I am alone.
If you were to walk into my house right now, you would see a dog peacefully sleeping. A young boy asleep in his bed. Christmas decorations. A neat and tidy home. And a woman sitting on the floor in a corner underneath a heated blanket—sad and alone.
Christmas used to be my favourite holiday when I was part of a family that was together.
Now I’m a single mother. This is my third Christmas single and alone.
If I reflect back, I realize I felt alone in my marriage—but I still had the comfort of a family that looked as it should. Broken or not, it provided security and satisfied my need of having a mother and father under the same roof for my son. (The same ideal picture was provided for me.)
Eight years ago on Christmas Eve, we wrote on a white sleeper on my then-eight-month-old son, “I’m going to be a big brother.”
Two days later—Boxing Day morning—I woke up knowing my baby was dead.
I loved Christmas so much I made sure I got married the weekend before Christmas just 10 years ago.
Last fall, my parents moved away after being in the same city as me since my son was born. Last year, we flew to see them at Christmas. This year, they will be on their own holiday.
My house is full, yet I feel the extremity of aloneness—so much so it burns to my core.
And I am aware of it. I know why it’s there. I understand that my thoughts about all of these circumstances in my life are part of this creation. I resist it because I am so aware of it.
I of all people don’t want to feel like I’m a victim. After all, I love Christmas so much I wanted special moments in my life to reflect that. Thus when those things came to an end, I experienced a lot of loss.
I’ve dated and ended relationships because deep down I know they weren’t meant to continue. Yet in this aloneness I feel the pain of wanting to be held, touched and kissed by those relationships again. Not enough to make me go back, but enough to make me remember. Enough to make me crave someone so I don’t have to feel so alone.
The more I think about Christmas Day, the worse it gets. Even though I get to wake up to my son Christmas morning, I still have to say goodbye when he leaves with his dad.
As for the rest of the day, I will be (as far as I know) alone.
And so to cope with my own feelings, I ask the universe: How can I serve? How will you use me?
I make a video talking openly about how so many people feel this way—how important it is that we give ourselves permission to feel what we are feeling and accept where we are. I hope that I touched someone. Maybe deep down, I even hope someone will comment and reach out just to let me know that I’m not the only one who feels this way.
When no one responds to our vulnerability, it’s so easy for our minds to create a story: What’s wrong with me? Why am I not enough? Why am I alone?
The truth is, sometimes it’s scary to be that vulnerable, because a part of us is already judging us for feeling that way.
Is it okay to feel alone? Is it okay to want what used to bring us comfort as a kid—family, friends, our mom and dad?
Of course it’s okay.
Give yourself permission to feel everything you’re feeling.
That’s what I’m doing; I don’t have any other choice. Well, I do. I can continue to make myself feel bad for feeling bad in the first place, but that will just create a train wreck. I might as well practice what I preach to all of my clients:
Give yourself permission to be human. Give yourself permission to feel. Express it. Write it down. Cry. Yell. Repeat if necessary. Accept the aloneness. Feel it fully so it can know love and be softened to bloom one day into a compassionate life.
You’re not alone in your aloneness. We’ve all been there. I’m sure if you asked somebody, they would tell you that you’re not alone.
To all the lonely people this Christmas: You’re not alone. You’ve got this. I love you.
Author: Amy Dawns
Image: Sunlight Cardigan/Flickr
Editor: Toby Israel