someone to overlook me. Being overlooked is painful. Everyone wants to know that they are important in some little way.
I turned to humor to deflect the negative thoughts that were constantly bubbling just below the surface. Unfortunately, the butt of much of my jokes was, in fact, myself. That did nothing for my self-worth other than to spiral me further down the path of a solitary life. It was all spinning out of control.
So, why am I using such a public forum to put such private feelings down on "pen and paper?" I'm not sure. Other than maybe there are others out there fighting the same fight. Maybe knowing they aren't alone will help somehow.
I do know that bottling these feeling up serves only to poison your insides, further mangling the self-identity that is already dangling by tiny, little threads. Getting them out releases the beast and strips it of power.