Becoming the best version of yourself

Lonely vs. Alone

on March 11, 2012

Today was session #2 in our new Divorce Recovery Series.  One of the things touched upon was something that has long plagued me with doubt.  That is:  knowing and understanding the difference between being “alone” and being “lonely”.  Does this ever bother you?

I enjoy people, I enjoy activity.  I loved being a wife, I loved being a Mom.  I thrived on the hustle and bustle of everyday living and I was pretty good at it.  Don’t get me wrong, there were plenty of times that I longed for some solitude just to rest, to reflect and to recharge.  But I got to do that on my own terms and always knew that when I was ready, I could jump back into the crazy fray of daily chaos.  I was happy being busy.

Do you understand the difference between being along and being lonely?  If you’re younger and still have kids at home, you’re not alone – but you can still be lonely.  There’s no spouse to have the “how was your day” conversation with.  You don’t get to sit down and plan this year’s vacation.  There’s no discussion of who’s parents house you’re going to for Christmas or any of the holidays.  No one helps you figure out whether you’re fixing the roof first, or replacing the old washer and dryer.  All those decisions you used to share are now up to you.  Should make you feel independent, should make you feel capable, accomplished, intelligent.  But nope, just makes you realize how alone you are.

Last year I spent several months on crutches after a bad fall.  You want to realize how alone you are??  Try being hurt and unable to drive.  You can’t walk the dogs, you can’t get to the grocery store, you can’t get up the stairs to your bedroom.  That’s alone . . .

Going to the movies by yourself, ordering a pizza delivery – size small, watching old videos because you’ve cleared out all recorded programs on your DVR, remembering when there was a warm body next to you.  That’s lonely . . .

You can have one without the other, but too many times divorced women have to deal with both at the same time and it can be overwhelming.  You feel so sad for what “used to be” and wonder what you did to deserve this.  You used to be so important in other’s lives and now the others are gone and you’re left to learn to live by yourself.  Wish there were an easy fix, but it’s like dragging an anchor.  So tomorrow I’m going to start working on the lonely part, and just maybe someday I won’t be alone anymore.


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