Sometimes, I want to type that I’m lonely. But lonely doesn’t seem to do justice to all that I feel inside. Lonely denotes a young woman who might be having a hard time and who may need someone to talk to, but I am so much more.
In the months since my diagnosis I have been cut off from my life. Not just the cleaning and walking the dogs, but my friends, my family and my husband. Lonely doesn’t seem to do that justice.
On a cold day in November, I woke up thinking I had had hives on my face and might need to seek medical attention. In one excruciatingly painful moment, my life flipped upside down with a hospital stay in a city I didn’t live in, more doctors’ visits in one month than I had had in the entire year preceding it and the sudden inability to walk. I could barely get in and out of bed on my own, let alone leave my house.
In the time since, no one has come to visit.
In the time since, I have gotten ONE get well card.
In the time since, I have gotten ZERO get-well phone calls.
In the times since, I have gotten no help from the people who offered via Facebook or text message.
Lonely, doesn’t seem to truly encompass all that I am.
I am isolated
I am tired
I am sad
I am starving for human connections
I am lonely.
It is not an exaggeration when people tell you that you find out who your real friends are when something bad happens. Everyone wants to sit next to you on a thrown of accomplishment, but not many want to sit in your bed with you when you can barely walk to the bathroom.
But what they don’t tell you is that family is not an exception to that rule and my family proved to be more of the same as everyone else. No one really checks in or calls or ever wonders how I am…
Lonely, isn’t really the right word.
I am a young woman who would give anything to be able to change her socks on her own each day. Who sits in bed and daydreams of the runs I used to take when the sun would shine but the weather was cold. Just the right balance to keep me moving forward, but not too cold to keep me from making it far. I think of the days I put off running, I ignored it, I pretended it wasn’t important, and allowed myself to be lazy. If only I had known that my running days were numbered. If I had, I would have run six miles every day instead of every few. I would have pushed to run farther and faster than I ever had, because running was my escape. It was the place I went to when I felt “lonely” or sad or simply needed to focus. And now, I might never run again.
I sit in my house, isolated, removed from all that I know. No job to return to, no friends to visit, no where to go but down the hall to my office and back and some days that distance might as well as be twenty miles. Some days, the distance might as well be two inches from where I sleep as I begin to feel confined and unable to breath.
I do not recognize the girl in the mirror, who has gained more than sixty pounds, who is now nearly fifty pounds overweight, whose clothes don’t fit, and whose hunched postures belies the once confident and secure person who stood tall in her place.
Some days, I want to type that I am lonely. But lonely will never do what I am feeling justice, it is too small of a word for to describe the feeling of drowning in your own life, with no one there to throw you a life line. The feeling of realizing that all of the people who you so carefully supported and tended to have not returned even so much as a glance in your direction now that you are the one in need.