I’ve never been alone, truly alone. I lived with my parents in a hostile environment for the first 20 years of my life. I then lived almost the next 20 years in a co-dependent relationship. Now, I am on my own.
After the initial shock and commotion of leaving a 20 year relationship, reality has settled in, little by little. There’s way more to come, this I know. But the little bit of reality of life alone has started to settle in.
I’m not scared. I’m not even lonely. It’s just very, very different.
Every decision I have ever made in my life, up until this point, has been a joint decision – from what I eat, to what I wear, to where I bank, to which doctor I go to. EVERYTHING in my life has been decided on with the help (or pressure) of someone else.
It’s very, very strange now – and quite liberating – to know that every decision I make is now one I make on my own. One that I live with – good or bad. And one that I, and only I, can change if I want to.
This stems from an incident yesterday. I started having excruciating stomach pains yesterday morning around 8:00 a.m. As the morning progressed, the pain got worse and started to radiate up into my chest and upper back.
I had no husband to call who would either tell me I was being ridiculous or that he would meet me at the hospital. I could have reached out to others – my sister, my mom, a friend – but, for whatever reason, I felt like I needed to deal with this on my own.
By noon the pain was so bad that, streaming tears, I left work early and drove myself to the hospital.
The hospital is a lonely place to be on your own. It’s cold and sterile. But I knew that was the best place for me. And I endured it all – the questions, explanations, poking, prodding, pressing – all on my own.
I didn’t feel the need to convince the companion beside me that the pain was as bad as I claimed. I didn’t feel the need to console someone for having to wait the countless hours in boredom beside me. I didn’t feel the need to encourage the helper. I was the help-ee this time and I was just letting myself be helped. I didn’t feel the need to do anything but make sure I was taking care of myself.
It was lonely and liberating all at the same time.
I received morphine for the first time in my life and got to share that with numerous people in my contact list. Moooorrrrreeephinnnnneeeeee!!!!!! Lots of folks got that lovely text from me. I also got to share the experience in silence with one of the nurses aides when he saw me grinning with my eyes rolling aimlessly around inside my head.
It was lonely, yet I was not alone. I was with myself. At the end of the day, at the end of it all, I am alone – yet never alone. We are all human – all made up of millions of cells – vibrating through life together. We, as individuals, own nothing – my mother, my sister, my friend. They are not mine.
No, we are not alone. We are all one.