Tag Archives: loneliness

On The Eve of My Mid-Pandemic Birthday

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Suddenly, normal was gone.
My First Response: YOGA!
I told everyone how to be yogic about this,
how to breathe, take it one day at a time, be grateful,
how to stay in the present moment,
how to be in one’s body, feeling,
loving the ones we’re at home with,
delighting in nature, the rhythms of the day.
Then my kids went back to their dad
and I found myself alone.
My Second Response: NOOOOOOOOOOO!
I wish I hadn’t watched all those episodes of The Walking Dead.
I wish I had known a Pandemic was coming.
I wish I had decluttered my house first.
I wish I had met my soulmate before the Pandemic,
so that we could be inside, together,
sitting by a sweet fire, enjoying a Quaran-tini.
I wish I had been well-established in my dreamhouse
and my dream work and my dream life
before the Pandemic,
I wish I had been so busy being successful
that I would actually need a vacation
and all this social distancing now.
Alas, all I can do is look back and say
Lorien, you were barely scraping by.
You were tired all the time.
You didn’t have time to do anything except work and mother.

Maybe it’s ok to be alone on my birthday during a pandemic.
Maybe I’ll celebrate this breath. This life.
This being here regardless of what anyone else thinks.

I Made Myself Get Out, Day 2

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Well, I did it again!
Returning home this afternoon
after teaching two yoga classes;
my music director neighbor was outside
and mentioned a choral concert
he was conducting at a church downtown,
one hour after my evening workshop
was finished.
I think I can make it, I told him.
But I may be kind of blahhhhh;
I’ve had a busy weekend.

Well, he said, We’ll see ya when we see ya!
I taught my workshop,
and my impulse was to go straight home
and once again
feel lonely and sorry for myself.
Don’t go to the city
the anxious one in me said,
You’ll have to worry about parking
and you’re a women
by herself

at night.
I made myself go.
I forced myself.
I found parking not far from the church,
arrived early, found a seat in the front row.
The music was so beautiful I cried.
Afterwards I gave my neighnor a hug,
thanked him for the invitation.
Home now, freshly showered,
safe and warm,
I’m so grateful I didn’t listen
to the anxious voice
telling me not to go.
I think I’m on a roll!

I Made Myself Get Out

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It’s amazing what can happen
when you get over yourself
and try something new.
I made myself get out tonight,
even though a part of me
just wanted to stay home
and feel lonely and depressed.
I made myself get out tonight
to attend the yoga studio
holiday party.
I took the staff yoga class,
and ate some yummy vegan food;
I even won a gift card in a raffle!
I sat and ate, and
multiple people actually
sat down next to me
and talked to me!
It felt good to connect.
It felt good to be out,
to be in the presence of
kind souls making merry.
Yes, it’s amazing what can happen
when you get over yourself
and try something new.

What I Yearn For

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I’m discovering that I need people to be happy.
I’m noticing that when I’m around people
I feel good.
I eat.
I laugh.
I feel happy.
But when I’m by myself,
I become depressed.
I don’t eat.
I feel worthless.
I’m trying to bring more
meaningful connection
into my life,
but connection takes time and energy.
And motivation.
How do I find the energy and motivation
to connect
when I’ve been alone for so long
that I’m feeling heavy and depressed?
What came first…the loneliness or the depression?
I sense that I’ve had this feeling for a long, long time.
Even as a child some part of me knew
I needed deep, meaningful connection,
and when I was made to be in groups
where only superficial connection was taking place,
I felt drained, listless.
I decided that I was better off by myself.
I labeled myself as an introvert,
and I’ve spent a lot of my life just wanting to be away from people.
But now I see a distinction to be made.
Connection is so much more
than being with someone for the sake of not being alone…
It’s being together with a sense of purpose,
engaging in co-evolution, exploration, sharing, growth.
Relating heart to heart, mind to mind, soul to soul—
this is what I yearn for.

This Life

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This life.
This tender, fragile, vulnerable life.
This perplexing, demanding, chaotic life.
This fulfilling
this disappointing
this crazy, ever-changing, remarkable,
normal, exceptional, precious life.
How my heart breaks for this life.
How my heart swells, bursts open,
bleeds for this life.
How I’ve had to be strong for this life.
How I am grateful, so grateful,
ever so grateful for this life.

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My heart is heavy tonight as I think of a dear friend’s partner who just last night succumbed to the story of his suffering and chose to bring an end to his time on this planet. I’ve been forthcoming about my own depression on this blog, imagining the peace that non-existence would bring. I feel so humbled and so shocked to hear that this brother took action on those same kinds of thoughts. In my darkest moments I’d always see my children’s faces and feel a deep conviction that I could not do that to them.

But this man had no children.

Recently my dear friend had wanted to reevaluate their relationship and had stepped back in order to redefine herself, her goals, values and priorities. I’m guessing that in the face of this change, he felt deeply lonely and believed it would always be this way. My heart breaks for him.

I remember that when my marriage ended I was flooded with feelings of worthlessness and shame. I kept wondering what I had done wrong, what was wrong with me. I kept asking what I could’ve done to avoid my husband leaving. I remember that feeling of loneliness and brokenheartedness, crying until I had no more tears, so much anger, the belief that the suffering would always be this intense. I remember the lonelieness and the pain of isolation.

But I was so fortunate. I had a therapist that I had been seeing for a while. I found my way into CoDependents Anonymous (CoDA) meetings. I had friends and family, and even though they didn’t always show up in the way that I wanted them to, they nonetheless provided support to get me through. And then there were countless beings out in my community, here on this blog, on FaceBook, on Instagram, on Insight Timer, in the yoga studio, teachers far and wide, mentors, guides and wise ones who provided words of encouragement, prayers, well-wishes to get me through the darkest moments.

I reached out so many times for help, and I got help, and still there were times that I just wanted it to be over. There were times that the pain was so intense that I didn’t want to have to live through any more of it.

So in a way I completely understand the reasoning behind this brother’s decision to just be done with it once and for all. I understand in a way that perhaps most people cannot possibly understand. And so I feel so shocked, so sobered, so humbled by this event. I want to be there for my friend. But there are no words that can make this better. Only breathing, one moment to the next, just taking care of basic things like eating a meal, taking a shower, trying to sleep, just one thing at a time.

Friends, hug your loved ones close. This life is so fleeting, so precious, and you may never know who is struggling on the edge of oblivion, trying to decide if they can keep going…

Choose To Keep Living

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Dear God,
Haven’t I suffered enough,
Or do you want to break me even more?
I feel like I’m already mostly dead.
Do you want me to die all the way?
I am a ghost in a body struggling to live
and it feels like a burden to eat.
And yet I must feed this body,
because there are two children
relying on me to be here for them…
and they deserve a living, breathing mother
who can help smooth their way through
this rocky journey of life.
Is enduring this pain the sacrifice I must make?
Is this torture of terror, uncertainty and homelessness
the very thing that’s making me strong
and ready to change?
But how can I change
when I lack the energy
to meet my most basic of needs?
When it feels like a burden to be alive,
how do I choose to keep living?