How do you deal with feeling lonely?  Maybe you don’t ever feel lonely?  Maybe you can feel it creeping up on you and so you take steps to stem the tide of the wave that is being alone.  I can, mostly, recognise it coming but I don’t really know how to stop it or to protect myself from the inevitable downer that it brings on.

This weekend was a holiday weekend, that is in fact, the last weekend before the kids end their Summer holiday.  When I was teaching, it was that last busy few days to get my own kids organised for their return to school and prepare my classroom for the return of my special kids in the Special Education Unit.  But now – I haven’t been teaching for many years and my kids are long grown up and living far and wide.  Many of my friends use this as their last chance to hit the beach before they settle back at work properly.

I spent my weekend trying to structure my days, so that I wouldn’t fall into that hole of loneliness.  It didn’t really work.

I certainly had a productive weekend.  I sorted and purged my wardrobe and I cleared out my floordrobe thanks to another of my favourite bloggers, Smaggle!  I drove to the shops and bought storage containers that fit under my bed and culled my shoes!  I even gave away those shoes I love but are impossible to wear anymore.

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I did 3 loads of laundry – washed, hung out, folded and put it away in my newly cleared out wardrobe and drawers.  I watched a movie, The Ides of March, with Ryan and George but even they weren’t enough to fill my emptiness.  I paid some bills, played online games, updated facebook,  tried to read (I’m still struggling with concentration), listened to the hottest 100 on triple j  and, of course, I watched some sport on TV!  Busy busy busy!

But …. I did every one of those things alone.  I spoke to nobody.  I connected with not one person the whole weekend – other than by text or facebook.

READERS PLEASE LISTEN:  I am not trying to make anyone feel guilty about not calling me or inviting me or visiting me!  

You all have your own families and lives to live and I don’t wish to become a third leg in your life.  I understand and appreciate all you give and do to/for me.  I know you care about me.  Guilt is not what I want to put on anyone.  I know I am not alone!  I am not looking for pity.

But I still feel this shitty loneliness that quickly turns into self-loathing  and what I call a FAT DAY!  Once I get to this point I no longer have the confidence to go outside, go swimming, call anyone, cook, answer the phone ….. Need I go on? I hate feeling this way.

So what I am looking for, is any ideas or strategies that work in your life.  Things that you do or have done in the past during those unwanted lonely times.  I know that many of you would be thrilled to experience some time without your family, doing just what you choose.  I am not talking about those times.  I, too feel this way somedays.  It is those times when you need to feel connected to others and it just doesn’t seem possible without imposing.

So, I’m off to shower and put on a clean pair of pj’s.  While I’m gone, I’m going to hit publish and you can hit me with your thoughts and ideas or just share your feelings if you, too, feel loneliness some days.

I Miss You, Adrian!

Today it happened!  For the first time, since beginning The Mandy Diaries, a couple of months ago, I don’t really know what to write.   I am thinking, should I write a post about my obsession with Christmas?  Too early?   I should write about being a single parent of three grown men?   But is that really interesting?  Maybe because I wrote about my Mum, I should also write about my wonderful Mother-in-law?  She does turn an amazing 96 years old this week!  I just don’t feel motivated to write about any of the above things.  I need to write about something but I feel blocked.  I  am just not feeling it.  For me to write it, I must be feeling it.  So what am I feeling?

I just miss you, Adrian!

There I’ve said it.

I miss you, Adrian!

It’s been five and a half years since you died and as the years go by, the loneliness does not get better, it just gets different!  Sure the day to day functioning improves.  Change happens because it has to and because you want it to.  But, for me, the aloneness  hits often and hard and when I’m least expecting it!  Like today!  So this is what I am feeling so I will write it.

I miss you, Adrian!

Family Baby Patrick
First family photo.

We were a team for 30 years – 28 of them married and living away from each of our families.  Yes, the leave and cleave thing ….. we did that alright!  We were different but we were the same.  One of our mutual friends, when hearing that we had met, fallen in love and were to be married, said  that we deserved each other!  We laughed at hearing this but as the years passed not a truer word has been spoken about our relationship.  We loved hard and played hard and fought hard and we never gave up on each other.  Our life together was littered with hard stuff – lots of it!  Loss was a common theme.  We lost babies before they were born.  We lost our beloved Ministry.  We lost our fathers.  We lost businesses.  We lost our health.  We lost money.  But we continued to have each other.  Loyalty was our thing.  If you picked on one of us, you got both of us.  When one couldn’t any more …… the other did!

I miss you, Adrian!

Adrian wheelchail

Our life together was sprinkled with amazing stuff too!  We had three incredible boys who now are, creative and adventurous men who show tenderness and loyalty beyond measure.  We had a wonderful extended family who went on this journey with us but allowed us to choose our own path.  We had friends that went beyond the bounds of what friendship should expect.  We had shared celebrations to make memories forever.  We had holidays and football Grand Finals and weddings and music and a lovely home and great food!  I still have every one of these things, today! But ….

I miss you, Adrian!

Not the big  things because you are still in all those things.  Not so much the physcial  things because I see you every day in our sons, that have so much of your ways about them.  Not even the doing, as much as the being!

I miss you, Adrian!

3 Monkeys
Photo credit to Andrew Barclay.

I miss the banter and verbal jousting that we had.  I miss the knowing look across a room, that told me that you saw me and was on your way to rescue me from that boring person or topic, in a conversation.  I miss watching out in a crowd to see if the person you were talking too, needed rescuing from you!!  I miss calling you up to share some life altering sporting news that only you and I would see as life changing!  I miss the deep breath we took together, before we faced the world of decision making – whether it was a School Principal, an Oncologist, the police or hospital on the phone!  I miss being able to share news and talk about mutual friends that no one else knows.  I miss knowing that I don’t have to cope alone, no matter what the situation.

So today, that is NOT a special or important day. NOT an anniversary.  Not an especially hard, lonely or emotional day.  These are the things I miss. These are the things I am feeling, so these are the things I write about.

I miss you, Adrian and I’m thankful.