The Cold Penguin

expanding the box

Social isolation

on April 8, 2014

Lately I’ve been really lonely.  Now I realize I’m not alone, but even with a loving husband, you can still feel alone.

I go through cycles of this.  First I’m lonely, then I deal, then I’m lonely again.  It’s not a fun roller coaster, but it’s the one I’ve been on since, wow, as long as I can remember.

I’ve always been a quiet girl, many would say shy (even though I don’t).  I’m an introvert, fairly sensitive, have a fear of rejection and really hate small talk.

With that said, I have actually excelled at the multiple customer service jobs I have had, so I know I am not only capable but good at chit-chat and meeting new people.  But that’s work.  It’s totally different when you are trying to sell someone on yourself, not a product or service.

And I’m über competitive.  I think it’s from being the youngest (of two – but my brother is 7 years older than me).  I always had to compete for attention because not only was he the boy (a priced possession in my family) but he was older, more mature, and able to converse with the adults in our world easier.  I mean, would you rather talk to a 17-year-old or a 10-year-old about your day?

So when I don’t make a friend, or someone seems to “dis” me, I take it personally.  I take it too far.  I take it as a failure.  That means I’m afraid to even try.

I’ve blogged before about how hard it is to make friends when you are in your mid-30s and childless, and all of those reasons are 100% valid.  But I definitely play a part of it on my own.

So I become isolated.  And my job, which requires no human contact, does not help.  I can go days without talking to anyone besides my husband.  And when you don’t use a skill, like social abilities, you tend to lose them.

And this Saturday, I let it get to me too much.  I got a bit depressed.  I didn’t cry, but I was a bummer all day.  And I didn’t do anything either.  I didn’t exercise, I didn’t clean, I didn’t even go outdoors.  I just plopped down on the couch and felt sorry for myself.

Now how is that going to help?

I always feel bad about doing it, but there comes a point where I lose all my motivation and drive.  My husband will rattle off things we could do, but I don’t feel like doing anything.  Nothing inspires me to move off of the couch and into the real world.

On Sunday, I did better.  I got out, I did things.  And I’m back on my feet again.  But I still feel lonely.  I still feel that sadness inside of me.  And I don’t want another Saturday.

So how do I do it?  How do I make myself fit in to this world that is so difficult to find your place?  How do I define myself?  How do I get in my groove?  Those are the questions that bother me.  Those are the things that keep me awake at night, that bring tears to my eyes, but also cause me to pursue the answers.

I just need to keep pushing toward the answers, instead of letting the questions push me down.

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