Skip to content

My Biggest Battle


To support my work please buy a
book or make a donation today. Thank you.


305696_372249992810947_270307259671888_935862_297702255_n

All of these years I have been fighting a quiet battle. I’ve not shared this with you – I’ve rarely admitted it even to myself.

However I realized something tonight. The only way I can deal with this demon is to face it head on. I have to stand up, acknowledge and look at it in broad daylight. Only then can I determine the best way to deal with this sensation.

Part of the reason I’ve not admitted to this is – well, it IS a weakness. I’ve spent my whole life trying to be strong and was taught at a young age that you don’t reveal your weak spots to the world so your enemies won’t know where to hit. Enough is enough. It is time I faced this demon and accept whatever will be:

I’m lonely.

I feel as if there is something missing inside, like a toy that has been broken with the pieces scattered and forgotten.

I have had one serious relationship in the decade following my divorce. It didn’t work out. While I have dated a few times and made some really good friends – I still walk alone.

Over the years I insisted that I am content but it is time that I admit the truth. I would love to meet someone who enjoys quiet evenings curled up with a book, tinkering with a new operating system, taking long walks wherever the winds decide to lead – someone to support and encourage me while I do the same to him.

It is time that I accept my loneliness. I need to embrace it and become one with the sensation. Perhaps then I will be able to let it go – or perhaps I will realize that this solitude is what truly makes me whole.

I don’t have the answers and I don’t know which path to take. I only know that I have to acknowledge this before I can accomplish anything.

With that in mind it is time I turned on the light. I need to look around for all of the pieces and start putting them back in their places. I may not get the glue formulation just right the first few tries but that is okay – it is all part of the process.

Have you ever faced loneliness? How did you handle it? Would you have done anything differently? Please share your stories in the comments below.



Like this post? Sign up here to receive updates by email.
--------

19 Comments

  1. meg wrote:

    Oh yeah. I’ve felt that way even while IN a relationship, so a relationship per se isn’t the cure for loneliness.

    The cure, in my experience, is lowering one’s defensive walls. Women who have experienced bullying or domestic violence or year after year of low-income single motherhood are hypervigilant, out of necessity. After a while it becomes the new normal, and it’s hard to let down the defenses. You think you’re sending out “available” signals, oblivious to actually sending out cornered-baboon snarls. Trust me, it can take years to shake this off, and can cause problems in a relationship if some brave guy actually enters into one with you! Then the problems will just alienate you all over again.

    But you’re right that the first step is to acknowledge that you’re not an island.

    Wednesday, May 23, 2012 at 9:35 am | Permalink
  2. Annie wrote:

    Hi Meg!
    I almost deleted this post out of embarrassment but kept it in the schedule because it is an important subject. I like your description of the snarls – I’ve met several over the years that I’ve walked away from – while not snarling at them I definitely didn’t do anything to encourage the conversation. This is definitely something to consider as well. Of course, if you get hit on by a married man snarls are definitely in order (and I’ve shown my baboon butt to run those off heehee).

    I do need to analyse the sensation and I agree – a relationship may not be the answer that I’m looking for, just like it may not be the solution for lots of people in similar situations.

    Thanks Meg, I needed that!

    Wednesday, May 23, 2012 at 10:27 am | Permalink
  3. Wow, Meg, spot on. I’ve been a single parent for most of the last 24 years…

    Wednesday, May 23, 2012 at 11:19 am | Permalink
  4. Annie wrote:

    I love how Meg hit the nail on the head here :)

    Wednesday, May 23, 2012 at 11:30 am | Permalink
  5. Cass in Ohio wrote:

    Yeah Meg for sure you got it! I’ve been a single parent for 12 years, and dating a guy for the past 5. Lonelier now than I was alone. I have felt so lost and alienated the past 2 years, due to the control, but I’m finally finding myself again.
    Annie, I have to tell you this: You are an inspiration to me! I can relate with you in some ways, but the minimalism amazes me lol! It’s great! I’ve been taking baby steps to re-simplify our home and life (with 4 teenagers, good luck, right?) but I can never seem to get the bull by the horns. If only I woulda never listened to that man….
    Annie, keep your head up! We all have our demons that haunt us. My mom always said us women gotta stick together, ’cause the men will pat your ass, and the women will keep it from falling off”.
    Sending love your way!

    Wednesday, May 23, 2012 at 2:32 pm | Permalink
  6. Linda Sand wrote:

    My lonely year was the year my husband was in Viet Nam. I was amazed at how many men assumed I’d be easy since I must be so hungry. Lonely was better. But, I had the advantage of knowing it would end as long as he came home healthy. To get the touching I craved during that time I spent a lot of time tickling my younger cousins.

