Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Loneliness

So I've been thinking. Generally, when I'm depressed, I'm very depressed indeed, and when I'm busy or distracted, I assume that I'm fine. (And sometimes this is true.) It requires me taking a step back to see what things are really missing in my life. I tend to do this more when I'm depressed, which skews the results a little, but I've always found that unhappiness or unrest is a great goad to self-evaluation.

My conclusion is that two big things are missing in my life.

First, I don't have enough close girlfriends. I love my husband and we're terrifically close and I get to spend a lot of time with him. But all the other people we spend time with are pretty close friends but not very close - and few of them are women and none of those are really "bosom friends," you know. I do have good girlfriends, they're sort of all over the country (and other countries). But none with whom I feel that I share my day-to-day existence. I would benefit from the company of more women.

Second, people are not demanding nearly enough of me. I don't mean that I stare at the wall at work (I don't) or that I am never swamped in social obligations (this happens often, but I feel just as lonely - see above) or that I cannot fill my time. I can always fill my time. I fill it with nonsense, which I generally enjoy. However. I moved here almost six months ago and nobody needs me. When I walk out of church, somebody ought to notice that I'm an adult, married, have my own car, don't have children to look after, and show up there fairly frequently, and am just crying out to be pressed into service to do something, possibly several things, possibly something every night of the week. The rest of it is my fault. Charities at which I might like to volunteer cannot fairly be expected to find me. I need to go looking - I am sure there are many who would love to have some of my time. There are lots of things I'd like to do, from pro bono legal work to helping at a soup kitchen or a shelter. But I got busy with social engagements and work and haven't.

I guess what I mean is that part of what makes the longing for a family so acute is that there's a whole side of my personality with which I'm not doing anything. Because I don't have babies to care for, I've thrown my energy into very different, more self-focused and less nurturing activities. In particular, that means building my career - whether that just happened that way or is some sort of cutting-off-my-nose-to-spite-my-face type revenge against the world or God or someone who is irritating me, I can't entirely say. Maybe both. Probably both.

I'm not suggesting that the hole in my heart where the love for all the little babies should be isn't real, or that it would be filled and smoothed over if I only visited nursing homes and got a dog. It's real, all right, and it's not going away. But, I don't need to wear away at the edges of it until it becomes the Grand Canyon of babylessness.

6 comments:

  1. Welcome to blogging. I'm not sure if blogging will give you the type of friendships or challenges you are looking for, but it is a way to kill some childless hours.

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  2. I've only been able to avoid falling into the big pit of IF despair is pursuing something that really matters to me (i.e. my research and our dream of a small farm). Frankly, without those two things, I'd be an absolute basketcase.

    While reaching out and engaging with the world can really help, of course your feelings remain and sometimes need to be acknowledged. But it really takes the edge off.

    I hope this blog helps you steer clear of the Grand Canyon.
    http://sluggishbutterfly.blogspot.com/

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  3. I found your blog on stirrup queens -- I really resonate with this post - please read my blog, my new years post discusses the need for "bosom friends". I will add you to my google reader and my blog roll! <3 Kylene

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  4. I hope you find some comfort in the blogging world. It's been a huge comfort for me. I hope things work out for you and you'll be parenting soon.
    ~~HUGS~~

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  5. Welcome to IF blogging. I think that you will find this group to be very supportive and nurturing in times of need. This type of attention and support may help you IRL to meet some of the challenges that you discussed in this post.

    I'm sorry that you have had to deal with IF and lonliness.

    *hugs*

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  6. I too long for more bosom friends. I often alienate myself by being introverted and into many "projects" But I do relate with the fact that I don't have someone in my life, other than my husband that I chat with on a daily basis.
    I hope you find comfort in blogging.
    I will add you to my blog roll

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