Ok so the title is a slight pun on one of my favourite songs that I have stuck in my head today. More Than a Feeling, Boston if you’re wondering.
Last night I caught some of the show on TV about loneliness and it was hard to watch. The situation I’m in has made me feel pretty isolated from the people around me and I’ve been finding it hard to cope.
Being a carer for someone whose behaviour is so erratic and each day wondering what the next crisis needing to be solved will be is hard. I haven’t felt like myself in a long time. I feel myself becoming a whole other person, one I don’t want to be.
I don’t have dreams anymore, I don’t know where I want to go or what I want to do with my life. I want something other than this and if I’m honest it’s more a case of I NEED something other than this to keep me sane.
I’ve been starting to feel it in my health lately too. I’ve had the odd heart twinge, increased indigestion, painful kidneys, sore back, general loss of energy – all classic stress symptoms.
It’s hard feeling so alone, even though I have people around me. All I seem to talk about is the issues I deal with and not how they make me feel. I have no one to talk to about anything else, or so it feels.
I have friends but I don’t want to talk to them about what I’m going through. I don’t want them to know I have to clean the toilet off my Nan when she forgets or that I have to do all her dirty laundry because she can’t be trusted to do it. I want them to treat me as the fun, silly person they know. I want to talk about anything other than hospitals and cleaning up toilet.
But the thing is, I don’t really do anything else anymore so I don’t make as much effort to hang out with the ones I hang with or chat to the ones I normally tell everything too. I just feel like I have nothing to say they want to hear. I mean they would listen but if it was the other way around I wouldn’t really want to listen to talk of crap and hospitals for months on end.
I guess I’m worried they will see through me and realise that I’ve let everything go and then I might not be friend material anymore. No one wants to be the boring un-fun friend with no life that people hang out with through pity. The person I feel myself becoming.
I’m also worried they will think differently of me if they knew what I have to do, the decisions I have to help make and the way I handle things. I get judged enough by my family I don’t need anyone else making me feel like a monster. Because I do, I feel like a horrible monster most of the time.
So I’m alone, lonely, I cry – a lot. I cry for the people I used to have fun with who I don’t really see, I cry for the person I was at the start of last year when everything in my life had finally clicked into place and I was truly happy, I cry because one by one all of those things making me happy fell apart and left me – alone, I cry because I lost my Nan – even though she is physically here and there is no way to get through to her, I cry because we don’t know how much longer she will physically be around, I cry because I’m scared of the impact losing my Nan will have on my Grandad and how I will cope without the one person who has always been there for me, who only ever sees me as someone wonderful.
I cry because I feel sorry for myself because I accepted last year that I would be alone forever and that I just needed to find a way to get on with it. There isn’t someone out there who will love me and spend their life with me, I won’t get to have kids, I missed the chance of travelling with friends when they were all single and childless.
I have to do it all on my own and I don’t know how.
How do I stop wanting to share the bad days with the people I used to tell everything too? How do I cope when I’m really low and reach out to the people I want to talk to, to stop my brain over thinking and they don’t reply?
It’s not my friend’s fault they can’t be there for me when I need them, they all have their own lives and are happy. I’m truly happy for them, I wonder if in their situation I would have time for the needy friend who wants to chat. It’s not like they purposefully shut me out, I see them and we talk when they can fit me in. It’s just hard to remember that when you’re low and in need of support.
The palliative care team keep asking me if I want to see a councillor. I’ve been the girl who fell apart over a boy and needed therapy to put her back together. I promised myself I wouldn’t be the person who fell apart again. Not that therapy isn’t a big help when you need it or that I wouldn’t seek it out if I felt like I needed it. I just didn’t want to need it so soon.
I’ve wondered recently if I died who would be there to say goodbye? Would any of the names in my phone wonder where I had gone or why they hadn’t heard from me in ages and drop me a line? Would anyone miss me? Would my family even know who I’d want them to tell, whether they would show up or not?
When I was a kid I thought I had a good idea of what my life would be like. I wanted to find someone who made me feel good about myself so we could build a life together, supporting each other to achieve our goals and we’d have a cute family. I wanted to have my own business and make it a success. I wanted to travel and explore the world and have adventures and take photos and laugh.
I found the person who makes me feel good about myself, who helped me to success in my job and gave me confidence to build my career. I could see myself having that future I wanted with him. It always felt like one of those movie romances where you can see they will get together but they never do until the end. Maybe there is a chance we haven’t reached that end yet and that’s why we aren’t together.
The movies never tell you how to cope when the person you want to be everything to doesn’t want you around. Because he doesn’t want me in the way I want him and I don’t know how to stop wanting him.
