Recently, I have done a lot of “talk” about being okay being alone, which I am. I am truly okay with being single. Being single, however, is only one part of socialization and connection. I love doing things alone. I love having alone time. But I don’t love doing things alone or having alone time all the time. Due to numerous factors in my life, I’m starting to get this overwhelming feeling of loneliness. I legitimately cried today because of this. I haven’t cried in a long time, but this feeling struck me hard. This feeling of loneliness exacerbates my fears of abandonment. It’s a vicious cycle. Rationalizing doesn’t always work with this either.
My old “friend” group has been doing a lot of group trips — camping, climbing, hiking, etc. — trips that I couldn’t have been invited to. My past partner is the one who plans them mostly, or he is the one that has the knowledge or gear or whatever, and I never go anymore. The group trips are what I miss the most, and seeing pictures of it is hard. It was expected. I knew this would happen. I knew it would be the hardest part, but it doesn’t make it hurt less. The lack of invites might also be due to me. I thought they were my friends, but maybe I was just along for the ride and I never really mattered. I’m not sure the reasoning behind it, but I’m not sure if it even matters. It still hurts. It still stings. I still feel abandoned.
My other friend groups are also not as active. Our lives are getting hectic. I haven’t been able to see them either for completely legitimate reasons. I’m not worried about these friendships, but the feelings of abandonment still creep up constantly.
It’s just hitting home with all my anxieties:
I’m not good enough.
People won’t stay.
People only pretend to be nice to me.
People don’t care.
I’m a burden.
Friend groups leaving or being busy are huge triggers for me. Even if it makes sense. Even if I expected it. I can’t explain this feeling to some, because I’m not sure they would understand. I want to say “I get it, but I don’t get it or it still hurts,” but would they even try to understand?.
I’m also sure living alone doesn’t help. I have no forced socialization. I even have that anxious thought of: if I die, it would take people days or weeks to even notice.
I’ve been trying to combat this for a bit. I haven’t figured it out completely yet, but I’m working on it. I currently I force myself to go places – I call it “fake socialization”. I go to the gym or the grocery store – I see people but I still don’t have to talk to them. It’s like a tug-a-war … I want to see people and feel some connection, but then I also hate talking to new people. I try to reach out to people when I can. I go out into the world and do my own thing. I go on first dates.
It’s going to be a process. Learning. Adapting. Moving on. It’s going to be many small steps.