It isn't often that I will admit to a weakness. I think in truth it was perhaps 25 years before I even admitted that I was wrong, so you've an idea how much it pains me to appear not in control.
Which, if you think about it is entirely laughable because it is literally impossible to control every aspect of one's life. Acknowledging that is a big part of realizing impermanence in every moment of the day.
But Buddhist musings aside, I must admit that from time to time I deal with bouts of loneliness that can be almost crippling.
I've no idea where they come from, really, though I do know that it builds over days or weeks before something triggers it. Usually it's a misunderstanding between myself and one of my friends, or the realization that I haven't talked to someone in a long time.
At these times I revisit the reason I've got these problems in the first place; that is, I really, really suck at talking to people. I have a hard time expressing what I'm trying to think, and having spent most of my childhood and teenage years as a loner with minimal number of friends I never really had a chance to practice.
When it sets in very quickly there is no way out until it passes, during which I am certain that I have screwed up all of my friendships or somehow pissed everyone off. Or I am somehow so deficient in my ability to process social interactions and stimuli that everyone humors me. Even my family, I start to think, has their own lives now and prefer not to chat with me because I've been so cranky and inconstant in the past.
It is difficult to be friends with me. I get bitchy about things, I bite heads off, I get snarky when people start to make assumptions -for some reason it got in my head that it was my job to point out when people aren't actually thinking things through... because I'm arrogant like that- and I can't remember birthday dates for the life of me. (The dyscalculia might have something to do with that.) I forget to check phone messages and return texts. For me it isn't too hard to take a step from that and feel that people are just putting up with me for the times I'm actually amusing.
These little moments do me no good, and leave me curled up on the couch hugging a stuffed animal feeling lonely and without energy. It messes with me for a day or three and I know that it hits Bob rather hard. He hates not being able to help and he hates it when I am not happy. So there's the double-bummer of knowing that I'm also upsetting him while I'm having my tizzy.
I think the truth is somewhere along the lines of this: I have few friends, but I have good friends who are interesting and funny. They probably understand that I'm prone to outbursts and that I will apologize for it later when it occurs to me I screwed up. Birthday gifts will be late, but they will show up. They expect me to be scatter-brained and know I'm something of a loner anyway, and they allow for that. Anybody that doesn't just go with these things was long ago culled and doesn't talk to me anymore. I need to try and remember these things.
At some point I may get over this and just sigh when I realize I haven't talked with someone in a while... and then turn around and contact them to see how they're doing. It won't phase me, and I won't lose hours or days of my life pondering my shortcomings as a friend or family member. At some point I might, oh say, be in the moment and just go with it. Think it'll take a bit more introspection and meditation before we're there, though.
I started this entry feeling that loneliness and end it now feeling grateful for those that do talk to me and would call me a friend if asked point blank about it. People communicate as best they can. Being accepting of that fact goes a long way towards getting rid of the malaise, as does taking a step back and really taking a look at what's going on outside of one's own self-pitying funk. For this, practice will only make perfect.