Killer of enthusiasm: Loneliness

July 18, 2020

It’s a Saturday afternoon and I have been up since around 8 this morning, ran an errand, and then came home which is all pretty boring stuff.

I’ve written before about my major depressive disorder, the associated anxiety that couples with it and the affect it has had, on not only myself, but the relationships I have with other people.

In these times of uncertainty one of the most important things that have been affected is the connection with others. Even though we cannot always be together in person we have so many ways to communicate now whether online or by mobile phone.

The number of apps available for chatting, texting, video chat, or just sharing things numbered about 250 in 2019 with somewhere around 3 billion users of at least 2 or more. That’s a lot of information being shared across these platforms every minute of every day.

I am currently on almost all major social media apps and this blog site.  These are the places I communicate or interact with others even before this pandemic occurred.

One of the more important relationships was the online person that I had been speaking to for over 2 years.  In terms of my divorce in 2015, it was the longest relationship I had with anyone since.

Things starting going awry, once quarantine measures everywhere began, shutting things down in his country and mine.  It was my mistake in thinking we still had our way of communicating through online albeit it may become slow at times.  I was still optimistic.

I was also still chatting with other people I met online and continuing to have to weed out the con and scam artists. It didn’t matter though because I thought I still had this person who cared about me out there in the world. I was wrong.

Instead things got worse and he quit communicating even going so far as no longer saying “Good morning, Good night, or even I love you” the one thing we always did just to let the other know that they were okay. This hurt me because it became a daily reminder of the failed marriage/relationship.

The beginning of the end in the marriage began subtlety but I noticed the changes in his behavior and all it did was make me start blaming myself thinking that I was just not enough. So I tried harder but it never made a difference. The love was no longer there and the friendship disappeared too. That was the hardest thing I had faced, losing what I thought would be my lifelong friend.

So I continue on trying to find someone to talk to and be friends with but not looking for a relationship. I’ve begun to realize that despite always being told “It’s not you, it’s me” that it is actually me.

I know that people say “Other cannot make you happy” which is true. You have to find what makes you happy as a person. I have things that I do in my life that make me happy:

  1. Hobbies that let me be creative are a big part of my life.

2. I’ve enjoyed working different jobs throughout the years and learning new things as I go. I have been able to travel to places for both work and pleasure.

3. I have four wonderfully beautiful and brilliant kids. I’m very proud of them.

4. I have accomplished many things in my life with a wall full of certificates, awards, and ribbons.

5. I’ve enjoyed a life of relative ease with a few bumps here and there but have always been able to rebound quickly and keep going. 

6. I am a pretty healthy person with no major vices. The surgery on my shoulder was because of constantly overdoing things and it is teaching me how to slow way down in terms of my use of time. 

The one thing that I have never had out of all of this has been a strong group of friends or a relationship with others. It is the only thing that I still do not know how to maneuver through.  So, as part of my counseling, that was the focus, how to have proper boundaries and maintain positive relationships.

One of the things was to find like-minded individuals that shared the same interests. 

I went out and found a job with other veterans and we were working to help other veterans. It should have been a great fit. I was doing work that I like to do and was good at.  Yet, it failed. The differences in our service time and our backgrounds just couldn’t sustain a positive working environment anymore. It was an experience that made me leery of working within non-profits or with other veterans.

During that time of working with veterans I also sought out specifically female veterans to share our experiences together. I joined a local community group that served veterans and had a specific day set aside for nothing but female veterans.

I was a part of that group for almost 3 years but never made one lasting friendship and every time I showed up kept getting asked if I was new. Obviously I didn’t make any positive impressions.

Then a female volunteer told me how I should just leave because I was unwanted there due to unfounded rumors and conjecture about my supposed behavior. They took sides with the woman who I had replaced at the non-profit that I had no idea was a part of their group. A clique had formed inside of this supposed open group to female veterans. I was a not a part of it and unwanted there. I got very upset over it and never returned. I couldn’t even trust or connect with people who shared the same similar experience and background.

I also during this time frame joined a group of cake decorators and sugar art enthusiasts. They were all so friendly and excited about the same form of art. I thought it was going to be great until it wasn’t.  That too went awry because of an incident that occurred. A few people within the group caused a stir at a learning event that was not sanctioned by the director of that program. I told the truth of what happened before hand and became an outcast of the group.

Cake decorators and sugar artists run within a relatively small sphere of influence and we still cross paths with one another. They still aren’t friendly towards me after all these years.

I made some newer cake friends at other events and follow on social media but it’s never gone beyond talking about cake decorating or sugar art with most. I still don’t have a connection with any of them. They appear to be friends with one another but I’m still on the outside looking in.

The past couple of weeks I restarted my social media accounts and on one of them I allowed family member that hadn’t talked to, some in years, to be friends. I stopped doing that many years ago.  I stopped previously because of all the nonsense of online fighting and bitterness between some of them. I just couldn’t stand seeing it every day and blocked everyone.

I was not going to take sides in something that did not pertain to me or my family. I shut it down and only followed/friended cake decorators or sugar artists.  It still too early to tell, if allowing family members to be on the account was a good idea or not. I was and will continue to be selective about the requests I receive.

This past week I started talking to someone new on Instagram.  He seems very nice but once again I have to be leery of his actions or intent. I’m tired of constantly having to block or report accounts. It’s an almost daily thing now.  I did notice that a few times he stated he hadn’t been online and didn’t see my text message yet according to the app it showed he was online when I sent them.  I don’t know and I could be wrong. I have no idea but still keeping a safe distance just in case.

The online relationship person would tell me the same thing then I would see a Tweet, Instagram or Facebook post he made during the time and it would come into question or I thought the content was questionable from a person who is supposedly in a relationship. He would get mad, call me a stalker, and then he would block me from his accounts. We went round and round over that many times over the course of two and a half years. It was exhausting. Once again I kept blaming myself.

It is no different than when I questioned my then husband on why he spent so much time online playing games until 3 in the morning.  It wasn’t until after he passed away that I found out he had actually been online talking to other women and making arrangements to meet them. He was cheating on me the whole time.  Even after finding that out after his death and our divorce it was just as devastating and it still has an affect on me.  

The only thing it did do for me is to not fully instill my trust into another person unless their actions and words match each time. If not then I will always have suspicion in the back of my mind for my own self-preservation and peace of mind. I refuse to be hurt like that again.

All of this rambling and writing boils down to the fact that sometimes people are less than enthusiastic about being out there meeting others because the loneliness that you feel kills it.

If you have always been misunderstood, perceived as an outsider, feel like you don’t fit in, or have never had a positive relationship then it is going to be difficult despite best efforts. These are some of the causes of the loneliness and it becomes a vicious cycle sometimes.

It just takes that one moment to break it though and you have to be patient until then. Patience is not a virtue of mine. Just because that happens though doesn’t mean to give up hope in others.

There are approximately 7.8 billion people in the world and one cannot let a handful that you meet in your lifetime make you feel alone.

So I am not alone. I have a few that care about me, love me and I know this. The depression is a bitch sometimes and clouds things, I know this too. I’m still learning to move past those thoughts and feelings when they occur. Each day is getting better.

Being forced to slow down and have patience due to injury and this pandemic is unbearable at times. It is causing more introspection about my life and the things I don’t like but I get up each day and begin again.

You can too.

Thank you for stopping by.

Take care and be safe out there.

Have a great week ahead!

Peace, love, and good vibes to you always.

Suzanne

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