Loneliness Anxiety

I walked six miles today.

After going to the gym, having some pizza for lunch, and then finishing up an assignment, I decided I wanted to take advantage of the sunshine and take a quick walk around my neighborhood.

And that quick walk quickly turned into a long walk, where I wasn’t quite ready to stop yet. With my headphones plugged in and the sun at my back, I made my way through the quiet neighborhoods by my new apartment, then followed the path along the river for a bit before looping back and making my way toward my house again.

On the way back, as I crossed a high bridge over the Mississippi, I stopped for a few minutes to stare over the edge. At that particular point, the river is quiet wide and deep, and from where I stopped, I could see a mile away in either direction. As I stood there with my hands on the guard wall, and my chin on top of my hands, I started thinking about how that great, wide river could easily take me away. Not that I would survive a fall from that height. But the current could easily sweep away a lost soul and no one would be the wiser.

That thought scared me. That thought made me feel utterly, terribly alone. I started panicking. Is this normal? I asked myself. Do normal people think this way? I don’t think normal people think this way. There might be something wrong with me. Is there something wrong with me? Do I need help? 

Standing on the bridge overlooking the river, my hands on the guard wall and my chin on my hands, I wondered to myself if it’s time to talk to someone. Time to come clean about this deepness within myself that never seems to get filled up. Time to admit how insignificant I feel, and how I often question myself. Time to tell my boyfriend how alone I feel, and time to tell my friends how much I miss them. Time to cry in front of people I’ve never cried in front of before. To make my charade disappear in front of them all.

I wanted to cry there, on that bridge. I wanted to slump down against the wall and bury my face and wait for the feeling to pass, or to have someone there who could comfort me and give me all the lists of reasons why my mind and body are better on dry land, rather than in that great deep river. Staring off into the distance at the river bend, I felt myself hollowing out. I felt myself wanting to apologize to every person I had ever hurt. For some reason, that list of people didn’t include myself.

And then I thought, Em, stop being so fucking melodramatic. Don’t draw attention to yourself. Just wait until this song is finished and then walk home. 

I waited. I kept staring out at the distance, and at the river beneath me. This isn’t regular lonely, I thought. This isn’t like, gee, I wish my friends could hang out with me. This is more like, every living creature on this earth dies alone type of lonely. This is too much for me. 

I started walking again. I walked into the grocery store across the street from my apartment and in a daze tried to find something to eat, but there was nothing. I didn’t want to wait in line feeling so frazzled. So I walked back out and walked another half mile down the street, to get pizza again. I wanted a beer so bad. The guy in the chair next to mine ordered a whiskey, neat. But I sat with my diet coke and slices of pizza and consumed them staring straight ahead.

Guys, I think I need something. Or someone. I might need help but I keep making excuses about why I can’t get it. I’m getting to my breaking point; I can’t keep walking around pretending that everything is OK. But I feel like that’s the only option I have – that, and writing here.

I suppose this will just have to do for now.

Em, day 254.

8 thoughts on “Loneliness Anxiety

  1. Aleah Sato says:

    I can so relate to this feeling. I am amazed you didn’t cave in to that “check-out” that surrounds you… that surrounds me. You are not weird. What you feel… many of us feel. You were very strong in the moment.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. soberserver says:

    YOU DIDN’T DRINK even though the thought was intrusive and there. Be proud of that alone.
    Please get help. While you are not alone in your feelings, it is always better to have someone to unload to and know that, no, you are in face not going crazy.
    We are all always here for you as well!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. nursinggrudgesandliquor says:

    First, good work staying on dry land. And sober. Second, get thee to a therapist. At least that is something that is helpful to me. I recognize those feelings. For me, when things start getting a bit…surreal? detached?…it helps me to verbalize it out loud to someone neutral. In person. You’re worth the effort. I think we are both in a difficult place trying to negotiate life sober but we’re gonna make it.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Melanie says:

    You are doing great, that must have been incredibly hard to not drink in that moment. I would talk to a professional. It’s nice to have a neutral party to discuss things with and also someone who understands depression and anxiety.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Lamar Washington says:

    I don’t know if normal people feel that way or not. I would assume they don’t because normal people are less intelligent then we are.

    Regardless, I stopped caring what normal people thought a long time ago. Just be you. You’re awesome.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. mikeykjr says:

    I take walks like this in the summer. I too cross a river and have experienced the same thing. However, I look at in a different way. It’s not loneliness. Think of it as finding serenity, peace with yourself. You’re on the right track at this moment. I cry in the open all the time. Don’t be ashamed of it. We’re human, its a normal emotion, it’s not something to be embarrassed about. Despite our thoughts, there are a thousand other people probably doing the same thing about a similar memory. In my opinion, there is nothing wrong. You just felt something you have never experienced before. Yes, it’s scary because we don’t know how to deal with this new emotion.

    “I started thinking about how that great, wide river could easily take me away . . .”

    The think here I need to stress, which you unconsciously did, was not to ACT on it. Just like drinking, we may have thoughts about it. I do all the time, like during a NASCAR race, “Gee, it’d be nice to have a cold one.” It’s just a passing thought as time goes by. Just don’t ACT, just let the thought flow through you down the river.

    I hope that helps. At least its another perspective from my point of view.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. soberisland says:

    It seems that you might have some undercurrent of some depression going on and it’s ok to ask for help. You express your heavy thoughts very well and your writing is great. Good job on staying sober and feeding yourself however a therapist will help you to see that you don’t have to take everything on all at once and will show you where to nurture the broken parts… I wish you well.

    Liked by 3 people

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