I’m going to admit that after 10 weeks in what feels like solitary confinement, I’m lonely. I haven’t been writing a lot of late; it’s been difficult to find the words sometimes.
I spent the morning putting off work, talking to a couple of friends, daydreaming about better times, and craving physical touch. Physical touch isn’t my love language. I’m more of an acts of service and words of affirmation kind of person. I love doing things for people, and I love hearing positive reinforcement.
But, sitting at my desk this morning, I just really wanted someone to hug me. Not the hugs I’ve been getting from my kids for weeks on end, but one of those full-body, melt into each other like nothing or nobody else matters hugs that only come from someone who cares so deeply for you that you feel them trying to pour all that into that one moment.
I was daydreaming about this time last year, and the joy of sharing moments with other people. It’s making me melancholy wondering when those moments will happen again. Those summer afternoon patio drinks sharing cheap gin and tonics. Those weekend days spent on blankets in parks, drinking smuggled-in wine, making future plans. Rainy days spent in board game cafes, playing heated games of Scrabble with good-natured teasing, and too many cups of coffee.
I miss dancing. Going out with a group of friends, and shaking it on the dance floor. Coaxing then shy one to join in, sharing a smile as I grabbed their hands, and twirled then, laughing at our shared lack of rhythm.
I miss walking down crowded sidewalks, the entire city seemingly coming together to suck up every moment of sunshine after a long winter, and not worrying about having to keep my distance, or wear a mask.
Usually, at this point, I’d cite a study, offer tips on how to cope, and be positive to a fault about how much space you have for personal development right now. But that’s not where my head’s at today. And I can bet I’m not alone.
So, what I will say is this… none of us are alone, even if we are lonely. Keep following the orders of your local health authorities because the more we comply, the sooner we’ll be able to enjoy all of those things again.
But, if you are struggling, and it feels different than typical run of the mill loneliness or sadness, reach out. Tell trusted friends or family that you’re not feeling yourself. Schedule a socially distanced visit if you’re up for it. If you think you need a little extra, search for mental health supports in your area. If it’s truly urgent, and you feel like you may harm yourself or others, go to your nearest emergency department. Your mental health matters.