The sad truth is I feel alive when things are good with him, he makes me feel whole and when he isn’t there I feel empty. I shouldn’t, I have no reason to feel that way about him when he was clear in the past that I shouldn’t, I don’t understand why I do, there have been times I actively tried not to think about him or want him around, I’ve even deleted his contact details but it never lasts. Nothing feels as good as when he is a part of my life.
The further we drift apart the more I miss him and want him around. And we have been drifting apart. He’s busy with life, I’m not and I miss the days when we’d talk for hours. I think there are times when he misses me too, or so he has said.
The TV show talked about finding people online to talk to and internet dating. I tried all that before. Making friends online is a big exercise in trust that I’m really not interested in playing anymore. I’ve met some good people online who I’m in touch with but I’ve also had a lot of problems in the past with trusting the wrong people and I’m too tired or maybe too old for all that.
The more I use the internet the more I realise very few people are who they say they are. I’ve read enough internet dating stories to know it isn’t for me. I tried it myself a couple of times, years ago. I was happy chatting to a couple of people but I had no interest in meeting them. I’m not a casual sex with strangers person and a lot of the interest I got was in that light.
Also do I really want to introduce any more people into my life who don’t return my messages or calls? I have enough people to keep track of as it is. Adding more people at the moment with the potential for more disappointment won’t help me feel any less lonely.
I need real people who can give me a hug, make me laugh and share an experience with me, not just texts on a screen and nice words. Not that I’m against text messaging, sometimes you just need a bit of physical interaction.
Maybe if I could find a job around my caring responsibilities which means I can finally stop eating through my savings I could also end up meeting the man of my dreams. Or a new man of my dreams who will oust the old one and actually want me in return!
Oh yeah, I forgot I also cry over money worries. I’ve always been careful with money and made sure I build savings to give myself chance to get a house one day. It wasn’t meant to prop me up until I can work again.
I’ve been trying to earn money from writing and designing cross stitch since I’ve been home but it’s pocket-money and not life-sustaining money. At least it helps a bit and I don’t feel so hopeless all the time.
I started a couple of courses this week on the fitness app on my phone one entitled Love Yourself and one about mindfulness. Day 2 on both and things are going well. I just needed to focus on something positive to get my mind back to healthy ground.
There has been a lot of negative thinking lately and a bit of stress eating related weight gain. I want to turn things around for Christmas. It’s likely to be the last we have with my Nan, we’re planning two just incase we have to have an early Christmas. I just want it to be filled with happy memories for us all and for us to look back and see happy smiling, healthy faces.
I get another year older next month, I don’t feel my age but it does worry me a bit. I’m too old to be unemployed and have such a static career. People tried to tell me but as is normally the case I thought it would all be ok. Now I look back and wish I’d have known what I know now 10 years ago so I could have really made an effort to make more friends and build a career.
It also reminds me that I need to arrange a catch up with the group of friends I mostly see once a year on my birthday. You have these weird friendships when you get older, but somehow they always seem to come together.
It’s important for me to keep things in my diary to look forward to so it isn’t filled with hospital appointments. I’ve managed to get a few fun things in over the next couple of months. I’ve also been spending time with my cousins little girl who is now 5 and at school. I go and pick her up and we have playtime and laughs and I feel like a kid again.
Maybe the worst part of loneliness isn’t the emptiness and feeling like you don’t matter to anyone, I think the worst part is all the time you have on your hands to keep yourself occupied so you don’t notice the fact no one else is there. If you can keep your mind active in a helathy way then you’re winning the battle.
Anyway I think there are a lot more people in the world who feel lonely than like to let on. I don’t feel the need to look at other people and wish I was them. I don’t feel the need to beat myself up (all the time) for not having it all together. Other people aren’t always as they seem. Just because you’re smiling and appear to be happy doesn’t mean that deep down there isn’t something you’d like to change about your life.
I think the modern world has given us so many ways to show off how amazing our lives are that we put so much emphasis on how it all looks and forget to just live for ourselves and not worry about what others think.
I’ll get the hang of being alone. I’ll either find the courage to live the life I want alone or I’ll find a way to have a different life, one that I’m comfortable living alone. It might not be easy and I might feel hurt along the way but no more than believing that the man I love will one day love me back hurts.
Because when I accepted that maybe he won’t ever care for me because we aren’t in a film adaptation of a novel where the girl gets her happy ending, it did hurt and it does hurt every time I remind myself of it. But it’s the honest thing to do, for every good memory I have of every nice thing we said to each other I remember something negative to keep it in perspective. It gives me the illusion that I’m in control and that I won’t get carried away in the moment of things that are said sincerely but in the fullness of time aren’t really meant. It doesn’t stop me loving him or missing the unusual ‘us’ we created, it just makes me appreciate what we have/ had/ are/ were.