    Wednesday, May 23, 2012 at 3:19 pm | Permalink
  7. Jean wrote:

    I know what you mean. I am a widow but I am not lonely. I love my solitude. But that is because I am around people all day long and am glad to be home alone. Perhaps if you found some interfacing with people during the day, maybe when your daughter is in school, you may look at it differently. Also you may meet someone who knows someone and so on.
    Tackle the problem with possibilities and what part of “lonely” do you feel.
    Make not being lonely an intention and look at the end result of how you would like this.

    But don’t make detail plans as to how it should be done. Just state your intention and see where it goes.

    What an adventure!

    Wednesday, May 23, 2012 at 5:18 pm | Permalink
  8. Stephan wrote:

    I can definitely relate to you here. I’ve been on 2 dates in about the last 15 years and even though I’m caregiver for my dad and we live together, and I have 3 great kids and 11 beautiful grandkids in the near vicinity, I still sometimes get lonely for female companionship.

    It’s not usually about the sexual part of a relationship but just having someone to share intimate moments such as dinner, talking things over, having someone warm next to me at night and someone to share mornings with. Someone to accompany me to family functions. Someone to call or who will call me in the middle of the day just to say “hi, how’s your day going” “I miss you”. Someone to hold hands with while walking through the grocery store.

    I agree with Meg on lowering the defensive walls. Although I’ve never cheated on a woman I’ve been on both the giving and receiving ends of serious pain in relationships and don’t wish to hurt anyone else or be hurt again. I’m 53 and sometimes feel as if I’d rather just cruise through the rest of my life on an even keel emotionally and not risk the chance of another emotional roller coaster ride but on the other hand Miss Right could be right around the corner looking for me as well.

    Anyway………

    Wednesday, May 23, 2012 at 5:19 pm | Permalink
  9. Stephan wrote:

    PS: I’ve never physically abused a woman either. That’s not the kind of pain I’m referring to.

    Wednesday, May 23, 2012 at 5:34 pm | Permalink
  10. Annie wrote:

    Dear Stephan,
    Sometimes cruising on that even keel is highly desirable… :)

    Wednesday, May 23, 2012 at 5:56 pm | Permalink
  11. Annie wrote:

    Dear Jean,
    That is what I have to sort out. I enjoy my solitude overall but sometimes that lonely sensation really becomes powerful. I also have to look at my life and just figure out what it is, for like you say it may not be relationship loneliness.

    My intention? I want to know what I want! :D

    Wednesday, May 23, 2012 at 5:57 pm | Permalink
  12. Annie wrote:

    Dear Linda,
    I’ve encountered many who thought I would be desperate since I’m divorced, but that doesn’t really bother me. It would be nice if there was an ending point to the sensation however – you are very fortunate!

    Wednesday, May 23, 2012 at 5:59 pm | Permalink
  13. Hi Annie,
    I think you’re right, acknowledge that you’re lonely and then decide what to do about it. It’s ok to want to be partnered. After my cancer treatments, I decided that for once in my life I wanted to experience a healthy, mutually supportive relationship. I “went shopping” on the internet, and was honest and lighthearted at the same time. I’ve been happily married for nearly three years now.
    If a woman with 2 kids, one boob and no money can find love, so can you! You’re a treasure for the right guy.

    Thursday, May 24, 2012 at 1:40 am | Permalink
  14. Deborah wrote:

    After 13 years as a single parent I decided that it was time to accept that it was likely I would always be single, so I’d better live the best single life I could manage, and accept, nay embrace the fact that I would always walk with the shadow of loneliness. I packed up my life and teenage kids and we moved to new Zealand. I started work on the bohemian single life that I’d always wanted. I even learned to talk to people about being lonely. Then I met my husband.

    Thursday, May 24, 2012 at 6:14 am | Permalink
  15. Bryin wrote:

    It is tough to be single, I have been for a couple of years. But I look at some of my married friends and they are less happy than I am… So I take solace in the fact that being lonely sucks but it beats the alternative of being in a bad relationship.

    Thursday, May 24, 2012 at 7:44 pm | Permalink
  16. Annie wrote:

    You are very right Bryin!

    Sunday, May 27, 2012 at 7:20 pm | Permalink
  17. Annie wrote:

    What a wonderful attitude Deborah – I love how the story ends!

    Sunday, May 27, 2012 at 7:20 pm | Permalink
  18. Annie wrote:

    Thank you so much Elizabeth!

    Sunday, May 27, 2012 at 7:21 pm | Permalink
  19. Jen wrote:

    Since my divorce last year, I haven’t honestly had a chance to feel lonely yet. Maybe I will be someday, but for now I am just happy to not to be in a bad relationship anymore and am very hesitant to want to step back into that mess!

    Monday, May 28, 2012 at 10:41 pm | Permalink
Web Hosting