I am currently hanging out at a wine bar in the Austin airport, fresh on the heels of spending a full week detoxing my body. Admittedly, I feel kinda guilty. As though the five plus days I spent were for naught.
But then, through the fog of frustration and fatigue, I remember who I am. And I remember that I need to always feel okay with who I am. (Y’know, within reason). And I’m the type of girl who finds a wine bar when her flight is cancelled and she must re-route to a different airport just to get to the east coast — even if it’s seven hours after her original arrival time.
As I’ve sat here and fought with the WiFi and the underlying urge to break intermittently into tears, I had a lot of time to think. (Which is saying something, because this entire week has been devoted — through the program — to time to think.)
There’s something very different when you are single and alone versus when you are in a relationship and find yourself alone. It’s almost humbling. I’ve sat here, enjoying some very nice wine, some very nice nibbles, and I’ve palpably felt the loneliness. And this is a girl who used to go to the movies alone no problem, exist on my own no problem — and then suddenly, something changed.
And it wasn’t meeting my husband. Who is amazing. And takes amazing care of me. He makes the stressful things less stressful, because he handles them. He makes sure I can get through the security line smoothly, and makes sure we’re at the right gate, and in the right place and doing the right thing … He’s just — he protects me. He takes care of me. He takes the brunt of the burden and shoulders it — so I can sleep while he drives, or focus on other (usually work-related) things without having to worry. He always makes sure we’re okay.
I think at some point — between my single days and my bad relationship days — something happened to cause such unreal insecurity within me that it manifests in my complete inability to be alone. And getting MS didn’t help. Because MS just makes you more vulnerable. Less confident in your movements, your action, your ability to… oh, I don’t know … walk an airport terminal between connecting flights. I don’t think my poor husband has ever seen a completely convincing ‘alone and confident’ version of me. And I know it existed once …. I just can’t remember it.
So I figured out the WiFi. And I’ve had some interesting airport conversations (sit at a wine bar for 3 and half hours in an airport — you will, too!). But I haven’t figured out the loneliness. The missing my husband. The insecurity. The unwelcome and completely uncontrollable welling of eyes and tightening of throat.
And I think of the lovely woman I met this past week. Who struggles with the loneliness of no longer having her husband. The quiet of her home. The emptiness of family dinners — that gaping, open hole where someone used to be. And I have no answers. No fixes for the loneliness. And it breaks my heart.