I’m not going to lie to you, guys, being alone is tough. Really tough. It’s also not helped by the changing seasons as the hot girl summer migrates into autumnal nostalgia when the leaves fall. The first rounds of gingerbread mochas are ordered, and the early notes of the Gilmore Girls theme rings out. Yes, it’s 2019 and your Lorelai still hasn’t found her Luke. Woe is me.

But as you rewatch an ungodly amount of wholesome noughties feel good television and consume an entire pint of Ben & Jerry’s it will occur to you that you don’t want to feel sad and alone. You might be single, but it doesn’t mean you have to be sad or pitiful (not, of course, that watching Gilmore Girls constitutes being pathetic, that would be sacrilege).

We all want to feel like we should be able to cut it alone, but that’s easier said than done.

It’s our natural instinct to band together and form communities around adversity. But not always. Sometimes, it’s the lone wolves that, through necessity, grow stronger and more resilient than the pack wolves with a soft underbelly. 

While I love a pep-talk with my mum as much as the next gal, there are some realisations that we must come to alone. Not just when we are on our own, but when we feel at our lowest or drifting away, that can often bring the greatest perspective and clarity. It’s a long journey and there isn’t necessarily a specific end-goal in learning to be comfortable alone, but it’s so worth it if you feel even slightly more self sufficient. 

Can’t you just like, move on already?

This is a question I ask myself every day. To no particular avail. 

There’s something about missing another person that’s just soul-crushing. There’s no two ways about it and I’m not going to sit here on my hardwood chair and declare otherwise.

It can be friends, work pals, family, lovers, living or dead, nearby or far away. We’ve all been there, and it doesn’t get easier from person. And we shouldn’t feel like failures or pathetic for still having attachments to people that were, at one point or another, our Person. Our favourite ‘got to tell them what just happened to me’ person. The ‘I’ve got to catch this train to go to the store and get them flowers’ person. The ‘god I love you’ person.

Oh yes, that one. 

The one that we really should have known better than to fall for. It’s always the people we shouldn’t have fallen for that hurt the most when they leave because it means you were right. But we can’t help it. Love is all about those moments when you’re minding your own business and then you realise your heart has gone on a romp about in someone else’s bag. And there it goes! Nothing you or I can do about that. No sir. 

But back to the emotionally turbulent matter at hand.

Missing people against your will. Like it or not, your heart is still at their mercy. They may not even realise it, but that makes it even worse that people can keep such a casual, loose grip on all that tethers you to this mortal coil. I’m being dramatic but also I’m not. 

The issue of control is a short-lived one, simply because you ceded it immediately the second you fell for them. That’s just the nature of love – you have to be willing to fall flat on your face and get your heart broken for the price of love. Whether or not it’s a fair trade, I couldn’t tell you conclusively. Maybe it is; maybe it isn’t. there’s more to life than relationships but love itself as a mode of affection and connection is pretty much the sum total of life. Confused? Don’t be. 

Everyone feels lots of pain.

This is as close to objective fact as one can get with pain discourse. Low level, high level, stubbed toe, my grandma died, who am I, and why did I do that and worse still, why didn’t I do that. She loves me, she loves me not pain and I stacked it on a run and my palms sting. I don’t know how or why but my heart is fizzing and feels like its about to dissolve into someone else and I can’t stand how I give away my essential organs like I don’t need them. That pain. 

Pain becomes such a large part of our lives – in it’s presence, absence, and degrees of intensity and how we can variously interpret, learn from, hide and defer it. So, here I am, adding to the time you spend ruminating on pain today. Go figure. 

But basically, when you are in a relationship and you are in it for the long haul, bearing another person’s pain isn’t a burden.

It’s a purpose. An honour, even.

To help them when they are most vulnerable and to, in some small way, ease their pain. But first, let’s go on a deep dive into the nature of pain and triggers themselves. Yes, I’m feeling emotionally masochistic. What of it?

Basically, just because I did the mature thing and ended it.

Doesn’t mean that I’m okay. It doesn’t mean that I won’t eventually be okay.

But just let me sit with it, right?