Hi, My Name is Lonely

TW: depressing AF, a little hopeless, definitely whiny

I won’t for a second pretend that I have it harder than anybody else. For years, I was the queen of woe. I was depressed. I was anxious. I had trauma. I had the early stages of an alcohol problem. I was poor. I was lonely.

I’m sitting back, looking at the past tense that I use to describe my struggles, but most of them I’m still dealing with today.

I am depressed. I am anxious. I have trauma. I struggle with money. I am lonely.

Loneliness, I believe, is the biggest mental health crisis of 2020. We are all lonely, because for awhile, we need to stay alone as much as we can.

We cover half our face, but you can see it in our eyes. This is really fucking hard. I sleep in the same bed as my girlfriend every night, and while I’m asleep I know I’m not alone.

But when I have to wake up, I’m by myself.

By myself, I have to get out of bed.

By myself, I have to take a shower even when I can’t even imagine doing so.

By myself, I go to work and take on the burden of others even though I too am struggling.

By myself, I prepare dinner and force myself to eat something besides cereal, as that had been the meal for the past several days.

By myself, I go to the pharmacy to pick up my antidepressants, only to find out they hadn’t been filled. A blessing, really, compared to going the following day and my card getting declined and not being able to take my Zoloft in 5 days because I couldn’t afford it.

By myself, I pick my scabs off my skin, layer after layer until it gets infected or I find the will to stop.

So if I’m struggling and feeling like the weight of the world is on my shoulders but I can’t hold it because we’re supposed to be six feet apart, what the hell am I supposed to do?

How do I get others through this if I can’t get myself through this?

I don’t know how much loner I can do this. I am so lonely, even in a crowded room I feel so fucking alone. Everyone is so far away, both geographically and mentally.

It’s just me. And if I feel like I’m slowly dying while trying to get through every day, I cannot imagine what others are going through.

Nothing is more important than community, and despite efforts to make us feel connected through technology and letters and masked hang outs, it’s not the same.

My family lives really far away. I wasn’t ready for any of them to move away but they all kept leaving. At 21 my parents moved to Tennessee and by the time I was 22 my sister had moved to Pennsylvania (now North Carolina).

I feel like I lost my family. Today, I FaceTimed with my sister as she and her husband went to visit my parents for the long weekend, because its only a 5 hour drive and restrictions are much looser down south than Massachusetts. My family members that live closest to us don’t reach out because they have their own lives, but today went out to western Massachusetts to visit more family. My baby cousin turned 2, and I wasn’t invited to her birthday party.

Even my mother, who lives an hour away in Massachusetts refuses to visit, but went up to New Hampshire with my brother to spend Labor Day Weekend with my brother’s family.

I don’t know why I am constantly excluded from everything, but my dad and stepmom used to make sure we were together for the big stuff. At 24, they didn’t live thousands of miles away from their families. They lived near the siblings and their parents. They were grown up but they weren’t alone.

I finished college and I knew this was coming. There was no home to go back to. I had to make my own home, my own family, my own support system. Still, I begged everyone to still include me during the holidays, to go out to lunch, to go for hikes, hell, even to let me babysit so I could be with family.

There’s a pandemic, so why would I feel like I can take this personally?

I work with at risk individuals and have been closely exposed to coronavirus several times, I can’t blame my family for not reaching out so often. I’m struggling, I know they are too.

I’m just so lonely. I know I will be fine and am learning to embrace being alone. It just sucks.

I don’t have it harder than everyone else, but it’s still hard and I am still struggling. I’m not pushing my feelings aside and just going through the motions anymore.

I am feeling all the feelings, even the ones I’d rather not. I’m in less of a fog, I’m remembering my dreams, I am making progress and killing it in life. Even though I’m sensitive.

I’m okay today and I will be okay tomorrow. Life will keep getting harder but I believe I will keep getting stronger.