I know the night is not the same as the day: that all things are different, that the things of the night cannot be explained in the day, because they do not then exist, and the night can be a dreadful time for lonely people once their loneliness has started.Ernest Hemingway, “A Farewell To Arms”
Guess who just ate two squares of fudge for breakfast. Yeah. Not in a bingey way or anything: I just couldn’t face actual breakfast food this morning (you know, with nutrients), so because I felt I’d better eat something, I figured, fudge and tea. Except I’m not actually happy about this, because the back of my mind is going that’s the same calorie intake for those two little squares as for a whole bowl of cereal, or two pieces of toast. It’s clearly incredible fun, being me.
Shall I continue with the cheerful? I’m fresh off one of my breakdowns; they happen every month or so. Last night, this involved lying in the dark listening to ‘Without You’ from Rent and crying my eyes out until I had to wrap my arms around my own shoulders and shakily murmur, ‘shh, shh, come on’ until I calmed down. It is my own peculiar brand of loneliness, and it is something I will never be able to explain truly to someone, face to face, because if you have someone to explain it to, you are not that alone any more. I hold my own hand, I push the damp hair from off my own white face and confide in myself all the things that are breaking my heart. I can’t imagine admitting this to anyone, but I can write it here, anonymously. I watch Chris Colfer’s It Gets Better video, but I am not sure it will. I tell him, quietly, in the darkness, I don’t know if I can last. I watch him singing ‘I Want To Hold Your Hand’ from Glee on Youtube, and it helps – not in that way where it actually helps, but in that way where I think, someone else has felt this sadness before, even if it is just an acted character.
Oh God, sometimes I don’t think I can go on.
Because everybody told me, it will get better! And I always thought, once I grew up, once I got out of school and left this stupid town and – and there would be people who understood me, and loved me, and – I had all this hope; that there was more to life, and I was going to escape all of this. So when I went to university, I picked a city at the furthest end of the country, as far away as I could get, and I left, in a blaze of red hair and red boots and triumph.
But I never really escaped. At the end of first year, when I relapsed into my ED the first time round (it’s always gone in cycles) and lost over a stone in two months, it was because I felt so lonely, so absolutely on my own that there seemed nothing to fight for. I was living in a little box room, like a battery chicken, and every single day was empty. I concentrated so hard on losing that weight, because I needed something to concentrate on. I almost think that I could not have got through those few months without starving myself, because I had nothing else. Then last year, and this year, I’ve lived with my gorgeous housemates – and I do love them, immeasurably, but it isn’t like I imagined.
Loneliness does not come from having no people about one, but from being unable to communicate the things that seem important to oneself, or from holding certain views which others find inadmissible.
As a child I felt myself to be alone, and I am still, because I know things and must hint at things which others apparently know nothing of, and for the most part do not want to know.
I want life to be all the things I hoped it would be, because the weight of my disappointment, the darkness of my disenchantment is too much for me to bear. It gets so much better, but not for me.