What do you do when you’re lonely?

11-7-10                1:59am

I hear “Without You” tonight from RENT in my head. I’m not sure what to do. Sitting at the computer. The time just changed back to 1am. Great. Another hour. What I’m supposed to do with this hour I have no idea… So I’m eating Oreos and milk. My head feels like it’s vibrating.

What do you do when you’re lonely? I asked Facebook and someone asked why I’m lonely. My response: “Cuz everyone I know has a life and no one new I meet seems to understand mine.” Their response was that I have a wonderful life, that I’m an inspiration and make a difference. Blah Blah Blah. I DON’T CARE! That doesn’t make it any better. Doesn’t make a difference. I save lives. I help people. I change things. I make waves. It feels good in the moment, usually. But it doesn’t last.

I come home from my life to my life every night and wake up to it every day. I don’t wake up thinking, “Gosh, I’m gonna save the world today.” I sleep as long as I can before whatever I’m doing and when it’s over I need something else to do. But there isn’t anything to do. Now don’t fight me. I made a list of people this week, most of whom are local, that I could ping to do something with. People far off my usual radar. I need people who don’t need me. And I don’t have them.

People think I have “a wonderful life.” But what is a wonderful life? What you see on FB is not my life. What you see on my blog is not my life. It’s the parts of my life that are acceptable enough to share in public. I don’t even share with my group. The only person I actually talk to is my therapist. There are people I would like to hang out with. But they have lives. They are the people who can meet for lunch 8 weeks from next Thursday but only if the babysitter doesn’t cancel or they’re not out of town or they don’t fall asleep that day and forget. They have families. They have people they come home to voluntarily and hang out with for fun.

It is when I am lonely that I wish I had family. Not the friends I consider my family but blood. My family. The people I never see. At 1:30 in the morning when I’m sitting in my quiet house bullshitting on the computer wasting time I am at a loss for what to do. I found some Oreos in my pantry tonight – comfort food. I’d like an actual meal but there’s rarely food here that I’m willing to eat and I ate the last of the pizza for breakfast.

It’s not my wonderful life. I’m just a character in it. Marc used to talk about having a “life worth living.” That was the goal. I never really understood that. I don’t spite the people who point out all the wonderful things I do or change. They mean well. But it’s what I feel that’s important. If you were to triage a patient in the ER who came in with chest pains and was wearing a beautiful diamond necklace, I’m pretty sure you wouldn’t say, “Gosh that’s such an incredible necklace. You must be rich or have someone who loves you very much. Your fabulous life is so much more important than those chest pains. Scurry along now.” Right? It seems unrelated but it’s not. Like there are people who call me to ask how I am but not because they care what the answer is or want to hear it. The purpose of their asking is so that I will ask them back. I want validation. I don’t need reassurance about my life…

I’m sorry. (sigh) I just don’t understand. Meetup can’t cure a broken heart. I could just go do things by myself, which I love to do, but I have no money. So I just am. I go to appointments and to groups and to choir when it happens. I take care of business, listen to music when I can, and Facebook too much. And I pray. And I sit in my kitchen wondering what do you do when you’re lonely?

© Michelle Routhieaux 2010

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