Friday, April 16, 2010

Alone.... but not lonely

For the past three years since my brain injury, for the first time ever in my life, I have been alone...completely alone. No kids. No man. Nada.

Pets don't count, do they? The number of cats has grown abnormally high over the years...six....and one dog. BTW - I think the "crazy, cat lady" has a certain charm.

After I tried to commit suicide, my ex-husband sued me for custody of the kids. He won, and then promptly moved out of state with them. It certainly was in the best interest of the kids at the time, and, while I do not think it was his intent at all, it was what was absolutely best for me too.

My boyfriend of three years had taken himself out of the picture rather unexpectedly for me at least. That was part of what prompted my suicide attempt. I was planning on a future with him whether he was with me or not. I had it all worked out nicely in my head.

So, here I was all alone. Even pretty seriously brain injured, my first instinct was to struggle against it and fill up the time and space with people, with TV, with emails to my kids...just general busy-ness. I slept a lot because my condition required it...I couldn't NOT sleep...but, also, because when I was asleep I did not have to think or feel or be alone. I considered getting a room mate.

I remember seeing the geese at the lake near my house. Ever noticed how geese always seem to be in pairs? Boy, I sure did, and I was jealous of them! It made me mad. I thought, "Why do they get to have a mate??...even if he does honk annoyingly as hell and poop green slime all over the place."

Over time, I grew to appreciate and even like my solitude. Being alone has been vital to my healing both physically and emotionally. I just barely had enough mental energy to exist and function at first. There were not enough reserves to worry about what others thought and to "perform," which I had perfected to the level of an art up until that point of my life.

I pretty much isolated myself and withdrew from everyone and everything. I could not be around people for any length of time. It mentally exhausted me. Still does somewhat. This gave me the opportunity to put my energy into myself. I had nothing else to do. Something I have never really done - ever. A man or the kids had always been at the top of the list. I was somewhere down near the bottom after the dog.

Being alone also forced me to grow up, finally, in my mid forties. About time, huh? I had to decide who I was without hiding behind the roles I played in life or by trying to be what I thought some man wanted me to be. All that was gone. So, I had to determine what was left and who I was then.

In her book "Why People Don't Heal and How They Can," Caroline Myss says that the fear of being alone lies at the core of many people's inability to heal. Not healing allows people to lean on others for assistance and play on their guilt to keep them around. There is a certain power over others in not healing.

Being alone has allowed me to heal, become self sufficient and learn to like my own company. You know what? I am pretty cool to be around! It has allowed me to eat whenever I feel like it, play my music as loud as I want, and walk around with zit cream on my face. However, I can't say that it has done much for my table manners.


  1. Great revelations. I had to go through something similar but only came within inches of actually attempting suicide, A voice and some powerful energies kept me from going further. I applaud all that you've done for yourself and others since that life-changing episode of your life.

  2. kathy dollyhighApril 17, 2010

    Debbie, You are amazing and what an insight you have! I can relate so much to your words here, and your words give me great comfort. I feel that I had to be completely alone to finally "get it", and I'm glad to see it all put into words.
    Kathy Dollyhigh

  3. Tony, thank you for your kind words. The darkest places are the best teachers I have found. It is so true when you are in one that there is no where to go but up. Thank you for your encouragement and support along the way. You, yourself are an inspiration to me!

    Kathy, nice to hear from you and know you are out there. Thank you also for your kind words. I know you have been though some awfully tough challenges which makes me so glad to see you finding some peace and making some sense of it all. Keep at it! I still meditate to Isa's music and love the vibrations of it Thank you so much for the cd.