One Is The Loneliest Number
The number one. Zero resents it and two pities it. Forget three and four, they despise it. Like the song says, one is the loneliest number. People tell me they love to be alone, or that to be strong you need alone time. Famous psychiatrists have said that if you are lonely when you're alone, then you're in bad company. I'm sure they're all right, so why do I never crave alone time? I think I spent too much time alone (even in a crowd) in my life already. Or, I really am bad company, I don't know.
I am alone for the weekend and I know that when I'm by myself for too long, all the demons creep in. Maybe you know what they're like - little horned, hairy versions of you with cloven hooves that tell you all the reasons why you're alone: Because you're annoying; You talk too much; You are tiresome; Because people need a break from you. Then, when those demons have brought you to tears, another demon steps in to tell you how pitiful and weak you are for being down on yourself. I've lived with these demons my whole life.
These self-loathing versions of me want to convince the central (true) me that I'm not good enough on my own and worse yet, I'm not good enough for anyone else either. They shout at me that everyone else has their shit together and that I am alone, standing on the sidelines. That I will always be the bridesmaid, never the bride. It's an easy way of thinking to fall into, because it doesn't take much to convince yourself that your life sucks compared to everyone around you when you're not happy with your situation. The trouble is, when there's nothing really wrong with your life, and in fact, your life has never been better, how do you reconcile feelings of loneliness and sadness with your reality? How do they coexist and how do you build a strong, healthy future, when you've trapped yourself under the weight of outdated notions that you will never achieve what you dream of and that, worse yet, when you do, no one is likely to notice? When you're sure that everyone else will achieve their dreams and soon realize that you're not worth the time, or that you're far less interesting than those they've met on their own successful journeys?
I refuse to give in to this way of thinking for the long term, but I often have a very hard time debating with the demons, because I can't come up with a good argument as to why they're wrong. I'm not very proud of myself because I see the struggles I've gone through and the things I've achieved as commonplace - nothing to be extraordinarily proud of. The things I've accomplished are just what is expected of any ordinary, healthy human being in the world - to try to do the right thing, to work hard and to pay your bills. I don't want to be ordinary, I want to be extraordinary, and I feel that I've allowed myself to fail. I am inspired by the people around me who are doing work that I truly admire, and have turned their dreams into reality, but at the same time, the disappointing reflection of myself is all the more clear in the mirrors they hold up to me. I see in them that what I yearn for is possible, but am somehow unable to figure out how to achieve for myself. It used to be, when I was living in a world of half truths and deceptions, that I could blame the way I felt, and my lack of pride in my achievements, on the mistakes in my life and the mess I'd put myself in. Now that I'm no longer in that mess, what's my excuse? Why do I feel this way?
One ray of hope I have is recognition. I recognize my own crazy and want to fix it. At least that is something I can be proud of - that I can see clearly my own irrational thoughts. Waging battle with these thoughts is incredibly tiring. Emotions can grab you sometimes and shake you to an inch of your life and, even though you know the enemy, you are powerless to its charms. And I know that if I am to hold onto the wonderful things and people that have come into my world, I need to battle these demons, because people can only be patient for so long.
There was a time in my life when I didn't just feel, but knew, that I was someone special with a uniqueness that would change the world, or at least provide inspiration. I need to find that person again. He's the one who writes, and paints, and creates and plays the piano. He's the one who laughs and jokes to make people smile, and truly laughs himself. And, the funny thing is, he is the one that received the acknowledgement and appreciation that I crave currently. The fact that I'm writing now shows that he's still here somewhere. And he truly appreciates and loves the people in his life and the blessings he has.
I am thankful to have a stubborn and competitive nature to keep me going. I don't give in, no matter how much I feel like it. I don't fall into resentment of those around me, instead I resent myself for not being better. I am lucky in that regard, because resenting others for their success is simply calling on the universe to deny you yours. I want everyone to find their dreams and fulfillment in life. I just want to be part of that number and to finally feel that I am not just good enough, but great.
Finding the light and banishing these demons is going to be a long and difficult process, but one I am determined to make. I'm already making changes and doing the work, and I am committed to trying to be patient enough to let success come when it's ready. Life is not over, it's merely begun and this is just a speed bump on the road I am traveling. Just as with anything, the darkness comes before the light. I can feel that the winds that will push the clouds away and reveal the sun are beginning to blow and I am ready - to create, to thrive and to extend the same love to myself that I do to those around me.
The clouds will part and I will shine so brightly that the mere sight of me will be blinding. At least, that's how I picture it. One may be the loneliest number, but you can't start counting without it.