Loneliness can be like trying to swallow a horse-sized pill. It seems too big to handle, can leave you with a bitter aftertaste, and often leaves you coughing and sputtering as you try to force it down. On Saturday morning, I woke up alone in my king-sized bed and shook out one of those horse-sized pills from my ever-waiting bottle of loneliness and I wrote the following.
Listening to the morning song of the birds as they sweetly sing one to the other and loneliness settles beside me…now the birds have all gone or are sitting quietly, I don’t know which…I hear the train whistle howl and I feel like I want to escape but I don’t know why or where to…and then the birds sing again but it’s brief, so too soon I am alone again…no song, no whistle, just peaceless quiet…the sound of the lonely…the forgotten.
As I felt the lump in my throat slowly works its way down, I remembered when I used to wake up in my king-sized bed next to my ex- husband, at least those times when he decided to sleep at home, and I realized that the worst loneliness I had ever felt was when I was not “alone.”
Falling victim to loneliness and even perhaps feeling forgotten can happen to everyone and probably does from time to time. Whereas I used to wallow in my loneliness, I have since learned to allow myself to feel what I feel and then move on.
So, I did not stay in bed Saturday morning (for very long) choking on that too-big-for-humans, bitter pill of loneliness. I looked at it and saw it for what it was…something much smaller than me. I touched it and felt its hardness knowing that if I just dealt with it, it would melt away into nothingness. I took it in and swallowed it allowing myself to feel the pain as it threatened to get stuck. And then it was gone, no bitter aftertaste, because I took control and managed my pain without letting it manage me.