My friend David, over at authorblog, asks this weekend, "Have you ever been lonely?" If you want to read the responses on his site or check out the other bloggers who linked to the post with their answers, click here:
authorblog: Weekend Wandering
David, I have certainly had my moments of loneliness in my life. In fact, I think that it is the root of the depression I've battled for much of my life. In some ways, however, I embrace my loneliness and use it to fuel my creativity. If I were happy and fulfilled all the time, I might not write. I might not draw. I might just go with the flow of life.
Some of the loneliest times have been those times before I met my husband and after we married but were away from each other. He truly feels like my other half. I do not feel whole without him. It may not be a popular or feminist way of looking at life, but he is so much a part of me that without him I feel a little lost.
We were married in 1983, just after his 20th birthday and his graduation from USMC boot camp. What followed were six difficult years of constant separation. He was always either "in the field" (maneuvers that lasted 3-4 days) or on deployment (the longest of which was 6 months in Japan). I was alone so often with our babies that I sometimes felt like he would never come home. He is the person in whom I confide, who sees the best and worst of me (and still loves me no matter what), and who is my companion in this journey called life.
Even after he was out of the USMC, we spent times separated. I traveled for a company 100% of the time, getting only a weekend per month home, for two years. Sometimes it felt like we weren't even married. I had many nights in hotel rooms in which I felt like I had been cut adrift and left alone for good. There were many tears and lots of times when I was tempted to abandon the job and go home. But I stuck with it and eventually worked my way back into a non-traveling position. That was an incredible relief.
Now that we are in our "middle age" I worry that something will happen to him. He is nearly the same age his father was when he died and although my husband is in much better shape than his father was, I don't know what I'd do without him. I was thinking of that just the other day, because my husband was joking about a pain he had in his lower back. "If it's inoperable and terminal," he joked, "don't give any of the insurance money to ... " and he named off the people. It upset me for him to talk that way. I don't know what my life would be like without him, and I don't want to know. I can't imagine that it would be nearly as good as it is now. I am sure I would be terribly lonely.
For now, I am lucky to have such a wonderful guy to share my life and keep me feeling anchored in this strange world.
Peace - D