I hate that word.
I sometimes do that thing where you say a word over and over again until it sounds weird, feels weird – Alone Alone Alone AloNE ALONE Alone AlonE – sometimes, at this point, alone turns into “loon” and I crack myself up, feeling hilarious, because for a while now I’ve felt like my aloneness is turning me into a loon.
But I’m not supposed to talk about being single, being alone, that’s embarrassing – both to the writer and the reader. There is nothing worse than embarrassment is there? For a long time, and even sometimes now, I would say no, nothing is worse than embarrassment.
Embarrassment is my trigger to the past. The emotion most manipulated and pushed in upon during my abuse was embarrassment. There will be times, to this day, where a normal event of me saying something silly or getting something wrong will trigger the most overwhelming sense of shame that I will literally say in my head and mean it, “You have to die now.”
That’s a lot of embarrassment, right? A non traumatized reaction would probably be to blush and feel a little silly then move on, not go straight to death – that is definitely a “that escalated quickly” moment.
However, the more I run from an emotion, the more power I give it, so that next time the emotion threatens, the fear of allowing that emotion to enter into my heart and mind has increased tremendously. Soon I’m at the point where my life is ruled by one emotion.
For example, one could feel a little anxious around people and so conclude that they must stop being around people because it produces the emotion of anxiety – little by little they start cutting out parties or events, social engagements; then trips to the store become difficult, then their employment, then even their own family; until, before they know it, anxiety rules their life to the point that they don’t leave their home and hardly let anyone in.
This happens all the time. This has happened to me. So, what do we do about it?
We stop running. We breathe. We confront.
It’s slow, hard, and painful and sometimes it wins – we run home, hide in the closet, and watch Netflix. Yet, sometimes it doesn’t win. Sometimes we are so amazing at walking into our fear that Rocky music should start playing as a background to our life and our awesomeness! (Side note: wouldn’t life be better if we all walked around with our own musical score? Yes. yes it would) We continue for those times, the times it doesn’t win. We continue for those moments where we can look what scares us in the face and tell it to shut up! Fear doesn’t dictate my life, I dictate my life! Those are the moments I am choosing to live for.
Fear used to keep me quiet about my life, my pain, my shame but I am choosing to say, “No more!” I am choosing to say that I want a life worth living and a life worth living is filled with mistakes, pain, joy, vulnerability, authenticity, awkward moments, laughter, and tears.
So, I am walking into embarrassment. It will not rule my life. I want to talk about what it feels like for me to be alone. I want to talk about the shame I feel has been pushed in upon me by a society that calculates worth based on relationships. I want to talk about what it feels like to be asked by a man on a first date what is “wrong with me” that I’ve never been married or had a serious relationship. I want to talk about how in your face it sometimes feels to be single in a world where couples and relationships are everywhere.
I believe, as human beings, we were made to partner up, to have a companion and family. Not everyone believes that, but I do. So, I want to talk about what it feels like when you’ve never been able to make that happen and what loneliness and solitude are like after so many years.
Listen, I know I’m making it seem like I’m a million years old and my chances at finding someone are over, that isn’t true and isn’t my intent. I just want to be real for once in my life when it comes to being single. The fact that I’m single isn’t my whole life but it’s a large part. I want to make it a smaller part by talking about it honestly, and learning to confront what I’ve believed myself to be and what society says I am.
I want to walk straight at the shame and embarrassment that are screaming for me to stop sharing, stop writing and tell them to shut up! I dictate what I believe about myself and I want to stop believing that my lack of romantic relationships in life dictate that I am not a worthy human being, that something is wrong with me, that I am less than those who have been blessed in the department of love and relationships; I am a worthy human being, nothing is wrong with me (except perhaps that I hate watermelon and people always tell me that something is wrong with me if I hate watermelon …), and I am not less than anyone.
So, what emotion are you running from?
Anxiety? Discouragement? Failure? Heartache? Insecurity? Distrustful? Powerless? Uncomfortable? Anger? Sadness? I could go on forever so act like this is a Choose your own Adventure book and fill in the blank _____________.
Then, let’s both stop running. Breathe. Confront.
You got this and so do I!