I recently got a call from a friend who was a bit annoyed (or concerned) that I didn’t want to come out and play. And sometimes it’s really difficult to explain things over the phone. So here I am, bringing out the crayons and the charts, trying to clarify how my social life works these days:
I do enjoy going out and having fun. And I do it regularly, since I have quite a good circle of friends and acquaintances, so for the most part I don’t feel lonely, and I do enjoy a good time as much as the next person. But on the other hand, there are times when I don’t want to see anyone, talk to anyone, or in any way at all connect with other human beings. This is just the way things work these days.
It’s been less than a year since I lost the love of my life, and that still has a huge impact on my life. When you lose that person that you thought you would spend the rest of your days with, your entire universe shifts. Everything changes. What seemed impossible, actually happened and I had to live with the outcome. And in a case like this, it was not a consensual agreement. He left me because he became ill and died, unexpectedly and suddenly. Neither of us were given a choice. There is no way a person can prepare for that. Or for all of what follows.
I am moving on, moving forward, because I do realize that my life is not only here and now, but also in the future. It might be easy to tell someone to not dwell in the past. Easier said than done though. I’m not trying to live in the past, or trying to turn back time. I’m smart enough to understand that life doesn’t work that way. And I’m optimistic enough to see good things in the future for me.
This means, that I understand that life goes on, and I am definitely aboard that train. I hope to live happily for many years to come. But some days, the impact of the loss, and grief just hits me, hits me real hard, and I become completely unable to deal with even the most simple things. It can be any random day, but some special days it can be almost certain to occur; like major holidays, birthdays, anniversaries etc. On those days, I might be struggling to simply stay on my feet. On those days I won’t call or text anyone. I won’t be your regular little ray of sunshine, because this is the day when I might need to shed a tear or two.Don’t get me wrong here: I really need my friends. I depend on them for nearly everything. My friends are most important to me. But so is my privacy. This might seem contradictory, but it really isn’t and this is what you need to get. So, don’t give up on me. Don’t stop calling or texting. Your presence is appreciated. As long as you understand that it will always have to be on terms and conditions valid on that same day.
Right, I have high demands on my friends right now. You all need to always be there for me, and at the same time know when it’s time to back off. Not making it easy for you, I know. One word of advice: Patience…
You ask me if I expect to love again. Now, that’s a hard question. I can tell you that I hope so, but to assume that lightning would strike twice seems to be overly optimistic. But my heart is big, and there will always be room for love. And perhaps one day, I will let the right person in. Now, that person might have to come with extraordinary qualities. Because I’m obviously not an easy person to deal with.
You don’t have to understand all of this. But in order to be my friend, you have to accept and respect that this is how it actually works. And to a true friend, I wouldn’t even have to explain all of this….
One day, the pain of this loss might have subsided a little, and I might be able to deal with things differently. But right now, this is what I do: I sometimes stay off radar. I don’t communicate. That doesn’t reflect on you one bit. It’s all about me and my processing. So, don’t take it personally. Just give me time to surface again, and I’ll be back on track. Tomorrow, or the next day, I’ll be the person you recognize and know, and I’ll be ready to do something fun. We can go out for dinner, go to the beach, to the movies, go dancing or go explore something new. Anything. Because I really enjoy doing all of that. Really. I’m a happy, easygoing extrovert, for most of the part. But I can only be that person, if you also allow me to be totally introverted, quiet, alone, grieving, angry, sad and defeated every now and then. Alright? You get it? If you don’t, please just exit my life quietly, and don’t bother to call again.
Your fun-loving, smiling friend
Sorry Eric Carmen, but this time it needed to be with a woman’s voice