I realized the other day as I sat and sipped my way to strong cup of coffee, because to be honest I still cant figure out how to make a decent pot, that I am so desperately fearful of being alone. I don’t mean that I have to be in a relationship but when I realize I am going to spend a Friday night alone because my friends have other plans or the boy i’m seeing isn’t “technically” my boyfriend so he is doing “his own thing” , I start to panic. I am not good alone. I’ll sit and look at my phone a hundred times a day waiting for anyone to text me and when no one does I begin to believe “everyone is mad at me”.
In high school I was diagnosed with clinical depression and anxiety. With a big accent on the ANXIETY. Its something I am constantly embarrassed and insecure about because still to this day it lingers and it is not really something to be “proud” of or any type of accomplishment. I have been on and off medications for years. Having depression/anxiety does not mean I am always unhappy, it does not mean I have no will to live. It means sometimes i’ll become uncomfortable in my own skin, i’ll snap a rude comment, that i’ll immediately regret, because i’m feeling irritable, it means that ill fixate on a scenario that is so irrational but my mind can’t shut the anxiety off. My anxiety will ruin my days because its like this tiny voice in your head distracting you from the life and the moment your in, just filling your head with all the crazy reasons your friend didn’t text you back or what I may or may not have said wrong in a text message I sent the guy i’m seeing because it has been a solid 20 minutes and no response, so of course I did something and now he will never speak to me again and there is absolutely- no way- what- so- ever that he could just be a little busy!
….. well then…. instant relief and inner embarrassment.
It makes me realize how I literally fear being alone and when was the last time I was alone…really if I think about it I cant remember the last time I just did something for myself by myself. So I decided to go for a hike. I went for a hike completely alone and unplugged my life for an hour (besides snapping a few pictures, obviously.)
I don’t know what I was looking for and I can honestly say it was the longest hour of my life. I wish I was one of those people who could tell you that it was a epiphany moment and that I was so zen and rejuvenated but inside I kept thinking…
“Boy, i’m hungry”
“I really hope it isn’t snake season”
“I hope no one attacks me out here”
“really? it hasn’t been a hour yet?”
I joke about it but I really did enjoy it. I smelled the fresh fall scent, I saw the yellows popping through the green leaves, I felt the sweet breeze rustling through the trees making beautiful music, I heard the crunching of leaves below my feet, and I even spotted a family of turkeys and a deer!
I found a place near a creek and just wrote. I tried to let my mind wonder to all the deepest places so that I could truly be alone in my thoughts instead of always making a joke or pushing my thoughts out of my head and bottling it up. I thought about Ella and how she so desperately would’ve wanted to come along with me. I thought about how much I miss her, much more then I allow people to see. I thought about how I try so hard to be a good Christian, the type of Christian I see these other amazing people be but the devil is such a obvious taunter in my head. The devil works overtime when your in grief because you are weak and it is easier for us to sway that way in all the anger and disbelief.
I think that has been why my anxiety has been acting up more then usual because I cant just miss Ella and say she is in a better place (which I know she is) but I miss Ella and get angry, ANGRY that she isn’t watching me do my hair, ANGRY that she isn’t around to see my new adventures, ANGRY that her classmates are in so much pain and cant understand why there buddy has left them, ANGRY that she will never know my children, she will never get to truly be there “Aunt”, ANGRY that she will never meet the man I will marry and she wont be able to tell me all her silly thoughts of him.
ANGRY…..but then I breathe…take a look around…ask Ella to not let me be angry…and remember that all that anger is the devil himself telling me all the bad things, all the reasons I should be angry, rather then all the reasons I should rejoice.
I should REJOICE because she is a beautiful angel, REJOICE because she is paving a way for us in heaven, REJOICE because even if she isn’t watching me do my hair now, she got to before, REJOICE because she is sending signs to tell us she is happy, REJOICE that I got to spend 9 amazing years with her, REJOICE because she gets to spend all her days with God, who better person would I want her to be in the arms of!
I think being alone for that time allowed me to see I need to be happy being alone, I cant always rely on other people, or relationships to make me happy. I need to see the beauty in silence, the beauty in freedom, and the beauty in myself before I can expect other people to see it. How will they if I cant even see it.
So I guess my hike did allow me to think about things, being alone wasn’t so bad, just trying to find beauty in life after tragedy.
Living Like Ella