Tuesday, 4 July 2017

Lonely

It is very difficult to write about this one.

I have had many lessons since giving up alcohol, it is only now that I feel perhaps I understand this one.  I think it is Lesson # 5 but can't remember without looking back over my blog.

I know I started drinking because I was lonely.  It was a combination of boredom and the mundane - but the key element was loneliness.  My marriage of 15 years didn't work and we separated and then divorced.  The got back together and re-married.  That didn't work and now we have been seperated for 4 years though he won't sign the divorce papers and it doesn't really matter anyway.  I no longer feel like a failure about my marriage but I wish I made better decisions like I did with my money and my kids so my future was romantically secure.

L and I are as good a friends as can be, he is a celebrity and sweeps in and out to see the kids.  It's never overnight and just a few hours here and there - he loves them, and I just work things out around when he is available.  He calls all the time.

I have a couple of girlfriends and we walk along the beach, or take the dogs out.  My kids have some good friends and they come over.  I work with people and have two good jobs.  I spend too much money but do not struggle.  Am close with my parents who ring or I call most days.  My oldest daughter away at uni and we are very close - we speak if not each day then every other day.

Why don't I just feel lucky all of the time?  Well I guess because that isn't natural, I am learning that it is ok to feel not wonderful ALL of the time (thanks Wendy xx) but I do wish the periods of yuck didn't take this familiar pattern:

1.  start to feel a bit "not so good"
2.  after about 3 days, despair that it is going on too long
3.  start to google other people's lives and compare my life (ridiculous and then I know my spiral is starting)
4.  try to stop the downward spiral and get anxious and depressed
5.  EVERYTHING feels like shit (this is about day 10)  I feel alone. why don't I have a husband who loves me, I am 49 (50 next week in this case, next year in previous cases, next month... it doesn't matter) but the rest of my life is looking like a desolate wasteland of spinsterhood and no cuddles

I hate this cycle.  I try to occupy the first three steps by distraction, walking, mindfulness, cognitive behavioural crap.. but inevitably I sink into a state where I don't want to go to work, I don't want to walk the dog who is hanging around my ankles as I write, outside I can hear my chickens calling me to let them into their day run and the rabbit will be hungry.  The kids have gone off to school - last night I started to snap at the poor dears. God.

It is the kids and the pets which force me to keep going - but it feels like a weight is attached to my waist and everything is hard.

Finally the fleeting thoughts of drinking pop in and I think - that will solve the immediate problem.  It won't, it doesn't, it makes it so much worse.  So I am having to face this sober.

The difference between when I was drinking and now is that instead of it feeling like one big moulded disaster, I can see a definition in days, patterns and behavioural side of this.  I do know that to be a good thing, but it isn't really helping today.

Michelle xx

15 comments:

  1. I hear you! And know that you are not alone. Being a single parent was the loneliest time of my life, and I had friends and family nearby. My ex-husband didn't love me, and that's OK now. It opened me to a different life, and ultimately, to a far better one had I settled for being with someone who did not cherish me. If I had clung to the familiar, I would never have found anything else (and I didn't meet my current husband until I was almost 50).

    I would never have dreamed that things turned out so well for me. But still, sometimes that loneliness returns, and I have to do battle with the side of me that wants something more, or is just plain restless. I am reading Mrs. D's new book, "Mrs. D Goes Within," and she seems to be going through the same thing. I just started it, so I am not sure how to resolve these feelings other than to know that EVERYBODY feels this way. The problem used to be so solvable with a drink. It's really strange, but drinking and being alone used to feel like I was not alone at all. I am not seriously tempted to drink, but I do know that the answer for me isn't going to involve a change in circumstances as much as a change from within, whatever that means. Maybe we can find our way out of this together, Michelle. ; )
    xoxo,
    Shawna

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    1. Thank you so much Shawna for such a heart-felt and thoughtful reply, it is so appreciated I can assure you.

      Your comment about how when drinking and being alone we don't feel alone. That is so true, I felt my lovely champagnes and wines were my company - that I didn't have to deal with the truth. That this "company" was bad company and was killing me - mentally and physically.

      Many years (not drinking much) of not dealing with my lack of self esteem and disaster after disaster created a problem that I was determined to ignore. Now I can't.

      I think I many have said that seeing Lotta on TV here and seeing her bravery made me start my blog. I have the book and started by stopped as I do with books but loving it and will get back into it.

      Thank you for the encouragement, this blog started as a coping mechanism to a "I don't need it anymore I am cured" to wow there are some really amazing lovely people that I respect and care about their story.

      Yes together we can surely xx Michelle

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  2. I think so many people struggle with being lonely. I certainly do. I can be in a room filled with those that love me- parents, kids, husband- and still feel like I am completely alone. I too used alcohol to try to fill that hole- the gap- the missing something that I still am longing to figure out. I think a large part of my loneliness came from not liking myself enough to be able to be enough for me. Im working on that.

    If you are ever London way we can be 2 lonely people going out on the town together. xx

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    1. The last time I lived in London I was working at the Hippodrome in a swimsuit and a TuTu (please don't laugh) I was 19. :) I would most definitely let you know if I come that way again (my parents trave each year and just returned from Rome) - they are amazing!

