They say that the pandemic of our time is loneliness. I think, in this case, they may, actually be right.
More than ever, our social lives are not the rooted, traditional, sanguinous relations bestowed on us by the great universal punnett square.
Our families are smaller, and spread over the globe. Or our families are bat shit crazy and the last people you’d ever want to confide in.
Our economy dictates less reliance (although the pendulum is swinging back) on traditional, generational roles, and there you have it, we are more independent, autonomous, and alone.
The reality is that here we are, all grown up, and feeling disconnected.
Depression and anxiety plague every person on the planet to some degree. That’s why we have overspending, liquor stores, whore houses, internet porn, a mani-pedi shop on every corner, and thousands of square feet of bookstore shelves full of self-help books.
Ah yes. Hello adulthood. Thank you for introducing me to anxiety, depression, broken-hearts and disappointment. Most of all, thank you for making me feel like I have to plaster on a happy face and pretend I don’t feel any of these things. Thanks a lot.
But wait. Just hold on a second my sumptuous little crumpets.
It doesn’t have to be like that.
Every single person that I know and would call ‘friend’ has suffered some kind of depression. Every single man I’ve had a relationship has struggled with feelings of loneliness, anxiety, depression or that restlessness we like to attribute to a mid-life crisis.
I can hear your charming selves thinking quietly, “Ms. M., just get to the point.” Well, grab your icy gin and tonic and pull up a chair my sweet ones. The point, are you ready for this? The point is that feeling like hell about yourself, your accomplishments, your family, blah-dee-blah-dee-blah, is normal. So is feeling really great. Nothing is permanent, it’s just that the bad stuff seems to take more time and energy.
Yes, just sip your little cocktail darling and have a quiet think about that.
Acting like some hopped up southern cheerleader and plastering on a smiley face every day is not normal. Frankly it scares the shit out of me, and gives me flashbacks to my trauma-laden childhood. Ooga-booga!
I’m not saying you should go around complaining incessently about what hasn’t gone right, but I am suggesting you make an effort to be in the moment as much as possible.
Enjoy the sunshine. Relish a hot meal and a tasty glass of wine. Don’t rush your conversations with friends. When you open up, to your friend, or to your lover, you realize you’re not alone in your fears or insecurity. When you discover this, you connect, banish loneliness and discover joy.