As I child I was alone alot. I spent my time at the library reading books after school. Home was not a welcome place for me. My mom and older sister made home a living hell. I would get yelled at for every little thing I did and didn't do. At school I got picked on and made fun of. This occured all through school into high school. I was a loner and didn't have many friends. The one friend I had I sacrificed for what I thought was a chance to be popular. I really regret that now. I wish I could apologize to Tina for that. So I spent my time reading,watching television, and living in a fantasy world.I was very lonely growing up.
Religion was a comfort. The thought that a God was out there somewhere thinking about you and caring for you. Angels were fighting battles for your spiritual welfare. God was looking in on you from birth (Psalm 139). It gave me comfort to believe that someone out there cared. When I found a church that seemed to consist of people who cared I felt like I had hit the lottery. I was no longer alone. I could be myself and my efforts to care for others would be appreciated. I realized twenty years later that I was a statistic and not a lost soul to these people. I did make some life long friends and forged some close relationships but most of them didn't seem to last.
When I left the church I felt that childhood lonliness creep back up into my psyche again. I tried to escape it by ignoring it. I looked to my husband to fill the lonliness but he was depressed too ( for different reasons). Reading books wasn't something that gave me comfort like they used to. I really felt alone and exposed. I felt as if something terrible was going to happen to me or my husband. After all life is full of surprises. What happened before can happen again and usually does. I felt an extreme sense of anxiety and vulnerability. It was hard getting out of bed and leaving my home to go anywhere. I felt angry and betrayed that I had fallen for such a lie as religion.
There was no god watching out for me. No angels are protecting me from harm. Jesus didn't hear my prayers because He'd never existed. If I wanted good things to happen in my life I was to be the one to make them happen. I have to answer my own prayers. When I was alone I was really alone. I had some friends and some family pulling for me but that is it. In this world we need to help and encourage each other and answer each other's prayers.
Feeling lonely is a realistic emotion. We are social creatures. We are raised to seek out other people in relationships. Child molesters know this. They take advantage of a child's innocence and desire to connect to other people. My parents took care of my physical needs but they never took care of my emotional needs. That's why me and my sister were willing marks for the church we joined. We were still looking for that connection with people. We wanted to be loved. The church recognized that need and love bombed us. We were hooked; constantly trying to find the love we didn't get as children.
What I have learned is that it is o.k. to feel lonely. For so long I thought there was something wrong with me. Feeling alone and lonely is natural and doesn't have to be scary. Listening to music, reading, writing, all help me with my lonliness. Staying connected with friends and family also helps the lonliness in my heart.
Now that I am an anthiest I appreciate the human spirit so much more. People overcome adversity in their lives with astonishing strength and force of will. The human spirit can be indomitable and full of positive energy. In my own life being able to work despite my illness was my own personal victory over adversity. To be honest I gave up a few years ago. I just existed and didn't try to forge a new path. I was extremly depressed and discouraged; especially after I was denied disability for the third and last time. I just sat down and waited to be thrown out on the street. It was hard to overcome my feelings of failure.
The last five years have been hard but they are part of my journey in life. I had to experience this depression and lonliness to appreciate the positive things in life. I think writing this blog has helped me put things in perspective. I am able to see the changes I have made since my last manic episode. I am able to take small steps toward feeling better about myself and my future.