Nobody visits me at my home. Unless I'm hosting a chanting session for/with my Buddhism family for the month. Other than that, the mailperson is the only person who steps on my porch. I do have one friend who has come to visit but since I haven't yet replaced the soiled mattress in the spare room, they haven't been able to. So, other than when I hosted in November, my house has seen no visitors since early October. Last night would be another exception. Someone who is new to my Buddhism family hung out for a few hours when they dropped me off and we gabbed for a good three hours. THAT makes me optimistic.
I was told that being lonely is a choice and that being alone is also a kind of choice. Yes, from a perspective, I do choose these things. I choose them because I get tired of having to be the one to go to other people's houses. I get tired of never being invited over. I get tired of having to go to a person's workplace to visit with them because they never come to mine. I get tired when I realize that maybe I'm trying to maintain one-sided endeavors.
I was also told that I purposely chose to get involved with men whom I can see only part-time so that I don't have to fully commit. I don't know if that is true or to what extent it may be true. I know that I don't want to become so involved with someone that I lose myself; that I, like so many friends I've seen, have no single friends, only associate with other couples, and don't know what to do with myself if my partner/spouse isn't there to do it with me. I don't need someone to complete me. I don't NEED anyone. I would like someone who complements me...someone who compliments me is nice too. I WANT, I don't NEED.
None of this awareness makes me any less lonely. When things get really low, I reach out...or, as it was described, I lash out. This is true. This reach out comes from such a place of pain that it's all I can do. It's much like a wounded animal who wants to heal but bites at the hand trying to help. Being lonely is just all I know. Like people who experience chronic pain, who don't know what it's like to be pain-free, except for those rare and extremely brief moments when a pain medication works just right.
For me to really feel not lonely for an extended period time, I have to travel 1000 miles or more to the places where my best friends and family live. Some of my friends tease me because I plan my trips so far in advance. If you knew that you'd have a reprieve from your chronic discomfort, wouldn't you plan those moments meticulously? Plan them so that you can get the most out of being pain free? That is why I count down to my vacations and school breaks. Those are the times that I'm not lonely.
The conversation that I recently had also had to do with their breakdown. To a large extent, all I can focus on is how it made me feel. It's not right. This person didn't purposely do anything to cause me pain but it happened. And I can't seem to get passed it. They were coming to visit me--which, I might have mentioned, nobody does--and this visit was going to make that time of not being lonely last that much longer because I was just returning from a visit with family. Their breakdown prevented this from happening and I spiraled. I had built the happiness of the visit up so high in my mind that I was devastated when it didn't happen. I blamed them. I was angry beyond measure. And they were in the midst of their own mental health crisis. What kind of monster does that make me? Well, none, really, but I still feel immense guilt. I'm still angry that they didn't visit and I still can't get passed it. I'm trying though.
Many people thrive on living on their own. I do very well at it BUT I still need people in my life. They're not the potatoes of my french fries but they ARE a multitude of condiments and don't condiments, of all kinds, make french fries better? Visits from friends are the condiments of life.
I've lived by myself for 19 years. I don't enjoy it. I enjoy having my own space, yes, but to not have had visitors for the majority of those 19 years is miserable. I'm working to change this but I can't make anyone visit me. And, frankly, it gets exhausting to have to be the one to travel 1000 miles to visit friends and family.
Along the lines of loneliness, is the underlying thoughts of suicide. I first considered it in 2010. Valentine's Day, by no coincidence. Once again, I had to leave the house to be around people. And that contributed to me not going through with it. I will tell you, though, not a day goes by...correction...not a NIGHT goes by that I don't consider it. I don't do it though. My practical side speaks up before anything happens.
"You won't be found for DAYS"
"The cats'll eat you by day three"
"Who's gonna have to fly out to take care of everything?"
"This will just bother other people who don't have time to clean up after you"
...are just a few things that go through my mind. Completely logical shit. My aunt died and wasn't found for a week. I really don't want to be the actual cause of that kind of situation in my life...well, in someone else's life anyway. I'd be dead.
So, that's where I am in my life. And those are two main things that have me pursuing therapy. I feel like this onion needs to be peeled back. I just hope the layers under the surface aren't rotten.