I believe I might be suffering from extreme loneliness. Is that a diagnosis?
Today I worked from home. There’s not a lot of work, and it has to last me till January, so there is lots of time. In the morning I went for a walk to absorb what light there is. The sun peeked out a couple of times. Getting out before noon makes a big difference to the available light. It still seems like regular daylight before noon. I swear, by 2:30, the clouds on the horizon were end of day pinkish, and the sky light grey.
I lost my hat. Once I discovered this, I promptly dropped my camera. It may be OK, but I’m scared to investigate. It’s sitting on my kitchen table, waiting. And then I found my hat. I’d lost it in the park, and some helpful soul had perched it on a fence post. Thank you whoever you are!
By afternoon I became horribly anxious. I had to dial in to a work meeting. You can’t really hear what’s going on when you try to phone in to meetings, but it looks like you care if you do, so I do. I started to feel better, just trying to follow the conversation which was fading in and out. I think just hearing voices I know helps. Yes there is a world out there with people talking.
After the call I walked to the grocery store. Again felt better. I started to feel melancholy, but that is a feeling which I’ll take over anxiety. I don’t consider anxiety a real feeling. I wonder if it’s a suppression of feelings in fact.
I am entirely alone, and more than half my life has passed. I’ll be fifty in a few months with almost no people in my life. How did this happen?
I’ve carried around unprocessed trauma all of my life. OK, but others have also and they still marry or have boyfriends.
For me, the effects of being treated harshly as a child equated to not trusting people to the extent of being afraid of them. Others react differently. That’s how I reacted.
Plus, I couldn’t distinguish who was a good person and who was not. Good for me I mean. So I spent over a decade with a man who frightened me and was not able to be a decent partner. That was my thirties – really a completely lost decade.
My forties have been a struggle to get myself back on my feet – able to support myself, and getting into therapy. I really didn’t have the money for therapy until the last few years.
How have I ended up alone? I have two friends, not best friends, but good to do things with, whom I am afraid to lose. I have a few more friendly acquaintances. One son, with whom I have a rocky relationship. One ex-husband, who helps me do practical things, but whom I can’t forgive for how he treated me. Casual work relationships from my contract work, but no one I even go for coffee with.
My deepest relationship is with my therapist, and that is one-way, in a sense. He gives, I take. Limited to fifty minutes a week.
Often, I plan to do this or that social event, and then I can’t because the PTSD is too bad at the time. I’m spending an awful lot of time just dealing with symptoms, and processing therapy sessions. Not a lot of time left over for making friends.
Sometimes, I just long for someone to say some casual things to – like you would if you were not living alone. Just the sheer silence and lack of any kind of contact can be brutal.