A Paralyzing Wind…

Danielle❤
4 min readSep 5, 2018

People often ask me what has been the hardest part of moving across the country. And before now, I guess I didn’t really have an answer. Other than leaving my family and close friends, it wasn’t hard at all. I wanted to leave, so I did. The difficulty in relocating really ceased once I made the decision to actually do it. But being out here for almost two years now, I think I’ve figured it out. It’s the paralyzing feeling of being alone that makes the hair on the back of my neck stand up. That piercing, visceral feeling of being utterly by yourself in times of difficulty. That is what I struggle with. It’s nothing new. I have dealt with such a feeling for most of my life. Moving to a new state only exacerbated the issue. And recently it has been overwhelming.

Loneliness is something a lot of us learn about very early on. Most will have moments where this feeling comes alive because of their own insecurities or lack of genuine support. Honestly, there is nothing like having a legit support system. People around you that will do anything for you. That you don’t always have to ask. It makes life easier, decisions more comfortable. And when times of struggle arise, it doesn’t feel so cold. But without it, the loneliness creeps into your space like a light breeze and quickly becomes a paralyzing wind. So much so that it feels impossible to regain your standing. Having so many moments of this within the last two months has truly weighed me down. All the optimism I started with this year quickly dissolved. And the glow I worked toward everyday shifted from minimal maintenance to full blown repair. Things started to spiral and I was away from everything that made me feel strong. My family, my roots, my safe haven. I was bombarded with the death of a matriarch in my circle, the loss of my relationship, turning 30 with no clear path, facing homelessness down to the day and feeling totally hopeless in a place that still wasn’t quite home to me. It was a lot to process all at once.

And don’t get me wrong, I am not completely alone in this place. I’ve been fortunate enough to have my best friends experiencing California with me. But the brain is a tricky landscape to maneuver and life happens, causing me to withdraw into myself. In my mind, everyone has their own burdens. Why would they want mine? How can I be selfish and divulge these personal issues to anyone else when we are all trying to survive and “figure” it out to the best of our abilities? And how can I be a friend and expect so much from another? It has been quite the conundrum for me. Just trying to find that sweet spot between using your support system for growth and abusing it because you can’t seem to get it together.

My friends often comment on my lack of communication during struggles. I do try my best to keep those concerned in the loop. But I am terrible at admitting these facts outside of this audience alone. All of you. Faceless beings glancing at this in your spare time. I have no responsibility to you and you have none to me. Because technically while I write, I am invisible. I am able to release everything as this person with a keyboard & thoughts, without burdening anyone with the face to face. Even once I post and share my soul with anyone who cares to read, it is still at arm’s length. Screen to screen. And if you happen to ask me what’s wrong, I will always say I am fine or I’ll be alright. Because in reality, it is always just me. And like I said, loneliness has always been present here. With me. Even in a room full of people. I hide it well and it has become my norm.

For me personally, I prefer avoidance. I’ve talked myself out of dealing with it for a long time. Retreat is actually my way of dealing in a sense. Withdrawing requires less vulnerability than letting people in. It’s easier to push away than to give in. So that’s what I do. It can be unhealthy. It is extremely isolating. But it is how I cope. I’ve put on a face and made sure to socialize. I tell myself don’t be too closed off. Don’t be the sad girl all the time. In the same breath I convince myself of the opposite. Can’t be too open. Can’t be too dependent on interactions with others. But actually, it’s in our interactions with others that make certain things feel less dramatic. We find common links in our communication with people. It’s the natural response to that innate fear of loneliness. Because we are social creatures, built and designed to function with others. All in the hopes to find compatibility and understanding beyond ourselves.

So while I am no one’s expert in combating loneliness, I do believe there is a way to do so. That wind that paralyzes you for now can’t last forever. Eventually the light breeze will return and with that comes comfort. Even in our struggles, we can find support. At my darkest few months out here, I have been able to find support in the most unlikely of places. And to my surprise things have been falling into place. At least the important things. I still have an annoying habit of feeling way too deeply for everything around me, which causes so much unnecessary stress. A gift and a curse, I tell ya. But that is a WHOLE different post for another time. I promise the next one will be happy. No sad girl ALL the time, right?

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Danielle❤

“When you are at peace with yourself, your energy is aligned into creating what you want, not protecting what you don’t want to lose.”