In my 24 years of life on this planet, I have never lived on my own. Until now.
I lived under my parent’s roof until I turned 18 and then I was off to college. During my college years, I was fortunate enough to live with close girlfriends in a handful of grungy dorms, apartments, and houses. At age 22, I moved in with my boyfriend and his father and a year later, my boyfriend and I bought our very first home together. Up until January 31, 2017, I was always with someone, never alone. After I broke off my engagement, I found myself standing in the middle of an empty living room with no one to turn to.
Someone recently asked me: what’s the worst emotion one can experience? Without hesitation, I responded with “loneliness;” the feeling of sadness about being alone. Out of all the emotions I’ve experienced throughout my life, loneliness is by far the heaviest and most dreaded. It comes over you like a tidal wave and all at once, you feel a sense of sadness so strong that only another person’s presence can stop the wave from crashing down.
It’s in the late night hours when this feeling overrides all other capacities. I find myself sitting on the couch, staring blankly at the blaring television. My dog sleeps silently next to me, unaware of my inner turmoil. As I look around at the empty picture frames and the dishes for one piled on the counter, I worry that I may never find solace in another companion. I worry that I’ll feel lonely forever. The wave hits me so hard that I cannot breathe or see clearly. I thank God I am sitting, because I know I’d be knocked to my knees if I were standing.
When the feeling of loneliness becomes so strong that I go numb, I walk myself to
our my bedroom and lay down. The only way I find relief nowadays is through my dreams; they temporarily take away my pain and remind me that there is still hope.