I love the patterns and the symmetry that exists in the world. Everywhere we look we can see similarities between things that seemingly have nothing in common. For example, in my little slice of the world we have 4 distinct  seasons. (Well, we have a winter and a summer and a brief transition inbetween each that’s called fall and spring.) It’s a never ending cycle. And that’s just like life. Life is just like the seasons.

One thing I learned about heartbreak, or really any type of sadness, is that it isn’t linear. It doesn’t hurt a lot and then slowly, constantly get better until the hurt is all gone. No, it hurts a lot and then might feel a lot better for a short time and then it might hurt a lot again and then get a lot better and then hurt a little bit and then get better and so on. It’s a circle. Its a cycle. And around and round it goes. Just like the seasons.

If we are fortunate, we’re able to experience spring and summer much longer and on a much more intense level than winter. But winter shows-up in all of our lives. It’s unavoidable. And when it’s really cold and seemingly lasting forever, it feels like spring and summer will never show-up again. But eventually it does. Always.

And really, each day is a cycle too. It slowly gets light (spring) and then turns to day (summer) and then slowly gets dark (fall) and turns completely to darkness (winter). Holy shit how those nights can be so long. And how dark they can be. But the sun will come up again. And the day will be filled with light again.

There is such beauty in the symmetry. And there’s hope too.

But sometimes I feel like winter comes around too often. I feel like I spend too much time in darkness.

And here I am again. Sitting in the cold. Living in the dark.

My 17-year-old didn’t come home last night. Just texted me and said he wasn’t coming home. Despite me telling him he had to. Despite him knowing he was already grounded from skipping school on Friday, he left without my permission and he refused to come back.

He struggles with mental illness. And I can’t seem to get him the help he needs. Or I can’t seem to get him to buy into the help he’s already gotten and continues to get. It’s one or the other. But either way, I am powerless. And as a single parent, that is a horribly helpless feeling. It breaks my heart. Again. And it leaves me wondering if one of these times when my heart breaks if maybe it just won’t go back together again. I’m at the point where I’m almost hoping for that to happen. I kinda hope that the love I have inside of me will just turn to stone and drop out of my chest.

I have to say, not being able to help my child is the greatest feeling of helplessness.

And I also have to say, there is no deeper loneliness than that of a single parent. It’s so hard not to have a partner to lean on during times like these. It’s such an empty bed at 2 am when I can’t sleep and I’m worried for my child. It’s such a lonely world to move through everyday.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m so grateful for my 14-year-old. And I’m so grateful both my parents are still alive and that they are so loving and present in my life. I’m grateful for my brother and sisters and all of my family. But none of them can fill that unnatural void. The one every single parent lives with.

I have felt loneliness in my life. Loneliness is going to bed while your 2 young children sleep nearby and knowing your wife is out at a bar with another man. Loneliness is sitting up all night in a hospital room while your girlfriend – your best friend for years – battles for her life, knowing she has a traumatic brain injury and not knowing if she will ever be the same. Loneliness is sitting with the woman you’ve known for years, the woman you love deeper than you’re ever loved anyone, and realizing key relationship memories have been wiped from her mind. Loneliness is holding your 5-year-old every night while she cries herself to sleep begging for her mommy.

I know loneliness.

But none of that is as lonely as being a single parent. And I’m so tired of it. I’m so tired of being alone.

And I’m so disappointed that I am alone.

Does it make me bad? Am I just that flawed? Am I just meant to live alone?

But am I bad? I’m alone. Maybe that’s because I am bad. Maybe I am not worthy.

Am I meant to live in darkness and to exist in the winter far more than the daylight and more than summer?

I don’t know.

But what I do know, is that despite how it feels right now, the light will return. And I know spring and then summer will come back into my life.

And I also know that I have the power to move my spirit south where the days are longer and the summers are stronger. I know that. And so, I will keep moving in that direction. And I will have faith that daylight is coming. The sun will be up soon. And the air will turn warm and inviting. And I will bask in that sunlight.

I have that power. I do. And I will believe in it and live my life accordingly. And maybe, I can move so far south that the days are very long and the summers last almost forever.

Yeah, that sounds great. And I believe in it.

3 thoughts on “The Cycle of Sadness (and Happiness too)

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