With no compass you cannot tell who the enemy is.
Are you lonely tonight?
Are you sad because you’re on your own?
There was a time when I lived the life of a celibate solitary recluse. Not just for a few days, or a few weeks, but for several years. I cared for nobody, not even for myself.
I think the important thing is caring about someone. It’s being by themselves that does people in, makes them old and bitter. ~ Thomas Tryon
I completely isolated myself in my garret. My only companion was my little teddy bear; Marmaduke. I hardly ever went out. I didn’t answer my telephone. I didn’t see any of the people who reached out to me in friendship. My only contact with the world was through this blog ~ and in its early days this blog was a pathetic spavined thing.
When I did go out it would be at very unsocial hours; the early morning, late evening, midnight. And, I didn’t go to places where I was likely to meet people. I walked solitary on a lonely beach.
Life wasn’t making me lonely, I was avoiding human contact, pushing people away, sabotaging any relationships I had. I was making myself lonely.
There was an underlying reason for this. It’s a serious mental illness called Borderline Personality Disorder, and one of the symptoms of this illness is cutting off all communication with others because of a real difficulty in maintaining a stable relationship. It isn’t good.
It’s so bad that if I developed a relationship, then a part of me would want to destroy it. Perhaps I could keep a friendship for a while, but eventually the Mr. Hyde in me would do something bad enough to make that friend walk away ~ which is what I expected all along. Another of the symptoms of borderline personality disorder is an abnormal fear of abandonment, and it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.
I have been lucky. I have one friend, one long-distance relationship, and that friend has stuck by me, been my cheerleader, counsellor, and my muse. That friendship has got me out of the garret, encouraged me to grow, allowed me to escape the worst of my self-imposed exile from the real world.
Not everyone who has cut themselves off from the world is that lucky. But, perhaps we can all be that lucky if we are willing to take a chance, and if we are really willing to work at becoming a better, more reliable, more stable, more personable, and less threatening version of ourselves.
It’s scary. But real life is scary. Shit happens. With the right mental attitude we can all enjoy life. I learned to love myself and love others.
My life is good today. I still walk the lonely beach, but I’m no longer alone.
luckily, a teddy bear can’t really walk out on you