Sunday, December 08, 2013

We Are Not Alone: The Emo Post

Last night's Elf on the Shelf stunt was a last minute "Oops I better do something quickly" effort. He TPed the Christmas tree. Unoriginal, I know, but it's a good throw-away when you need it.

And last night I needed it.

Last night I was hit with a minor case of melancholy. I was just sitting in my big comfy armchair and without reason, tears started to glide down my cheeks. Scott asked what was wrong, but I didn't know. He thought that was me not wanting to talk about it, but no, genuinely I didn't know. He could not understand what that was all about. No one cries for no reason, he said.

Yes. Yes they do.

I know I'm not alone. Sometimes feelings you don't even know exist build up inside until they have to come out. For some people they come out as anger or frustration. For others, tears and sadness. I'm in the latter category most of the time.

After crying for a little while, and being prodded by my caring husband, the reasons started to make themselves clear.

I just miss everything.

I miss the Mid-Kirk cafe on Friday afternoons with my mother-in-law. I miss dropping in on my father-in-law on a rotten rainy day for a cup of tea and a slice roll. I miss my sister- and brother-in-law and my nephew ... and the niece I haven't even met yet. I miss Craft Nights every Tuesday with Heather, Elaine and Paula. I miss hanging out with lots of kids with Maria and Robyn. I miss the love and friendship I shared with Sheila. I miss coffees with Laura, and I miss being on stage. I miss drinks at the pub and the town gossip and the Gaelic school. I miss so many people I couldn't possibly list. I miss being known and well-liked and surrounded with people to see and places to go. Most of all, though, I miss me.

It sounds so damn corny, doesn't it?

I'll just stay with the corny though. Feelings are always corny when they are typed out. This is going to sound so stupid, but here I go... because for some reason I have this insane need to share myself with the world. I don't write for pity or for cyberhugggsxxx, but because we all need to know sometimes that we are not alone in those feelings that we are wrongly ashamed of.

In Scotland, I imagined myself in bright colours. I was happy (in general), colourful, outgoing, bright, busy, active. I wore make-up and heels and skirts and warm woolly scarves and sequinned hats. I was living in technicolor.

Now, I'm grey. I'm tired, lonely, fat, grey, grey, grey. I wear pajamas and no make-up, I eat junk and nap on the couch and check Facebook on my phone. I make two outings a day - taking Fifi to school and back. In the car, not walking, because it's cold and I don't want to be cold. Sometimes I go to Walmart or Kroger. Sometimes I do see friends, and those days are the highlights of my week. I wait for Scott to come home each night with fervor because he's my only adult and he's my joy and my rock. I just feel pretty pathetic.

I want to snap out of it. Trust me, I do. But I can't. I just can't. I make these small little targets for myself every day like 'Get dressed', 'Straighten your hair', 'Put on eyeliner', 'Don't eat any crisps'. And when I meet those targets I feel awesome. Until I realise they are shit targets. Hey, well done, you just did what all normal people do without any effort at all.

I keep pushing away the D-word. I don't want to label myself. I'm sad, I'm down, but this happens. This happened when I moved to Scotland the first time, but look what a life I made! I'll make it again. Scott reminded me of how lonely I was when I first moved there; he said I was so sad he was sure I was going to leave him and come back home. I didn't though; I slowly made those same kind of targets for myself - 'Catch the bus by yourself', 'Take a walk', 'Wash the dishes', 'Stop crying'. And each baby target met was a little crayon pulled out of the box lightly colouring in a corner in my grey life. As my confidence grew and friendships started forming, the colours became bolder and covered more and more of the page until the paper couldn't hold it all and I had to draw more pictures on more paper just to keep colouring.  I loved my art gallery of a life!

I'm back to my black empty line drawing on a white sheet of paper now. My crayons are sitting stubbornly in the box, as I grudgingly admit that I'm bringing this on myself. I don't want to be happy. I don't want to stop missing Scotland. I don't want to replace the amazing people in my life with new people. I haven't made an effort to settle here because I don't love it here. I'm afraid to make new friends in case I leave them too.

I've erected my own prison cell, and now I'm living inside it. And that makes me sad. But I have no strength to tear it back down. It's easier to eat a slice of cake and watch Netflix.

