There will be times when loneliness will hit, however it hits you—an ache, a mist, a misery. You don’t feel like a victorious Soloist, you feel like a left-behind Loner. It happens.
Before it happens, it helps to have a plan for how you will handle the feeling when it comes. Without a plan, there is a danger of falling into the blue hole.
Here’s what has worked for me. (Some lessons are learned the hard way.)
Do not do anything that will make you feel better quickly but worse later. For me this includes:
- Eating a pint of Ben & Jerry’s New York Super Fudge Chunk ice cream.
- Eating any chocolate at all, because once I start, I. Just. Don’t. Stop.
- Drinking a glass of wine, because one glass will turn into another, and then a little bit more, and then I will look at the bottle and think, “How did I drink half a bottle of wine?” (I must be especially careful because 50% of my genes come from people who self-medicated into oblivion. This is why I generally don’t keep wine in my home.)
- Cracking open YouTube to watch endless videos of Stephen Colbert, Trevor Noah, and Seth Meyers delivering monologues on the man with odd hair, orange skin, and exceptionally poor communication skills.
Do something that may be only semi-appealing in the moment but will make you feel better after having done it, with the additional benefit of no remorse the next morning. For me:
- Taking Leda for a walk.
- Getting outside for absolutely any reason at all.
- Praying for someone. (I’m not sure how to pray and I don’t know who exactly I’m praying to, but I figure whoever it is—if they’re all that mighty and cool—won’t mind.)
- Putting on music I like, then dancing. It is almost impossible for me to feel sad after dancing to Macklemore’s Glorious.
- Tending to my home. I usually make my bed, but when the blue cloud comes, bed-making slips. So I make my bed. If there are dirty dishes, I wash them. If there are things scattered where they landed, I put them where they belong.
- Being thankful for anything, and letting that thankfulness fill my heart.
Chewing the Cud of Good
I am thankful for people who create, who have an idea and then do the work to turn it into a Real Thing. (And in this case, a delicious Real Thing.)