WOL – Why It Matters To Me

You may have heard me mention the “WOL,” or Web of Loneliness.  It’s a site I belong to.  A site I found several months ago that has given me the push to take my writing farther than I thought I could.  Lemme share a bit about what brought me there.

In a nutshell – I lost my dad when I was young, 12.  At the same time I lost my mom to grief as well as my older brother.  I grew up in a situation where no one really cared what I did, so I did a lot.  And though I was dealing with the beginnings of depression and anxiety, I had a fuck of a lot of fun.

For years I had fun with my friends.  Drinking, doing drugs, sleeping around a bit.  But I rarely shared the inner pain I was experiencing.  My depression grew, and my anxiety grew.  And though I had occasionally reached out to therapists and counselors, I always felt disconnected and gave up.

Which is what I eventually did with my group of friends.  No one understood why I couldn’t always be happy.  The more they tried to make me, the less I wanted to be with them.  And so I just gave up on them.

Several years went by, populated by a few romantic entanglements that didn’t pan out.  I’d tried to find a connection, that one person who would understand me and bring solace and meaning to my life.  I think it was always a matter of too much pressure.  Counting on one person to alleviate my loneliness.

And then there was the relationship that finally broke this camel’s back.  I wound up with someone who I let treat me badly, because I thought that’s how I should be treated.  But somewhere along the way, I realized that a man I loved should love me.  And this man didn’t.  So I got out.

Afterward, I went through a low.  So low.  I was realizing that though that man hadn’t loved me, he had been the only person in my life even slightly willing to know me, hear me.  And I found myself desperately lonely.  Not for the first time – but for the first time I was aware of what I was doing.  I wanted someone to know me, really know me and listen to me.

So one night, feeling that aching gap in my heart, I searched the web.  My keywords were something along the lines of “Fucking Lonely Chat.”  And I found the WOL.  And it damned near saved my life.  I honestly don’t know what I would have done if I’d continued to feel so alone and disconnected.  The thought scares me, frankly.  And I am so grateful, so very very grateful, to have found the community I did.

For the first time in my life, I could say exactly what I felt and feel truly validated.  I could share my weaknesses, my fears, my personal trials – and feel not only supported, but encouraged!  It was an amazing and overwhelming feeling.  To be surrounded by people who had felt the same, who had been where I was, felt what I felt – it was a revolutionary idea!

I started blogging there – you can read those old posts below, though I can assure you they are wild ramblings – and began to get positive feedback about my writing.  People enjoyed what I had to say – they connected with it somehow.  And that floored me.  That my words might mean something to someone else.  That I could express something that mattered.

That’s why I’m here today, writing in this blog.  I really can’t stress enough the impact the WOL has had on me.  I still feel lonely, at times so painfully so.  And I have yet to come to terms with some of the hurts that I have experienced.  But it’s due to those amazing, welcoming and supportive people that I write anything here.  I owe them so much.  And I will say so, over and over and over again.

If I ever make anything of myself in writing from this point on, in is in large, great, entire part to the WOL.  For giving one lonely person a place to feel she belongs.  I cannot express my gratitude and love – there really are no words.


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