I promised Scott I'd set myself new targets. 'Make some friends.' 'Stop snacking between meals.' 'Get some exercise.' Today, even after we decided to skip church due to the weather, I fixed my hair and put on loads of eyeliner. I put on jeans that I like and a cardigan that made me feel cute. I didn't overeat. I had a good day with my kids and my step-mom at the cinema seeing Frozen. I let myself tear up at the sad parts. I feel okay. I'm not always depressed. I won't always be grey. I feel lonely a lot right now, but I know I don't have to feel alone. I need to give myself more time. I'm in a rush to be and have all that I was and had in my Scottish life, but that took time too. Time and tears. Tears aren't a bad thing, and neither is time.

Time is necessary. Tears are good, even the ones you don't understand. And sharing our tears is good. We are not alone. We should never feel alone.

And hey, toilet paper!


  1. I needed this. Thank you. You are doing great, better than you think.

    I am going to turn 48 this month. And I am starting over completely. We moved this summer and lost all our kids at the same time (the last one graduated and moved out, as did his older brother who had been commuting to college from home). We moved 400 miles to a place where we did not know anybody, six months after I was diagnosed with lupus. In the four months we have been here, I've had to have two lumps biopsied on my breast and (last Thursday) I had a hysterectomy. On Saturday after the hysterectomy, I spent the evening alone in bed watching the sky get dark because my husband had to make an appearance at his company Christmas party, and then he had to go to the grocery store to get food to fix for me because we have no relatives or friends nearby to drop off dinner. ( ...and really, I AM thankful that we can easily afford to stop by the store and pick up the food we need.) But I have been feeling very, very alone. When you said, "I miss me," I felt the same way. I'm not sure I can even remember who I was. Who in the world am I now? Nobody knows me, so I feel like I don't have an identity. Moving is hard, and I'm tired, and I hate my kitchen, and I want some friends, somebody to stop over for coffee or tea and a snack and just chat, somebody who doesn't care if my house isn't quite perfect. I could go on and on. But I don't want to depress you. I just want you to know that, really, you are not alone and other people feel the same way, and in the end we will all be OK, like you said. We will make friends and find ourselves and experience life and color and joy again. And in the meantime you are doing one heck of a job making Christmas memories for your kids because you are fun and creative, and you have time to do these things for them.

    1. I knew you were moving but I didn't realize you were having health issues. Thanks for your comment. I'm glad my post comforted you and your reply comforted me. Where have you moved to? I know you told me before but I've forgotten....

      I'll never be one of those people who can move from place to place to place every couple of years. I need roots. I hope you start making roots soon. I also hope, really hope, your health improves so your overall enjoyment of life can improve. xx

  2. We moved from central New York to central Illinois. I guess we tend to live in states with major cities but somehow keep away from the cities. :-)

  3. Aww Lori, I just want to bring some rubbish cake and give u a massive hug.
    Don't dwell on the targets u are setting, but see the greatness in them. You are at the 'boring' part of a new adventure, the build up and excitement has came and gone, the honeymoon period is ending and now its the start of the 'real life', which can be mundane, and tedious and down right boring. But at some point, it will change a little again, and for now, daily targets are a good thing. If not, then I'm sure we would end up seeing you on one of those 'people of Walmart' type pages!

    I have been where u are, I do slip back right into it every so often. I had a time where my motivation for daily life had taken a long a holiday, even to the point were I hadn't washed for days, then i would snap out of it for a few days. Back then my targets were: brush my teeth, wash and hang up to dry the clothes, get a shower, do the dishes. Simple everyday things that for some unknown reason to me, i just couldn't manage to do.
    This coming from the girl who used to take hour long baths at least 4 times a week, and brush my teeth a minimum of 4 times a day!
    If u need to talk u know where i am, and Skype is always an option too (now where is ny charger)

    1. Thanks, Debbie, your 'People of Walmart' part made me laugh out loud. :) Miss you and your banter. And your knowledge of all the good gossip. Email me sometime to update me on all the juicy goings-on in Port Glasgow/Greenock!!

  4. Hmmm. I'm fairly well and truely out The Loop just now, last time i seen Heather and Co was that night in heathers before you left, last time I seen Gill n co was at the charity night, and I didnt see them for long. May have goss after the weekend tho, as meeting up for some post birthday - pre Christmas drinks :)
    I think Catriona would be best for Coman nam parant gossip, looks like my comments on the school fb group were not well liked. Ha ha. I personally feel I responded great and didn't even mention how they ignored others (me) and made people feel uncomfortable and all the other crap. Diplomatic for the first time ever and no one noticed pmsl.


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