      I do feel I know a part of you, with the struggles of giving more information than you felt comfortable with, tipping over the edge and now just being a flat out honest as you can bear. The only way to heal and you must be so very proud of yourself.

      I love what you say about not liking yourself (God don't we waste so much time being downright dumb!) and being enough. Isn't it Meghan Markle who keeps saying "you are enough". Bloody annoying because I just am not there yet.

      To feel that all those years wasted in a pool of insecurity, stopping me reaching the fullness of life. That sure didn't stop me pushing the boundaries and doing so much, but with such a shaky platform underneath it was just a matter of time...



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  3. I think loneliness played a part in the formation of my drinking habit too. I started drinking more and alone after a break up in my late twenties (don't get me wrong I drank prior to this, but this is when it changed). I often feel lonely even though I live with my husband and kids. I think Shawna might be right, its a change from within that may help.

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    1. Yes this is a long time coming and I can't expect everything at once. xx

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  4. I agree with the "loneliness comes from within" concept. We can be single and lonely and think we need that special someone. Then we can find that terrific person and voila, we still have times of loneliness. Funny how the grass is always greener somewhere else, right? I found myself sighing at reading about you talking of the beach and chickens and rabbits. I don't want to be obnoxious and pry but something about the "he won't sign the papers" bothers me. That's great you are friends but how do you move on with that leash attached? You are always available for him. I agree, that's best for the kids but just remember you are important and to build your own life around that. Feeling down occasionally IS normal. Sit with the feelings and move on. Good for you for doing all this sober!!!

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    1. Thanks so much for taking the time to write this for my HD - I so appreciate it! I have thought about that, those papers by the door, they just stare at me and I have no idea why this is in limbo. I do think you are right - the ties need to be cut as they aren't relevant anymore. It is a form of control he exercises and I pretend it doesn't both me but it does deep down. You aren't at all prying, this is what we are here for and the support is so cool xxx
      PS the beach is beautiful, the chickens rabbits, fish and dogs are great. I write about them to hope that one person might see something they can do - something small that makes them feel better because it works for me :)
      Michelle xxx

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  5. Hi Michelle!
    I am sorry you feel down right now.
    Loneliness is something I also struggle with, even with hubs.
    I sometimes wish life was different, and that my family would visit, and so on.
    It sounds like you are struggling with depression too. I never know which comes first, the depression which makes things seem worse,
    Or the loneliness which makes me drepressed.
    I know the loneliness of not having a partner would be hard.
    Some of my single friends feel this way too.
    I also know that if hubs dies before me, I will be very lonely.

    I too understand about alcohol being your friend, that kept me from feeling lonely, too.
    I also know of people who met their current spouse later in life...ages 45 and 50.
    xo
    Wendy

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    1. Thanks Wendy, yes there is a mix of depression in there but it seems to completely go away for long periods then come back in my lonely days. I don't want to tread it unless I find I can't manage (so far I only needed anti-depressants when I was drinking but fully understand that they are a necessity for many people so remain open-minded completely).

      I am going in and seeing older people about 10 hours per week as well as the usual accountancy stuff. I am really loving it Wendy. It brings me out of my funk and makes me look at the interesting lives of others and how to better enrich mine xx
      thanks for our caring note xx

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  6. Every person I have ever heard talk at AA talks about the loneliness and the acceptance and welcome they find in the rooms.
    It is the power of a group of sober people. Honesty.

    Hug. I have been lonely, and I grew up always feeling like I was watching others from behind a glass wall. Unable to connect to fit in no matter how hard I tried.
    my years of yoga study have really helped me find stillness and peace alone. I hope you find that inner contentment too, it only took me 40 some years....

    Hugs

    Anne

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    1. This was important for me to read the other day. I thought again about support and I am so open to get some more if my yuck days continue. right now they seem to be lifting, as I said to Wendy there is something about looking out for others and opening our minds to the world that is a sharp kick in the pants.

      I have tried Yoga and am so envious of all of you who swear by it, I did Adrienne's wonderful classes but get so impatient and annoyed by the wonderful "yogi" instructors. I have such a limited amount of stillness and peace but i am very sure now that this is the magic key to a contented life
      Michelle xxx

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  7. I hope the lonely feelings are subsiding now, that you are on an upswing of mental peace. You are getting stronger each day you stay sober. You are learning to deal with all kinds of emotions sober, such a great accomplishment. But that aside, your feelings are real, and so whatever they be at a certain time, they will change. As written here by all, everyone has felt lonely, it's an emotion we all have, knowing this, knowing it will pass, I think is key to getting through it.

    However, I'm going to send my positive thoughts you way that you will meet the special "someone". In time, I think you will. LL

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    1. Thanks so much Lia x I do think we have to be whole in ourselves. Saying that, a kind and sharing relationship gives us the adult to adult love and affection that we humans need.

      I don't go out, I can no way have the courage to do the internet thing - so it is going to be some kinds miracle I can tell you!

      Michelle x loads to support to you too xx

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    2. I believe in miracles, always have. ;-)

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