The little story that precedes this post is obviously my own view of things. Yes, I am a scared little squirrel. You may have seen my re-Tweets about the Web of Loneliness (if you’ve been paying attention, which I don’t fault you for not doing). It is a cause close to my heart. Loneliness, that is. It is something I’ve been dealing with for many years, though until recently, I wasn’t completely aware!
Like little Winnifred, I spent many years having good times with friends. But, I didn’t share with them my feelings of sadness and confusion. My depression over losing my father. My growing problems with anxiety. And as the years went by, the separation between us grew too great – they wanted the happy, fun Viki, and it became too much of a struggle trying to express my feelings to them. Why I didn’t feel like going to the bar, why I was sad, why I was angry! I realize now that the disconnect from them made me feel bitter. Bitterly lonely. Because they’d never known what I’d been going through. I didn’t want them to. I didn’t want to be “Sad Viki” around them.
That disconnect lost me my friends. Because I just couldn’t stand to be myself with them any longer. I couldn’t stand to pretend; I couldn’t stand to tell the truth.
So I retreated. I ran away. I cut them off, practically mid-sentence. And apart from a few online “relationships,” I kept myself to myself. Several years went by, when I languished by my lake. Thinking I’d found peace, when really all I’d found was a place for my hurt and loneliness to fester. And fester.
It was after a relationship, “IRL,” had failed, that I really succumbed to loneliness. That I really realized how very much I wanted someone to hear and understand me. That I realized how little I told anyone about my life. About all the feelings I was so ashamed to have. And in a moment of devastating clarity, after curling my tail around myself like a blanket and beginning to walk away – I took a moment to look.
I searched Google – tags loneliness, chat, group – and found a group of voices that made sense to me. I was desperate, so desperate. I was calling my “Helloooo” when I posted, and soon felt myself surrounded. I didn’t know that could happen. I was so honestly surprised. Amazed. I read so many stories that reminded me of myself and realized that while all of us felt so heartbreakingly alone – we weren’t!
After a while, with the support of others, I began to write. Initially, to blog. Anything that came to mind. Writing was always a source of comfort to me, and the blogs I wrote there (which you can find here now) were a sometimes painful release. But I was encouraged. I was supported. And while this was an alien feeling to me, scary even, I wanted it so badly that I continued and gave more.
And yes, eventually I was called upon by the great stag to take my writing further, lol. Because apparently what I had written seemed powerful enough to him and others that I should share it. Take it further and explore. And that’s what I’m trying to do.
I can’t forget who gave me strength when I needed it. To them I dedicate everything. Whatever I say that has any worth, it is in debt to the WOL, the Web of Loneliness.
I am still, as Winnifred is, calling my faint “hellooooo” and hoping that someone hears.