I’ll never forget it. It was a sunny Florida day around noon. No clouds in sight and a light breeze. I stopped and sat on a bench at my new college before making my way to my next class. I opened my backpack and got out a sandwich that my dad had made me for lunch. Yes, my dad made me lunch and I was in college.
I had just started back to school after losing (close to) everything 8 months prior. And as I pulled open the ziplock bag, I felt an emptiness like never before. Why now? Why at this moment?
You see, I never “had to be” alone before. Ever. I mean I had only slept in a room without my twin a handful of times. So now here I am back in my hometown living with my parents (whose lives had been ripped to shreds as well) attending the local university and I was only there for one reason-to get my degree-I got in and out as fast as I could everyday. No socializing, no study groups, no extra curricular activities. Get in and get out.
Here I was. I was alone. So alone. I don’t even feel like that word does what I was feeling justice.
My heart literally hurt and I wanted to crawl in a hole and hide. But here’s the thing. I didn’t. I took a deep breath. I got up, zipped up my backpack, and continued walking (sandwich in hand).
The point of this isn’t for you to feel sorry for me or for me to try to tell you what I’ve lost. For only I will ever truly understand the depth of my loss. The point of this is that I kept going. And you can too.
No one will ever fully understand your pains. We are all fighting a battle of some sort. Once I accepted the fact that no one would ever fully understand my heartache, I made a step forward. I realized that I didn’t need to prove my pain to anyone.
Now this might make you feel lonelier. I’m telling you that no one will ever understand your pain? That’s absolutely right. No one can possibly understand your exact pain. However, there’s this beautiful thing called empathy.
I can absolutely empathize with you. I relate to you wanting to stay in bed, I relate to you feeling like everyone is staring at you, I relate to you wishing you still had that person, I relate to you wondering if you’ll ever be happy again, I relate to your fears, I relate to your anger and resentment. I do. And that. That right there is when the feeling of total aloneness gets a tad less lonely.
You are not alone.