A couple people mentioned they were depressed by my Sunday posting. Sorry. That was not my intention.
My goal is to always be as honest as possible on here. I also want to show that many people at some time or other get really depressed. It’s not the end of the world. And we do not necessarily need drugs.
When people get depressed or have anxiety attacks or whatever other labels you want to call it they try to suppress it with denial or with drugs—legal or otherwise—or alcohol. But there’s nothing like a good cry or talking it out with girl friends that makes me feel better. Some exercise or yoga or friends to boost us up can go a long way.
I had an epiphany about why I’ve suddenly felt more depressed than ever though I’ve been single tons:
I’M NOT DATING.
For the first time ever I’m single and NOT DATING.
This is what happened.
Three weeks ago I decided to take a dating hiatus. What spurred this decision was a date. Not because it was so bad, but he pointedly asked me: “Are you sure you’re completely over your ex?” He was kind enough to keep it rhetorical and let me ponder it over later in my own quiet isolation. Which I did. And I realized 3 things:
- I was still talking unnecessarily to my ex.
- I was talking to him because I was still caught up with him.
- I was caught up with him because I still had feelings for him—including anger and love.
I realized something else while vacuuming today:
I never fell out of love with him like I did with my ex-husband. After four years I chose to marry the ex-hubby though I wasn’t in love with him anymore. (You can read more in the Manifesto.) However with the ex it wasn’t that we outgrew each other but that I was upset about certain things that we could never seem to resolve. And as infuriated as I still feel about our fights I still wish we could have overcome them. I hate to admit it, but I still miss him.
Back to NOT DATING. I decided to instate this policy because I realized I wasn’t emotionally ready to start a new thing with a new guy when the old guy was still preoccupying me. Even though I’d like to move on that doesn’t mean I’m ready to. I told my date I needed a month before I was ready to go out again.
What does NOT DATING have to do with not having been this depressed since high school?
Because I now have nothing to distract me from my deep loneliness.
Before I used dating as a form of entertainment. It was a great form of distraction. You know how much time online dating can take up? A lot. There’s the browsing, looking at people’s photos, their height, their % match with your’s. Reading their messages, seeing who looked at your profile, maybe responding to a couple messages. It’s all extremely entertaining and distracting! And guess what? Suddenly I don’t feel lonely anymore. All these people are interested in me!
Why not just go on a date instead of torturing myself?
I want to stare loneliness square in the face so that I am not running away from it anymore or functioning on top of it. It feels like I am faraway on my own little planet. And I imagine that’s how I felt when I was little when my mom left. I cry about it in my counseling sessions. With every tear I am healing and its grip on me lessens.
As this week draws to a close I know I need to extend my no-dating policy another month. As loathe as I am to do it. It’s not just that I want to be OK with being alone or being with myself. I want to work on flushing out my deep loneliness from my childhood so it’s not sitting in me anymore. And I don’t make any more decisions based on it. And do things out of loneliness and not because I really want to do it—whether it’s being with someone sexually or drinking or whatever.
Speaking of, I also need a no-alcohol policy soon but that’s for another post.
Questions: To date or not to date—how do you know when you’re ready? Do you feel lonely when you’re single? What do you do when you feel lonely?