I woke-up at about 12:45 in the early morning last night. I lay there for a few minutes, before looking at the clock, wondering if I should get up for the day. It felt like I’d slept at least 6 or 7 hours. But then I looked at the red numbers glowing above me – 12:49.
I’m not someone who has trouble sleeping. I’m not someone who wakes-up in the middle of the night and struggles to get back to sleep. Yet, last night it happened. I couldn’t fall asleep for over 2 hours.
And what followed was a crisis of the soul. Of my soul.
My mind started racing and everything that was wrong with my life poured into my head.
I am alone. I am lonely. I am a single parent with challenges that magnify the facts I am alone and I am lonely.
I think that has to be the worst part of being a single parent:
When struggles happen in life there’s nobody there to lean on. There’s nobody there to listen.
There is nobody.
Worse yet, when struggles happen with my kids (and with 2 teenagers the struggles aren’t uncommon), there is nobody there to help me figure things out. There’s nobody there to give me the comfort that I’m not in this alone.
I can’t think:
I have a partner. I am not going to go crazy. I have a partner.
I’m not screwing-up my kids’ lives and my life and the entire world. Because I have the love and support and comfort of a partner.
I can’t think that because I have none of that.
It’s been almost 8 years since my marriage fell apart. And I still only sleep on one side of the bed. I still notice the other side. Every morning. Every night. I notice the emptiness. The coolness radiating off the sheet. And I feel the shadows. Even still.
Those shadows are even darker and heavier since last summer. Because the other side of the bed was recently filled with a light for a while. Or at least the promise of a light. The whisper of warmth. The potential of a lifelong partner.
But she is gone now. She has been gone – completely – for almost 6 months. And here I am. Alone. Lonely. Again.
And there I was… last night. Missing her. Thinking of her. Hurting for her.
Am I fool to still be so in love? Am I delusional to still believe in that love? To still believe in her? In us?
I don’t know. But last night I felt like an absolute fool.
And if I’m not a fool, then what the hell am I?
These are the thoughts… the thoughts that are thought in the darkness of night.
I am a failure.
I am wrong.
I am bad.
That is why I’m both alone and lonely.
Because there is a difference.
It’s possible to be alone and not feel lonely at all. And it’s possible to be in a room filled with people and feel completely lonely.
But it’s when the loneliness and being alone and being awake in the middle of the night and waiting to see if (and how) the one you love will respond to an email you sent hours earlier all converge… it’s at that intersection that true despair takes hold.
And I know all the things… I’ve blogged about some of them…
I am not my thoughts and feelings. I am the being overseeing them.
I can’t and shouldn’t judge how I feel. Honor the feelings. Lean into them. And don’t label them as bad or good. Simply understand that they are what they are. Don’t judge.
I also know when I’m surrounded by darkness, it feels like everything will always be black. As dark as dark can be. The complete absence of light. It feels like I will never see the light again.
I know this isn’t true. I know it.
I know it now. And I knew it last night.
But still, the knowledge didn’t help. Nothing helped. Not even crying.
I was in the middle of the storm. And all I could do was pray to a God that I once thought I understood, but now realize I have no idea what he or she or it is all about. I don’t have the slightest clue.
And that makes things worse.
I once fell back on my faith. But now that’s gone.
I once fell back on her. But she’s gone.
I once believed if I was good then my life would be good. Now that belief is gone too.
Was I fool to believe that? Am I a fool?
Do I love too deeply? Do I trust too recklessly?
I don’t know.
I… do… not… know.
I still believe in love. I do. And I can’t let that go.
Am I delusional?
Am I wrong?
Am I bad?
I do not know.
To be continued…