Between being alone and being lonely.....
To me being alone is not something I mind because I don’t have issues going to a movie on my own or even going to a restaurant on my own. And yes, I have even had dinner on my own in a crowded restaurant. And wait for it…….I enjoy going on holidays on my own!!!
But being lonely now that is something else all together. It is a feeling that comes from deep inside of you and slowly but surely permeates each and every part of your being. I don’t think it is really an emotion you can put into words because it holds such incredible power.
Somewhere between living my life I became lonely. I have had moments of loneliness but not for very long. This weekend was however, different and a very strong reminder that I am not only alone but lonely. I was sick (am still but that’s another story) and ended up spending the weekend in bed under doctors orders. It was either that or a hospital stay and I was so not going to hospital.
On Friday night I climbed into bed and only really climbed out this morning. Lying there I realized that I am no one’s priority, I don’t even know if I feature as even remotely important to anyone. I have great friends and I know they care about me and dare I say even love me but they have their own lives. They are for the most part working moms and dads so over weekends its family time ….time to spend quality time with their respective significant others and with their off spring. I don’t blame them, if I had a family they would be my priority too but I don’t so what has happened is that I have made everyone else a priority …………….except for myself.
Even my family was too busy with their own “stuff” to check in on me. I lay there and realized that even though I had said on FB that I am sick no one had called, no one had sent a text message and no one had asked if I needed anything.
I did need something…..besides the fact that my fridge was empty and my grocery cupboard had thanks to long working hours not been replenished in almost two weeks I needed someone to care. To reach out to me and just let me know that it was gonna be ok. I need human contact. I enjoy conversation (ok I am talkative) but I enjoy having other people surround me. I feed off them and recharge my batteries from being around those I care about and even those who I don’t know can fill my cup!!! Instead I did not eat the entire weekend and spent the hours I was awake wondering if I was ever going to matter enough to someone else.
Because here is the thing. When my friends or family are ill I take them “get well” parcels which normally consist of the basics like milk, bread and cheese and some nice things like chips, biltong and depending on the friend or family member chocolate. I add some “Woolies” readymade meals and some rusks for those yucky mornings. I also get something to drink and maybe through in a magazine or flowers. I send text messages and call at least once a day to check in and find out if there is anything else they need. I have been known to pick up kids from school, sort laundry do dishes and stock fridges.
I kept on waiting for something to happen but nothing did………………..I was not only alone but lonely. There was no one to give a bit of TLC, there was no one to change the sheets after a fever, no one to run to the store for ice lolly to cool my throat. No one to just have a bit of a chat with, no one to give me a hug and tell me it was gonna be ok. No one would have known if I had died there………..and that is my greatest fear, to die on my own!!!! Hour after hour I wondered why this had happened, what had I done to result in this situation. How do you become unimportant???? Is it being 37, Is it being 37 and single? Is it being 37, single and childless? Am I that irrelevant and if so what does that say about the life I live?
Many years ago a very good friend of mine addressed me as Mother Teresa Lisa because I am always taking care of others and trying to be helpful and ultimately trying to be the best friend, daughter, sister and employee I can be.
I spend my life making everyone and everything a priority but I have successfully left myself off the list, is it any wonder then that I am on no one else’s list either……….