This evening I think I feel lonely and alone. Sometimes I’m not sure of the difference between those two feelings. Alone is isolated and separated and not belonging, not-empathised-with, not wanted even. Perhaps lonely is more without others, wishing for someone.
Since my close friend and her husband and I are no longer in contact at present, I have almost no interaction in person with anyone outside work, no genuine meaningful interaction at least, beyond exchanges in shops or chance meetings with acquaintances where the front must stay most securely up. That’s a selfish and self-centred reason to miss her, but it’s true, as well as missing her tenacity, determination, energy, faith and curious perspectives; her surprising kindnesses.
I do not know whether or how to try to repair our relationship and whether to expect her in any way to cope with me now, would be fair or something she’d want. She’s said and done things that are clear enough to me that our friendship had no goodness, enjoyment or happiness for her and that it had a lot of frustration, irritation and just a sense of obligation. If she were in need of someone or something of any kind, company, help, happiness or prayer, I know I’d be the last person she’d choose.
I’m hurting and longing. I’m asking God to give me strength to turn to His Word and stay close to Him, who gives all we need and more and pours love into our emptiness.
I’m trying to make each interaction with anyone, down to the most seemingly insignificant, a chance to give my best – caring, patience, a smile, a warm response. Doing these things outwardly, perhaps my heart that’s hurting and cold right now may be changed.
It’s loud in my head today. It’s been a day of doubting and checking everything and a cloud of trepidation telling me everything I’ve done wrong and every way I’ve failed. Every comment and criticism ridicules and mocks me, cutting deeply. It feels like being surrounded on all sides. I actually startle easily and feel someone is following and watching me; I hear whispers of anger and disgust and voices pulling me apart – and my mother’s voice. It’s like I’m stumbling on a jagged path where there is too much mist to see where it will lead. I can only see as far as a very few steps ahead. But I must keep walking on this way because either side is thick darkness, trees and unknown beings with branches or arms that would enmesh me, surround me and call me into deeper night that would obscure all hope. The path turns and does not follow the expected course and I have no idea where or if it will end. Often it twists and seems to lead me deeper into the forest, the branches clutching closer and the voices louder. I cannot retreat because behind me, somehow, the path has fallen away. I can only stay on the path unfolding gradually before me, the rocks mark out the way, and I try to walk forward through the mist.
I wonder how many others may follow a way such as this and whether we may be nearer to each other than we know.