At first, the loneliness was deafening. The silence screamed so loudly that something wasn't right with us, that I couldn't stand it. As the second year of separation came along, I began to put away the loneliness I felt and I kept it subdued by working insane hours and kept myself busy with projects, like home decor and scrapbooking. It wasn't perfect, and I tried to have friends. That usually ended up backfiring on me, and I ended up hurting Hector by putting my friend's opinions of our situation above our own.
Now we are about to enter our 3rd year of separation. Fortunately, it will be our last. But now I think I've found a healthy balance to keeping busy, being friendly, being holy, and being lonely.
- Keeping Busy: right now on my desk, I have 3 scrapbooks, 1 knitting project, and 4 books in my to-read pile. I clean sometimes. I cook occasionally. I bake quite often. I work a full schedule. This keeps me pretty occupied. I hardly notice the loneliness when my brain is focused on something else. I am lucky that I am multi-tasker and I am forever looking to learn new things. So I stay busy.
- Being Friendly: I have friends. I eat lunch with the same people every day at work. I can call them up to chat about things, other than my marriage, and get honest opinions about fashion and clothing choices. The reason that I no-longer discuss my relationship with this group of women is that they have never been in the situation of having to have a long-distance marriage. Their opinions, however kindhearted they may be, are invalid, because they have no experience in the matter.
- Being Holy: Sometimes, the loneliness is too much. Sometimes, I'm so frustrated with having to be all alone with dealing with Cecilia and school, or my job, or my family life, that I just want run away, sleep forever, and quit. But recently I've been able to transform that loneliness, bitterness, and sadness into reconnecting with God. The result is a much happier me and my kids.
- Being Lonely: These last three years have taught me a valuable lesson: It is okay to be lonely sometimes. I miss having Hector near me all the time. I miss his voice and his ability to command things into being. When I am having a hard day, it is okay to miss my husband and be lonely. Growing up I never realized that being lonely was a beneficial thing. I always thought that being lonely was equal to being rejected by society. But that is far from the case. Being lonely gives me the means to miss my husband, love him more, and appreciate him from afar.
How do you combat loneliness in your life? What do you do to keep the loneliness from enveloping you? What do you do to be busy when you are all alone? Share your comments below.