Man alone in tunnel

Dropping the pretence: I feel quite alone, but I’m ok

I’ve been putting a brave face on the past month or so. Part of pushing myself to try and ‘be happier’. In some ways, it’s worked quite well, and it’s become a bit of a conscious check on myself:

“What can I focus on that might make me feel happier?”.

But I think I might have pushed too much, and not allowed myself to acknowledge, feel and properly process the unhappier stuff. Like the sense of being alone that has been growing and enveloping me in the past little while; I’ve been dismissing it.

I keep myself busy enough and occupied during the day, especially when my kids are with me, but at night, and on some days now and then, I’m deafened by the sounds I make when pottering about. The teaspoon clinks more loudly, the coffee cup sounds heavier on the table, and the boiling kettle is a scream. Putting the radio or TV on for background noise only helps now and then.

There aren’t enough people around to keep the noise up to a dull roar.

Quality over quantity has always been the way I’ve viewed friendships. Likely in part because I feel inadequate on the whole, but also because I much prefer real and meaningful connections rather than surface-level acquaintances. The irony of that is I’m a decent networker and a studier of people – but there’s a safety rail there, and I anchor myself to it. Quite possibly that’s a fair subconscious reaction given some of the events in recent years.

But… I recognise I’m at a point where I must push myself to be more connected. Really connected. Interacting and conversing, and being a part of people’s lives, and allowing more people to be a part of mine.

For example, I don’t really have someone to ‘offload’ to. That function hasn’t been there for me for a couple of years. I have a number of people I consider close friends, but I couldn’t tell you the last time I rang one of them out of the blue, ‘just because’. That’s also true of my immediate family.

Much of that, I have learned, is driven by the black dog, and wanting to protect other people from the harder times when I might really need them. From the ongoing failure I’ve long felt like and been told I was. But not anymore:  I know I’m not, which is HUGE progress!

It’s time I pushed myself not to try and feel a little sunnier, but to be a more connected and invested friend. With all of the real feelings and undulations that entails. Sharing joy. Sharing sadness. Sharing more meals. And sharing more of myself, but not worrying what people think of my weaknesses. Because everyone has them.

I do feel quite alone at the moment. But I also feel ok about that. There are some things I can do to try and reduce that feeling. And there are people around, whom I already know or might meet along the way, who would like to be a part of each other’s world. With all the smiling and sobbing that makes up a good life.

Shine on, beautiful diamonds  xx

3 responses to “Dropping the pretence: I feel quite alone, but I’m ok”

  1. Murph Avatar

    I can definitely relate to some of what you’ve gone through. Interesting the part about the noise. I experienced that aswell. Comedy has definitely helped. Well written. I’ve still gotta send you my script, but I wanted to write a backstory synopsis and just haven’t had time.btw Warrnambool dirty angels gig was awesome

  2. Peter Cleary Avatar
    Peter Cleary

    JC, Are you seeing a psychologist?

  3. Peter Cleary Avatar
    Peter Cleary

    The reason I asked if you are seeing a psychologist is that I undertook psychological counselling at age 46 to deal with the effects of emotional trauma during childhood. It turned out that the counselling itself was only a start. It gave me a method for interpreting present day experiences more usefully. Eventually I was able to use what I learned from the counselling to bring troubling memories to the surface and work through their pain in a kind of reverse direction, so to speak, in order kill them off. It seems that occasional everyday interactions with people can accidentally trigger unpleasant childhood memories. What I do now is seize on these when they occur and work through them. Then I can usually figure out what their real source was decades earlier and detach myself mentally from the source. After that, if the same thoughts recur, they tend not to bother me much at all.

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