Break ups are rough. I really tried to avoid ever having to go through one again so I fought like hell for my last relationship before calling it quits. Since its ending I’ve struggled with how I should catalog, observe and overthink about all of my emotions aimlessly floating around. I am very much a writer that needs to bleed and share as part of my healing process but I want to be sure I am as respectful as possible addressing break-up-related topics because 1. I eventually want someone to have sex with me again and 2. At one point I REALLY loved that man and have respect for all he’s taught me and the greatness of our time together. I loved him. There are parts of me that still miss him and often, I feel lonely without him.
My inner circle of friends–who are surprisingly rational and pragmatic in spite of the fact that they’re my friends–have prepared me to brace myself for the inevitable loneliness that comes after a break-up and can last well into single life. I am not bothered by the concept of loneliness because it’s a natural ass human emotion and I’ve seen people navigate/have had to navigate through these feelings before. I know beautiful, smart, successful women who still experience that dull ache that sneaks up on them in hidden moments. The problem is that loneliness is sometimes associated with emptiness when I don’t think the two are as closely related as we tend to think. I like being alone, I understand that I am a complete and whole ass person so when I feel lonely I don’t think it has anything to do with being incomplete or empty—I think we just freakin’ need people sometimes! We crave connection.
So…Just Love Yourself, Right?
Self-love is a wonderful thing. It is a long overdue concept, beautiful in its simplicity and practicality yet so easy to neglect. I am glad that it’s the latest buzzword on everyone’s lips and that we are all taking a moment to reflect and think about what it means to truly love ourselves. As with any good thing, it comes with a sprinkle of bad—which is, we can forget the purpose of self-love in the first place. Loving yourself and becoming firm in who you are—protecting your vibe and your spirit—is a practice that helps us to love others better, it’s not just for us. None of us are an island. I mean, good for you if you are the “cut a bitch off in a heartbeat” type of person but you are probably also lonely and acting too tough to admit it. A certain part of me wants to be driven by my anger and heartbreak but I realized from my last two nervous breakdowns
break ups that I have to do shit differently if I plan to survive the after effects of emotional devastation and relationship separation. The remedy to surviving is OF COURSE self-love because that means you don’t need anyone else to define who you are. You are a free standing, infinite and self-sustaining resource for your own happiness. However, being whole and complete does not mean you won’t experience loneliness, so try not to beat yourself up about it.
The key to self-actualization is not avoiding experiencing or having to sit in negative emotions. For my personal journey I find that I am at my best when I accept reality and avoid dwelling on negativity. But sometimes shit sucks and I have to acknowledge unhappiness or unpleasantness and I have to feel it through until it’s over. I notice that I have prolonged my depression in the past by running from it or pretending it wasn’t real. It’s like a few weeks ago when I was cleaning the house and sliced my finger open on a piece of broken glass. I didn’t want to go to the hospital, I had shit to do! I didn’t feel like it and I could have probably survived just fine without the drive to drop the kids off at my parent’s house and the additional drive to the hospital. However, I had to grow up and make the trip to get stitches and a stupid tetanus shot even though I wanted to avoid it. The laziness in me didn’t feel like diagnosing a basic ass problem and going to get the shit fixed.
Navigating Loneliness in a Fake Ass World
The stigma of loneliness is the kicker! I held onto my last relationship for about 6 months passed the expiration date because I was afraid of who I was supposed to be when I became single again. I like to be raunchy and ridiculous, crack sex jokes and just be loose and carefree. I worried that I would have to change those things and be more careful about how I present myself because I didn’t want to come off desperate or lonely. I worried that people would be able to sense a lonely vibe from me and judge me because of it. These are all anxieties on top of fretting about how I was going to battle loneliness after severing ties with someone whose title and presence in my life validated me. I was not really pressed to be anyone’s girlfriend until I became one and it was like a sigh of relief. “I belong to someone. Someone, besides me, thinks I’m dope!”
Yeah, none of that shit matters. 1. I was unhappy in my relationship because we were super incompatible so I was battling with loneliness anyway 2. I realize now that loneliness is not really a battle or anything to fight against. It’s one of those shameful emotions associated with weakness so no one wants to admit that they experience it. I always find it ridiculous when we try to shame normal emotions as if they are bad character traits. There is nothing wrong with me, I just want some TLC sometimes!
TLC doesn’t have to come in the form of a large penis and deep voice [at least I chant this to myself daily!] but it can be a quick chat with a friend, a smile exchange with a stranger, or even hugging a pet! Loneliness comes in waves—there are some big ones that can knock you the fuck out. You gotta sit in those, journal about it, think on those feelings while keeping your mind’s eye on the light at the end of the tunnel. That takes hella practice and it is still an excruciating process that may not even pan out in the end. The relief is that sometimes the waves are small. Sometimes, it’s just a splash of water, not enough to drown you but you will need to take a second to regroup and dry off after.
Loneliness is real. While you don’t have to be as TMI as I am being about it, no one should feel they have to deny the emotion or beat themselves up about feeling that way. Reading hateful comments on random social media posts make me feel lonely, watching the chaos and destruction of the world unfold on the news makes me feel lonely. I associate the emotion with disconnection and I’m now
fixated on dedicated to exploring what activities and/or thoughts bring me back to earth and reconnect me with humanity and myself. I am navigating this bullshit, I am not thrilled about it but all aspects of life are not thrilling. I just need to embrace my reality and learn to validate my own emotions while releasing myself of the stigma society attaches to them.
And that’s real…
*For more micro-poetry follow me on Instagram @whiskey_grrl*