A few days ago on Facebook Ra was talking about how she wanted to write a post about loneliness and asked if any of us had written posts on the subject. I’m not sure if I have written a post about it before, but it got me thinking about the way I’ve got my life set up.
I started writing a post early yesterday morning but ended up trashing it. Then I read Holly’s post on the subject of loneliness and decided to give mine another try.
My husband and I live hundreds of miles away from all of our friends and family. We originally lived in Connecticut but moved all the way out to Utah a little more than 12 years ago. All of the friends that we’ve made out here have been through my husband’s work. Those friendships can be hard to keep up though because I don’t socialize. I’m 100% an introvert. We now literally live right across the street from where my husband and his co-workers/friends work and I have still yet to actually invite my husband’s coworker/ friend that I’ve made via Facebook over on her way home from work. It’s not that I don’t want to see her, but the thought of inviting someone over causes anxiety for me. The nice thing is that she can totally relate, because she deals with anxiety herself.
I do not have a job. I haven’t had a job since the beginning of my marriage almost 14 years ago. I’ve tried to work before, but it never ends well. My anxiety, bipolar disorder or panic disorder always end up causing me to leave all my jobs. I am extremely lucky that my husband is able to support us both.
So, I don’t socialize and I don’t work outside the home for the sake of my mental health, add to that that I also hate talking on the phone and that leaves social media, texting, email and interacting on blogs as my ways to connect with other people.
Only sometimes even that is too much. Sometimes I go full hermit mode and drop off the face of the earth for a while.
But none of this is loneliness, this is how I’ve set up my life to survive since I have not received treatment for any of my mental health issues for over a decade. And because I’m an introvert and generally don’t really like people. It may not look healthy to you, but I’m doing a hell of a lot better than I ever did on medications.
The loneliness comes in when I come back to social media or my blog and no one’s around anymore. The people who used to read and comment on my blog aren’t there anymore. I can’t blame them, I’m the one who went radio silence for months.
So I try to reach out to other bloggers, I make a conscious effort to actually comment on their posts instead of my usual “liking and lurking” but I feel awkward and like I don’t belong. I feel like an outsider among the blogging friends/family. I feel like no one actually wants me there, but they’re too polite to tell me that I just don’t fit in anymore because I’ve fallen into the blogging black hole one too many times.
It’s nothing that anyone says or does, and I know it’s all in my head. I’m just very socially awkward and never know how to go about the whole “making friends” thing.
Especially since on some level I feel like I don’t deserve any friends anyway, because I know I’m just going to disappear again in the future at some point.
And that is a very lonely feeling.