I question how much I should disclose in this public cyber space, but I reason that if my experience resonates with just one other person out there, and they realize that they aren’t the only one feeling what they’re feeling, then it’s worth it for me to share.
I feel lonely as hell today. Lonely in my role as mother to two young children who need me to get their basic needs met. Lonely with a mountain of laundry, meals to prepare, floors to sweep, toys to pick up. All I really want to do is lay down, curl in a ball, hibernate this day away, and pretend the rest of the world doesn’t exist. I don’t have that luxury, what with the kids needing to eat occasionally and all.
This lump forming in my throat is all the unexpressed sadness I’ve felt for a while but to which I have given no outlet. Who am I beyond the roles and responsibilities I fulfill in the outer world? Who am I beyond my function? If I am only mother, teacher, and wife, what happens when these roles are taken from me? Will I cease to exist?
I have a creative spark in me that longs to shine out into the world. I want to express ME. But so often I find myself folding laundry, picking up toys, preparing yet another meal–and I seem to be operating under the belief that to do these things requires a sacrifice of the self that wants to create. By the end of the day there isn’t much energy left in me to do anything besides meditate and go to bed. The creative spark recedes back into the folds of my deep dark consciousness and waits again.
Over time, noticing the things I’ve put on hold–knitting, painting, music, climbing, sewing, hiking, dancing, writing–I begin to feel angry, and then depressed. No time for me. No time for what I want.
This would be the moment, when I feel this way, that I would normally reach out to a friend. Some sympathetic ear that would reassure me that this won’t last forever, things will change, the kids will get bigger and more self-sufficient, I’ll have more time to pursue my interests. The friend would say something goofy to make me laugh, and my internal pressure would be eased, maybe even relieved completely.
But today is a day when I have not one friend. No friends. None. All of my girlfriends have moved away, and over time, nothing–not even Facebook or texts or even an occasional phone call–can help to bridge the distance and the ensuing awkwardness that arises when we realize that we really don’t know each other anymore. Not in the way that we used to. Why would I call my my former best girlfriends, who have moved out of state and have since formed new groups of best girlfriends, out of the blue to dump on them about how depressed I feel? Not cool. I would have to call them more regularly, find out how they are doing, establish a stronger phone friendship, before I’d feel comfortable believing that they’d even want to hear a single word about my misery.
Where does that leave me? Lonely as hell, with a mountain of laundry, kids to care for, toys to pick up, floors to sweep meals to prepare. Better get my nose to the grindstone…