For a very, very long time in my life, I felt lonely. REALLY lonely, like I was the only person on the planet. For all intents and purposes I should not have felt that way. I was surrounded by people through work, family, friendships, church, in groups, online, and in my own house. I had been married for 10 years and had (still have) three kids that I desperately loved. In fact, almost all of my time was spent with people. I hadn’t so much as peed alone for five years, but I still felt most of the time like I was the only one alive.
I felt like a tiny, isolated island in the middle of a choppy, wild ocean, my very existence completely unknown by anyone except myself, constantly beat on from all sides by waves that eroded me away.
I felt like a palm tree in the eye of a raging, savage, tearing storm, cemented in place and unable to move, small and insignificant, bowed and bent and victim to circumstances outside of my control.
Being inside my life felt like being stuck in slow motion on a busy sidewalk. I was sweating and pushing to go faster, muscles straining and heart racing, trying to wave my arms and scream at the top of my lungs just to be NOTICED, but even with all possible effort I was invisible. Forgotten. People buzzed past me, bodies brushed by, and my omittable self was drown out by an endless cloud of blurred faces and swirling voices.
Being lonely when you’re all by yourself is one thing. Being lonely when you’re surrounded by people that say they love you is something completely different, and infinitely worse.
And it happened ALL. THE. TIME. It happens to all kinds of people, all the time.
In fact, at one point or another in your life I bet that it’s happened to you.