It’s been a lonely few weeks.
Dealing with a herniated disc is awful as it is (and it’s been going on for, oh, 6 months now), but it’s not just the physical pain that is crippling at times. It’s how *shit* piles up.
So, there’s the nerve pain in my left leg. Then – wait till I get started –, then there’s my eating disorder holding hands with the devil of compulsive exercising. Cool, that’s already quite the pile of shit.
But there’s one more thing, and that’s what’s making *shit* twice as hard to deal with:
I happen to be a very social being, and for decades, I was surrounded by people. As a radio DJ, I was working in a beehive-like environment, knew what felt like half the country, and even more people thought they “knew” me, since – as the voice babbling from their receivers, I was sort of keeping them company throughout the day, which was a privilege as well as a burden for me.
Privately, I was much more shy than one would think.
I was just brilliant at acting confident, thought that this was what was expected of me – being strong, having an attitude, not taking everyone’s crap, being the “independent” one. Just generally thinking that, well, I need to have my shit together. (Now, now, my use of the word shit is clearly getting out of hand here, gotta watch that.)
Where was I. Right. So, privately, I was much more authentic, kept a handful or two of close friends that I shared my joys and struggles with. I’m glad and ever thankful for each one of them, because without them, I don’t know if I could have made it this far. Not having a family or a partner, and coming from a past of trauma and abuse, it was only with my friends that I slowly experienced what “trust” means. And even though there were letdowns (nope, I didn’t always let the “right ones” in) and hurts, I share my most precious memories with people that I know or once knew.
Problem is, that for the past two years, significant changes are happening. My closest girlfriend got married and moved to another city. The relationship with another girlfriend grew from very close to distant to non-existent because our values diverged too much and her choices in life just weren’t congruent with mine anymore. My four close male friends; one has just had twins and moved away, the other married a woman with a child and is busy with his newfound family, another has had a breakdown and has checked himself into a clinic, and the fourth is caught in a divorce and is busy getting his life together, i.e. changing jobs, moving to another city.
See, it’s not so much that they’re not my friends anymore. They are. Very much so. And I know they’ll probably always be. It’s just that I hardly see them anymore. Gone are the days when we spent hours and hours together, talking, laughing, hiking, hanging out, going for dinner, getting carried away in heated conversations… Weren’t we always the ones who still sat there when the barman started rattling his keys, begging us to please, please, for chrisssake, let him go to sleep.
Ah, good times, those.
Life is constant change. Not a fact I appreciate much, since – as an anxious person – I like it, when things are dependent and reliable. Sameness has a strange appeal to me. That’s why I’m really struggling with my current circumstances, and I wonder where one gets another set of close friends. Rhetorically speaking, but not only so. I really wish there was a bit more connection, a bit more support, a bit more “human” contact, be it a hug, a shoulder to cry on, a hand to hold or just someone who says “shhhh” when the demons are acting up again.
Thoughts about that brought up a feeling I didn’t expect: This morning, when I awoke with excrutiating pain in my leg (from that herniated disc that presses on a nerve in my back), I cried with overwhelm, and then suddenly, I thought back to when I was this boyish toddler (oh, isn’t HE cute? AAAARGH!!), then a chubby teenager, later a seemingly carefree young adult… and then? Shit (sorry) slowly but continuously hit the fan. There I was, in bed, thinking: I miss myself. That started the crying again, but somehow it was very moving. Because, yes, I do miss myself, the self before the hurt, before the conditioning, before the conviction that there must be something wrong with me, before the diets, before the depression, before the eating disorder, before the isolation.
I miss closeness, I miss connection, I miss authentic, loyal people, I miss a feeling of support. And I miss myself, too.
Feeling better already.