How do you deal with being alone, with loneliness, you ask. I give you my standard skirting-the-issue answer, that I’m used to it.
But really? Ok then … Do I have a choice? Look at what is available. And who wants to start over at my age, besides I am happy doing what I’m doing….
Large quantities of answers to a single question tend to throw the asker for a loop. Works every time. I did after all give a lengthy, detailed answer.
So let me tell you, now that you are gone.
Loneliness? Actually, I am used to it. Like a dog gets used to being beaten. Does the dog like it? No . Would the dog prefer it were not beaten? Yes. Does life go on? Yes? Is it all unhappiness? No.
There is the rest of the time, when you are not being beaten. There are naps in the dog house, sunshine, some food, maybe even a little play. Pretty decent as dogs’ lives go. And with some skill you may even keep the beating to a minimum.
That’s my approach. Keep the pain to a minimum. Avoid the situations that cause pain.
Early on I quit looking for another partner. Because if you do, you set yourself up for disappointment. You go to the store, the party, the library, always with the little thought in the back of your head, that today you may meet the man of your dreams. Live happily ever after. Then you don’t, and go home somewhere between disappointed and depressed. What could have been a perfectly nice trip to the library now is turned into another failure of life to provide, failure of me to attract, the long awaited new partner.
I decided to enjoy life and drop the expectation. This of course is a two sided sword. While at the library I peruse books instead of men, hence missing Mister Perfect in the non-fiction aisle. Reason number 48 why I am alone.
Reason number 16 has to do with having had the perfect upbringing for just this situation. I was an only child, and in my family’s frame work, a lonely child. I learned to be content with myself. Entertain myself.
When I first read Walt Whitman I knew the man was onto it:
“I exist as I am, that is enough,
If no other in the world be aware I sit content,
And if each and all be aware I sit content.
One world is aware, and by the far the largest to me, and that is myself,
And whether I come to my own today or in ten thousand or ten million years,
I can cheerfully take it now, or with equal cheerfulness, I can wait.”
Had I never met my partner of many happy years, I would not even be aware of the fact that I am alone/lonely. But I did. And I am.
You ever read about the One Bullet Theory of love?
“I’m a believer in the single-bullet theory. You can fall in love and make love many times but there is only one bullet with your name etched on the side. And if you are lucky enough to be shot with that bullet then the wound never heals.” (Harry Bosch created by Michael Connelly)
So yes, I have been shot. And no, I did not heal. But that is what also makes it all ok.
I have created a new life, alone. Content. Most of the time. I keep the what-ifs at bay by channeling my energies into the things I enjoy doing. The more I do what makes me happy, the fewer and fewer the moments of utter loneliness.
And if all else fails, I write. Put it all on paper, so to speak, in this digital age of ours. Let the paper deal with it. I spit out what bothered me. For now.