The past couple days have been rough for me. And I think I’ve figured out why I’m feeling so sad and raw the past couple days. I’m adding it all up:
- A brief experience in bed where I awoke thinking I was touching a person and it ended up being one of the dogs and how disappointed that made me
A dream in which I was symbolically separated from a man I want in my life (even if he doesn’t want to be connected with me)
My envy of a TV character and her relationship with her husband (Allison and Joe on Medium)
I’m missing the feeling of partnership and having someone to “catch my back.” I’m under a lot of pressure at work and have no one at home to whom I can vent or turn to for help. There’s just me. Me and the dogs, who can share some physical comfort but rely on me for care, so aren’t really a help at all.
So, essentially I’m lonely. And I wonder: over time, does it get easier to be alone? Does one get to really relish the quiet nights, the weekend days perennially open until and unless I decide to take on a commitment for myself?
I spent last night working late and then speaking to a friend as I tried to process through my feelings. I kept feeling like I wanted to cry, so I would give myself permission to do so, but the tears wouldn’t come.
It wasn’t until today that they finally did, which wasn’t ideal since I had to go into the office today. At certain points during the day, I’d start to tear up and would go off to the restroom to cry. I did this a few times until I finally got through most of my meetings and was able to leave early. I knew I could finish the rest of my meetings from home and desperately needed to lay down for a bit first.
Maybe it was the klonopin I finally took in the afternoon that made me feel so tired, or maybe it was the crying, or maybe it was just the interrupted sleep last night. (Hannah dog hates the rain and thunderstorms and refused to go outside before bed, so of course she needed to go out at about 1:30 AM when all had finally been calm for several hours.)
I got home and took a short nap and then finished my calls. And I cried some more. Then I opened When Things Fall Apart (which I think of as my “buddhist book” now) and went back to scan the chapter called Six Kinds of Lonlieness.
Usually we regard lonlieness as an enemy. Heartache is not something we choose to invite in. It’s restless and pregnant and hot with the desire to escape and find something or someone to keep us company. When we can rest in the middle, we can begin to have a nonthreatening relationship with loneliness, a relaxing and cooling loneliness that completely turns our usual fearful patterns upside down.
After reading through the chapter again, I started to feel more calm and centered. I welcomed in the cool loneliness and tried to relax with it.
But still, I realize that I want a partner. Someone who values me for more than just my work ethic and ability to get things done, as they do at work. Someone who gives me comfort and touches me. Someone who makes love to me in the real sense of what that means: tenderly, passionately, and with deep feeling.
So for now I’ll sit my my cool lonlieness and my desire. I don’t think they’re in conflict, but they are both equally new and raw and soft.