Friday, 20 January 2012

I don't want to be alone....

Have you ever experienced, a tightening of your chest, when you felt you can't breathe any more, you heart thumping wildly, your stomach feels like a cramp is about to start....a fear that takes over your body, spreading like a rash. You don't know where to run to, you feel you want to scream, but no sound comes out, you want help but you can't see any one around.... it feels like a nightmare.... the thought of being alone, is a nightmare for a few people.

I was in a boarding school from a very young age. It was a school on a picturesque hill, with a lake below. The winters were pretty harsh. Somehow, when ever I''ve felt lonely, the association my body made with the bleak, dark and cold evenings there come to the fore. Every time, a relationship of mine was on the brink of ending, I see darkness, I feel cold and I feel the pit of my stomach has become hollow.

Being naturally outgoing and with varied interest, I became my best friend during my bleakest days. My will power was a powerful ally. I have realised people may come and go, but books, well books never let you down. Canvas maybe expensive, paint may not be available. Yet as long as I had paper, pencil and any book under the sun, I got by any kind of phase. The best thing about books is, you don't have to have any particular skill except literacy. You don't have to dress up for it, you don't need to go out because you so low and can't drag yourself out of the bed. Books come in all shapes and sizes. They speak to you. Every time I went through a phase, I found there were so many before me who had faced it too and made it. They wrote and shared what helped them. I would make notes. See the advantage is no knowledge ever goes waste and when you keep your mind occupied, slowly yet surely you get over the worst (the eye of the storm) of any phase and you find handy tools in the bargain.

I know I was writing about the fear of being alone. See , Alone for some becomes solitude. It becomes an opportunity to do things they otherwise had to time for. The like spending time with themselves, men like to play with their tools in their garages, building things, a lot of women like to pamper themselves, most pursue their hobbies, it leaves you time to think things out. On the other hand, for some people ( I was one of them so I know) alone was equal to loneliness. It translated into a sense of being rejected, of" no body loves me" or "no one cares for me". It created panic inside me.

My imagination would run wild,what if I fall ill, what about my old age. Would my body decay for days before someone found me, no one would know if I had an accident. The thing is, one day I realised, just because I did not have a spouse, did not mean, I did not have friends or family. My family may not know, the exact condition of my emotional well being, but they would know if something happened to me.I calmed myself down and made a list of people who have been nice to me for no reason at all. I realised they liked me. I was too involved in my love/ break up story to pay attention to them. I felt like an idiot. Not having a relationship does not mean I'm alone.I started making calls, meeting friends. Even if I was not interested in a guy, if he flirted with me, I let it balm my hurts. I would be honest with them, yet there was no harm in sharing a  few laughs. It did wonders to them and me. Trust me, others out there go through these lonely phases as much as you do, they too enjoy good company so why not go out with them for a couple of dates.

Not only does being alone mean you have time to do things you didn't have time for before, or time for people you always take for granted, it also means an opportunity to make those changes you never had the heart to do. The changes can be big or small, a change in hair style or cushion covers or a change in your job. During my separation , I took up a new job. I met a wonderful young man, full of laughter and fun. He was exactly what the doctor prescribed at that time. I started having fun in life again. It felt so good to let my hair down. I opened myself to changes, took huge leaps of faith. For the longest time, I assumed he was the one I was meant to be with,  it was his boss I married :)

What I'm saying here is this fear of being alone is nothing to scoff about. It is very real.It takes  lot to over come it and a small incident can just set it off. Yet, it can be over come. It takes diligence, it takes a lot of faith, in God . It means you need to become your best friend. You need to take one step at a time away from the abyss of loneliness toward a fulfilling life. It upto

Being on you own in this life today, where everyone is busy and in a rush, is a huge challenge. I have faced it. I was a single mother for a good 6 years. If you let someone else dictate how you should feel about your self, you've lost the battle already. I never allowed myself to believe I was doomed to be alone because I was divorced, I was a mother, because I was too tired. I never allowed my self to believe I had no more love to give or the courage to love again. All were true, I was divorced, I was a mother, I did not have much time or energy to socialise, I was tired emotionally, mentally, physically. I was monetarily in deep shit hole. I had no support system. I had two things. I had my faith in God. I had me, as my best friend. I also made books my friends and turned to my angels. I welcomed every change in my life, wiping my slate clean of previous markings. One big learning for me during those phases was, as long as the focus remained on my misery, there was never a solution at hand, the moment I reached out to help someone else, I knew I was no longer alone.

It might be a difficult journey, its not an impossible one. From loneliness to solitude, its a few steps, after that the world is yours to conquer.....

1 comment:

  1. Very Very touching piece on the feeling of being alone ... Yes indeed it is an extremely traumatic experience for the one who feels there is no one for him/her in this world of 6 billion ... this piece of prose realy does give s one a shiver down the spine and eloquent enough for the reader to feel empathy for the lonesome soul ... where god is the one companion and enemy ... protector and the player... the only one who can pull you out or push you more in ... superbly worded piece :)