Taboo to tell

Being lonely is like having a bad back: the ache is always there, but just in varying degrees. For the most part, you learn to work around it, but sometimes the pain is so bad you can hardly drag yourself out of bed, let alone get through a day.

You can’t talk to people about having a bad back, in the same way as you can’t ‘chat’ about being lonely … There’s something just too self-indulgent about approaching a friend and saying “God I feel so horrendously alone that I can hardly breathe today”  that you just don’t do it. I have done it a couple of times over the last 3 years, out of sheer desperation, but the glazed ‘oh God get me out of here’ look of the listener and the polite pitying smile or the “poor you, it must be awful” interjections made me realise very quickly I should rather just shut up. The other thing is, even trying to find a way of describing it to someone else is enough to make the whole concept seem inane, pathetic and ridiculous. Particularly to myself when I hear myself speak. There seems to be no physical language  which can even touch the surface of how suffocating the feeling can get and of how destructive it can become if you let it control you even for a second. I certainly can’t blame anyone else for not wanting to listen to it – it’s tough for anyone to know what to say … neither physical nor mental pain makes for particularly stimulating chat over coffee: So how’re you doing? I’m great, work’s great, kids are great, hubs is great … and what about you? Well actually my back’s killing me and I’m withering up inside from being single with no friends …. it’s a total party killer.

So I don’t think lonely people really talk about being lonely much. But not talking about it, simply exacerbates the feeling of hopelessness and it stacks up. I try and pretend it’s not there most of the time – proactively going out of my way to make the most of my ‘freedom’ and my space. Occasionally it’s really not ok though and I snap. This afternoon I roared at my poor boy, who was actually being the most gorgeously behaved he has been in weeks. There is no measure of the guilt which followed and I took myself into another room to restore some semblance of control. In hindsight there was something very out of control about the method behind that too. I really don’t like being in this place.

So again, a few deep breaths, a packet of Tempos and some cold water later, it was my 3yo son who brought me back to my senses and I pulled myself together. Even feeling wretchedly empty and sad as I have this week couldn’t dull the overwhelming pride of him later riding quite literally out of my hands on his bike for the very first time. I think they heard me whooping in Canada.


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6 Responses to Taboo to tell

  1. Oh MJM! I don’t want to say “poor you”, because you mentioned above that that doesn’t really help. I don’t know what does help :-( but having just “found” you as a friend, I wish I could give you a big hug! But e-hugs are not quite the same. I also wish I could say, come round for a playdate, but I think the round trip may take a little too far… :-( I hope that the pain does dull again and that it doesn’t creep up too often and that you find those wonderful relationships that you deserve.

    Well, here is that big e-hug anyway, just in case it does help (((((H))))).

    Maggy xx

  2. JulieB says:

    As Maggy said – all I can do is give you an e-hug, and hope that maybe, somehow (?) we get to meet next week for me to do it in person?

  3. @Maggy @Julie Just monsterthanks. xxx
    (M, our chat last night did me the world of good. You’re an amazing lady … I woke up today feeling like a new person. There are no amount of thank-you’s which can make up for that. Maybe one day I’ll find something … ;-) )

  4. Pippy says:

    It’s a dire place to be.

    You sent me such positive words recently and having read this I wish I could return the powerful nature of your own words and actions to you – restructured to be appropriate for your circumstances. My skills and insight, in comparison to yours, are poorly lacking.

    You’re right, it is a difficult subject to talk about, other people get hurt, not understanding its not about them being there or not sometimes. Its not always about popularity, or the number of people you interact with; and people don’t always get that. Being in a space or room full of people talking at or even with you, others wanting, needing, admiring, loving you doesn’t always offer the solution. It may still be there eating away, doing its thing.

    I hope the amazing good you found in the words from the ladies above will stay with you and continue their good work. The world is less lonely for many because of you, yet I know that isn’t always enough. Best wishes with your way forward, I hope that it can drive it away. xx P

  5. Tomasz says:

    I have the same impression at times.

    • Hi Tomasz,
      You know, it always amazes me when people I don’t know stop by and not only read this type of post, but dare to leave a comment … it’s an odd but remarkable feeling to write something into a black hole but get a response on the same wavelength from a complete stranger. There has to be something good in that, right?
      I looked at your blog and have found you on Twitter … it’s always good to network with other translators :-) (thankyou for the RT btw!)
      Take care,

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