“loneliness is a sign you are in desperate need of yourself”
Loneliness comes in many forms and there is a huge correlation between chronic pain and feeling desperately alone. Many people (as I once did) isolate themselves from their friends, family, and the world when in the wraths of chronic pain. Fifteen years ago I spent my days alone in doctor’s offices or in bed crying each and every day away. I isolated myself for many reasons: I was jealous of everyone who did not live in pain every day of every week, I felt that no one would possibly want to be around someone who was once a fun, energetic girl who turned into a negative, sad, angry person and I honestly came to a point in my journey with chronic pain where I could no longer fake being happy because pain had taken over my body, mind and spirit. I felt alone whether I was with people or by myself: the latter just took away the fakeness I could no longer muster up for people whom I believed would end up deserting me anyways because of my invisible illness.
I am at a different place with chronic pain and no longer find myself isolating from the world. I have very close friends whom I can share my truest feelings with, a family I adore, a daughter who is the biggest miracle to ever enter my life, and those random people who come in and out of your life because of where you spend your time. However, there are times I feel absolutely alone, misunderstood in ways I am not even sure those with chronic pain would understand as I am not sure there is a correlation between my personal loneliness at times and my invisible illness.
I am Jessica and at times I feel I should not only use my name as a noun but as a verb as well. People always tell me that I am the truest Gemini they have ever met because I am diverse in many ways and beat to my own drum. To be honest I no longer give a ton of credibility to astrology but there are many commonalities I have with the descriptions of a Gemini. Not to mention, I did at the age of eighteen get a tattoo of the Gemini symbol on my back: brilliant teenage move, NOT. I remember when I got the tattoo I was very down and battling chronic pain like a beast attacking my entire being. I wanted a tattoo and it is true once you get one you tend to want more. There was a reason I chose my horoscope symbol as my first tattoo. I had always had a fear of abandonment and my bike accident/chronic pain only intensified this fear, causing me to believe no one I loved would ever stay in my life for too long and because pain was my only hobby, passion, or purpose in life I had no idea what to get for a tattoo. I decided to get the Gemini symbol because it was one thing I could think of that would never change. I was born on June 7th and no one could ever take away my birthdate, nor my astrological sign. As odd as it may sound, I had no identity but chronic pain and I definitely did not want the word PAIN drilled into my skin more than it already was.
As I was working our this morning I looked over at a book I keep on an end table in our living room entitled: Simple Abundance. I love this book and used to read it daily, highlighting different points that stood out to me and made sense in my life today. Over the past year or so it has become a book for decoration like the picture frames placed in various places throughout our home. I was doing a cardio/interval training workout that allots one to two minutes in-between exercises to breathe and drink some water. During those two minutes I picked up this much needed book that I allowed to turn into a decoration and began reading what I had once highlighted. Then it hit me, like a ton of soft bricks. I have been feeling this sense of loneliness because I am not taking the time I truly need for myself. I am rarely, if ever alone and yet have been feeling this sense of loneliness which is not a common feeling for me. Then again, my truest partner in crime is my four year old daughter and it is hard to get a lot of soulful, intellectual time when teaching her to swim or coloring in one of her many coloring books. I would not give any of our time up for the world but I do need to start looking within myself again and work on reading the books that help me in my journey with life and chronic pain and focus on meditation again. I love the quote above because maybe loneliness is not a horrible thing. Maybe it is our souls way of letting us know we are not giving ourselves the attention that only we are able to give ourselves.