Today is a journey into my loneliness, where it took me, and where I am now.
Featured Image – One of very few pictures I took of myself when I was In my lowest moments.
Title Song – Freddy Mercury – Living On My Own – My cousin Lisa got me hooked on Queen and Freddy Mercury when I was about 10/11 and I just couldn’t get enough of them. This was the number one song in the charts when I was spending a summer at my cousin’s house in Norfolk.
But first, a song:
That was the sound of the clock,
But now nothing
The interrupted silence
A void of a world encapsulates us
The world seems to only drag us down.
Down and lonely, we hide ourselves
Down and lonely, we cry
Down and lonely, we can’t deny
Down and lonely, all the pain.
But the light of my heart,was always on
And the dreams of my soul would come on strong
While the loss and the pain,
Would still drive us down.
The hand of the shame,
Would often let go.
We just need to fight it,
And push it away
We face the world.
To a brand new day.
Hey, hey, hey, we find ourselves together
Hey, hey, hey, the hope to carry on
Now its time, to show what we’re made of.
And Now its time, To wash away the pain.
Down and lonely, pain
Now its time to fight it!
Down and painful life
Now its time to be, Strong.
~ Benjamin Grant
Well apparently I decided to write a song…probably would need tweaking to fit with music, but there is a rock ballad in there somewhere. Bit November Rain like in my head, plinky plonky piano, gruff voice and squealing guitar solo.
I did just sing a version of this into my phone and I may consider sharing it one day. But for now I will do your ears a favour and not.
What I can sometimes experience is a sort of Loneliness internally, this I have been able to now understand is my own frustration at not being understood. Even though I write this blog, I still don’t think there will ever be enough words to truly explain my condition to anyone who is not going through the same. That loneliness manifests so quickly, I remember never being able to explain myself to doctors, and it took almost 3 years to receive my diagnosis. At the time I was so frustrated and angry at the medical service I was receiving. Now I am almost embarrassingly aware of how in reality; It was my own unwillingness to communicate while trying to find ways of helping others understand.
This began my mental spiral, I felt isolated, because of myself. I was getting internally trapped in my own thoughts and pain. It multiplied so quickly, to cutting myself off from other people, and containing myself to the house. This was simply made easier by my physical disability. It was almost as if both my mental and physical conditions couldn’t be any more manipulative to my own detriment. I found it easier to not try, instead hide. I became resentful, angry and hateful. I wanted for nothing but a quick painless end. That for me was the pit of loneliness, that I didn’t even want to be around myself. Suicide was never my option, and the reason for that was the light at the end of my tunnel that made me think there was something. I found my thinnest thread of a chance of continuing and I held on to that.
That thread was love, I had love for other people and I still wanted to share that. I had no idea at the time that’s what I was holding on to. I was just continuing day-to-day in this very depressing pit of solitude. Like imagine Superman’s Fortress of Solitude, but made of poo!
When you are alone, days really do blur, to be honest, years blur together for me. I can’t remember swathes of my late 20’s and early 30’s, partly because of codeine and opioid addiction, but also because your brain just sort of becomes so numb, memories just don’t feel like they were made.
The boredom was overwhelming. I felt the lord of the rings films actually depicted Gollums demise into solitude and mental isolation as a very accurate. I’m not sure if this was the intended writing of Tolkein, or Jacksons direction, or perhaps the performance of Serkis. I did feel a deep empathy for Gollum in the film as when the ring found him, it ruined him. Fortunately my story is in my own control and not that of a magic ring (please feel free to insert, insert ha, your own rude jokes here!) I also feel like I needed to fall as far as I did to really learn and appreciate the journey back up. Like Frodo, I forgot the taste of fish, the feeling of sunshine, well, not literally, but kinda literally. It was a losing of myself that I couldn’t see the end of. Realistically no help got me back up more than the shame of realising how far I had fallen.
I had pushed myself so far away from the world, that even during therapy I didn’t realise how important interacting with the world was for my well-being. We may live and die alone in our own heads, but realistically that couldn’t be further from the truth. We are wired to seek out companionship. We live with others all around, we need closeness to feel safe and comfortable. No matter how far we push ourselves, we fundamentally need that contact in our lives.
In the past few months I have desperately realised the truth of that last statement. I have pushed myself back into the world. Both physically doing more, but also increasing my digital presence. Social media is like a massive computer game and we all love to play. I was so far disconnected, that I feel I have forgotten how to socialise and communicate, Social media helps me ease myself back into friendships and new situations, at my own pace.
I am so excited meeting new and fascinating people, but also connecting to other people who share my conditions is a revelation. I hadn’t been part of support groups or joined any communities related to CRPS or mental health conditions. I regret that so much now; I have never felt so understood and comfortable with people. People all at their own stages of their journeys all support and caring for each other. I love attention and care, it is one of my favourite things to see people going the extra mile for someone else. I am currently able to see these things all the time.
Like we describe depression as a spiral, I believe positivity to be a snowball, once it gets going it just gets bigger and bigger. I especially look forward to making this metaphorical snowman!
Living on My Own
So let me leave you with the Legend that is Freddie Mercury. I don’t even need to give advice on how to enjoy this song as it quite simply is impossible not to.
DEE DO DAY DAY DEE DO DAY DAY I DONT HAVE NO TIME FOR YOUR MONKEY BUSINESS!!!