83. Loneliness

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If we’re honest with ourselves, we’ll admit that one of our biggest fears is being lonely.

Not alone. One can be alone but perfectly content.

Lonely.

That dreaded feeling of sadness because we’re without company.

Maybe it was PMS or maybe it was a moment of folly. Call it whatever but I’d fallen, albeit momentarily, into the trap of loneliness sometime in the past few days.

It isn’t easy to bare this out but I believe that this journey should be remembered in both its highs and lows, in its discoveries and self-growth, in its joys and in its pain.

It was horrible. I had (willingly) gone on to cripple my esteem with self-inflected misery. I sat in the stale emotional vomit of self-pity and self-doubt. I threw fiery daggers at a person I knew I was safe with, without regard for his own personal reality. I selfishly reconstructed my wall of defense, that on hindsight, only served to keep people from coming in to safe me from my own undoing.

Funny thing was, that one person whom I was selfishly punishing was the person who woke me up.

“Why are you so angry?”

I stared at the message for so long. My mind went blank for there was no reason. Why was I angry?

I made a solo trip to Liverpool on Sunday to search for the answer. I was excited to be in Liverpool (for I have always been a closet Liverpool FC fan but more on this in another entry) but deep down, I was in turmoil. I knew I needed to sit down, clear my head and listen to my thoughts.

Mersey River was the perfect place for me to zone out and be quiet, by the way. I prayed for clarity of mind and heart and calmness of soul. Verily, He never disappoints.

It was hard to come to terms with but I realised I had embraced loneliness. Somehow, along the way, I decided to chuck aside the freedom of independence and picked up the anxiety of being without company. I took it on, wrapped it around me like a cloak and bolstered it to sleep. I looked for reasons to blame others the mister for leaving me alone to my negative thoughts and purposefully agitated him. I wanted him to fight back. When he didn’t, I got angrier. I tried to test his limits even further. He stepped back. It became a vicious cycle.

What kind of sick person did I so quickly become?

I chose to feel lonely and it hurts, so I went on to hurt someone else too. But I realised too that the pain I was experiencing was something of my own doing – I had every power to release myself from its hold. To add to the mess, I had somewhat drifted slightly away from Him, ever since my period came. What a recipe for disaster!

Once I had come to these realisations, masyaallah, I felt like a weight was lifted off my shoulders. I was free once again. It was unbecoming of me to keep hurting myself when He has given me so much to be thankful for. So, so much.

But I am human and I err.

I’m sure that I’m not the only one who experiences this. Many of us fall into this trap over and over again. Perhaps because it’s an easy excuse, perhaps it’s because our hearts have been sowed with so much distrust and dirt through our misdeeds. Whatever the reason is, it doesn’t make it any less painful, for both ourselves and the people who love us.

There is never a one-size-fits-all solution but I do believe that one of the first steps is to find the root of the problem. Look at what is happening in our life and analyse our relationship with Him. Perhaps whatever pain we’re feeling is a coping mechanism to deflect attention from the real issue at hand. Perhaps it’s habit. But also perhaps, it is a true mental condition – for that, professional medical advice is needed.

We all know our individual selves best – it just takes a bit of quiet time and listening to our thoughts.

It isn’t easy, but it’ll be worth it.

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