Alone or lonely?

For the first in time a very long while, loneliness has become my greatest companion. She wakes besides me and stares me in the eyes every morning.  When the day is done, she greets me welcome. My heart does not flinch at this strange romance- it is what it is. I tell her how uneventful the moments have become, I cry my woes into her eyes. She sits and listens. Hands to the hips with bright scary eyes waiting for the slightest sign of weakness. She sees that I am weak and leaps for joy. I tell her everything- even the most horrible things. She laughs and giggles at the mess of my story. I try not to cry. I cling tight to my fainting heart. Even that, is not strong to contain the rush and weight of emotion that I pour into it daily.  I run back to her, I seek her out. The walls are stretching farther from me. I am all by myself, I live in my head. I paint pictures of memories that are best shared with loved ones-they are the perfect moments.  I see people every day, focused on the days work. They sit by my side on the bus, they walk beside me on the streets. Some even spend time talking with me-but I only see lips moving up and down. They are not as engaging as my mistress. They bore me pretty fast-they scare me and I want to be with her again. I know I cannot continue to run back to her; she never utters a word, yet she feeds on me. She thrives on my strength. She lives off my powers-imaginative and real. But last night, I returned from the shower and peeked into mirror and was petrified! I almost jumped out of my skin.  It is not me I see, but her. I am starting to look like her. I saw in the mirror- ice for a heart and steel for eyes! How did I get here?  I am caving in! There’s so much pain and emptiness inside. I hide it all beneath a broad smile- I am good at disguising my feelings. I am just like the regular guy. Everyone thinks I am fine, they buy into the lie of my smile, just the way I want it! I cannot show weakness.

I am screaming at her, asking her what she has done to me. She never speaks, she turns her back on me. Today, I said I was not going to run back to her. I am going to make her beg to leave. I am going make her feel a bit of the loneliness she has inflicted on me. I am going to talk to real people, even though it doesn’t make sense. I am going to have that laugh and show my lovely smiles- they haven’t seen it a while. I am getting ready to leave and she’s tugging at my pants. “There’s no better place to go, there are no real people. No real friends! I am the only friend you have-the only that loves you”! I believe her for a split second and we are back like old times. But it doesn’t last!  She is what she is-selfish, life-sucking bastard! I start to count the hours and days I have spent with her; days that turned out shallow. Hours that stretched into days, I was relentless in pouring out my heart with no measure into a basket. I am furious!  I can feel the pangs of anger and I feel my face dilate and my palms wet.  Today, I am going to make it hard for you to hate me. You are going to want to leave, but sorry Miss- the doors are closed. I will make sure you feel every ounce of pain, neglect and rejection you hipped on me. This room will take up the size of the universe and you will be the sole occupant. You are trapped! I am gaining more willpower every second- I can feel something moving inside and around me. The hairs on my skin start to flick up. I look into the mirror again. This time I did not scare myself, because I have awoken this monster before.  Courage was thrown under the weight of the rumbles from my life and I sat and watched and could not even lift a finger to save him. That day, as Allen left for California, I quickly backed away from him.  I lost the courage to face being alone. It’s been a long time coming. I knew it was going to happen but failed to prepare for it. I am in tears on the phone with mum. I tell her “it is going to be a tough battle for me”. I know I am strongest when I have family with me. But, he’s just left- now I have to rely on the power of one. I got home that early morning from the airport and flung myself right under the duvet and cried myself to sleep. Forgive me, but family means everything to me. Every day, I tell myself, I am not mourning him. I remind myself that he misses me too. Then I remember how hard he laughed when I told him I cried like a baby seeing him go.  Now as always I am alone, but the difference is, I am starting to put work into that space. I am trying to give it some meaning- to make it have shape and form. I spend more time with real people-my friends. I open up and let them see how much torture I have been/put myself through. They listen, they let me lean on their shoulders. They tell me it’s going to be alright. Then they pat me on the shoulder and say “you are strong, talking is a sign of strength”.

With Allen gone, there will be no more breakfast for two not even those long evenings spent on the streets of Dublin and Waterford. I was alone. And lonely.  I always knew that being alone was my decision- I could get away and hang out with friends. I was overwhelmed by the presence of his absence that I started to feel lonely. It is driving me nearly over the cliff- I almost fall. I hang in there, holding tightly to a fragile piece of support hoping that it does not crack under the weight I felt within. I am not looking to fill the void within, I want to feel it. Pain deserves to be felt. I want that part of me that says “I am wounded but I can be mended”.  No single person is supposed to go through life alone. We are like a network of cells! We need each other. Somehow, some folks have found themselves at the deep end and are taking solace in the arms of my Mistress. If life puts you in a tight corner, and coerces you into being alone, you have the power to resist the loneliness that will soon creep in.  Being alone, is a physical kind of punishment/opportunity and most people like myself have found their strength through that experience. Loneliness however, resides in the head! She tells you she is real! In actual fact, she doesn’t exist. You only see her in the mirror as a reflection of yourself. Smash the mirror in your head and she’s gone.

Time and space will betray you. You will realise that even in the midst of about 7 billion persons you can still be alone. When you are getting through that break-up, that rough patch, the feeling of betrayal from a friend – take some time to be alone. Enjoy the walk in the space! Even friends need time to be alone; to walk on themselves and their friendships.  Quality times spent alone can be a revelation of the strength that lies within, but you must also ensure that the “me-time” is aptly fed with positive emotions.  You must be prepared to deal with being alone! Don’t desert yourself when you need you most. Be your companion, tell yourself you don’t need that extra pinch of misery in your life. You might not be fortunate to have the friends I have, so you must learn to be a shoulder for yourself to lean on. That is the only way to keep the Miss away.  A number of persons refusing to take some time and be alone with their thoughts-to better themselves have found that they were prone to make mistakes. You don’t just jump from one relationship/friendship into another. You need some time to learn why the previous one crashed! That is why life is built with speed bumps. You must stop, feel the pulse!  Savour the serenity of the moment, think and then push so you won’t get crushed in the rush! To leave you today here is what I have to say “don’t let the desperation of not being alone push you into settling for someone instead of the-one”. She was here today when I was alone.  She crept in to check on me-her ex-lover. You should have seen the look on her face when she couldn’t trace weakness on my face. I am having the last laugh! These days, I know that I am alone, but loneliness has no room here.  Somehow, we can choose not to be alone! That in itself is enough strength to face loneliness. Get out and become a master of your fears.

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