All By Ourselves

Wilson, Tom Hank’s companion in “Castaway”

Loneliness is an odd companion, and it just won’t leave you alone.

I’ve been on my own now for 9 months, and it’s been one of the greatest learning experiences of my life.

First came a tremendous feeling of liberation, of being free from oppression, of expanded options, of being unchained.

Then came a period of examination, of expanded introspection, weighing options, of looking where to turn and which path to take.

About 3 months into singleness I had a panic attack.  The freedom fled, and I left work and curled up in a ball in my bed at home and slept.  I realized that I was alone.  Very alone.

I had been alone the whole time, of course.  It’s just that I didn’t realize it.  It was repressed and shielded from my consciousness.  Loneliness stepped out of the shadows, where he had been lounging and snacking and entertaining himself for decades.  All he said, in a nonchalant manner was “Hi”.  I was speechless.

Since then he really hasn’t said much more.  He’s just there, and I’m aware of his presence.  He looks over my shoulder and I see him in the mirror when I’m brushing my teeth in the morning.  He sits in the back seat of my car and watches the scenery go by on my way to work.  When I get home he’s napping on the couch.  He snores next to me in bed at night.

I was married for 35 out of the last 38 years, but I was alone the whole time while pretending I wasn’t.  Now that I know that I was, and am, it sheds a whole new light on things.

The feeling of loneliness comes from believing that you’re not OK in and of yourself.  It’s a belief that you need someone or something else to “complete” you.  You are relating to yourself in a diminished way; not fully connected to your essence.  Not fully conscious of your self – that other half of you that was always there, but hidden in the shadows.

I’ve been negotiating a merger with my other half lately.  He sits in the front passenger seat of the car now, and next to me when I brush my teeth.  We’re becoming inseparable and more fully aware and conscious of each other.  At first I didn’t like him a whole lot, but I’ve realized that we’re one in the same and need to learn to deal with it.  It might just be OK.  In fact, it will probably be more than OK.

Each of us has all we need within.  Awakening to that fact is true liberation.

I have a great deal of company in the house, especially in the morning when nobody calls.

~Henry David Thoreau

One thought on “All By Ourselves

  1. I have just read a book (I do not recommend it) that is about recovery from abandonment; and the final chapter prepares you for reconnecting with another. I thought to myself, no the last chapter is the reconnection with yourself, being happy with yourself.
    Great post, you sum this up well.

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