Loneliness once scared the shit out of me. After I lost my partner of four years, I had no idea how to just be. I had spent most of our relationship putting my love, my energy and my time into him and when he left, I had nowhere to put it anymore. I was forced to focus on myself andI realized something even more heartbreaking than losing him: I was the shell of the person I once was. I was gone.
I know everyone says that you have to love yourself first before you can love another. I knew in the back of my mind that it was ultimately true but I never wanted to accept it. He couldn’t love me the way I needed him to because he had not yet learned to love himself that way either. He was full of chaos and I was too busy trying to tame his hurricanes to notice that I had ignored my own ever-growing turmoil. I was unrecognizable to myself. I don’t remember when I had lost who I was but I could easily recite everything that boy ever said to me.
Being alone was never the issue, but being without him was. I started to search for anarchy in every person I met, hoping that I could have a little normalcy back, hoping to find parts of him in someone else. That is when I realized how unfair I was being to my soul. I had continued to ignore my own cries for help because I was scared that I could never get back my inner fire without him. I needed to stop running from loneliness and allow it to consume me instead. So that’s exactly what I did. I allowed myself to be alone and work through my hell without looking for someone else’s version of it. Once you stop reaching for other people to fill the emptiness inside, you start to learn how to love yourself. You learn how you want to be loved and that is when you can start to look for the love you deserve from others.
I think we can get so caught up in trying to keep other people together that we forget we maybe falling apart, too. There comes a time when we are left completely alone to rebuild ourselves from the ground up. That used to be a terrifying thing to me but if I had never gotten that chance, maybe I would’ve never taught myself how to stop accepting what I could get and start asking for what I wanted.
Day by day, I began to make choices based on what I wanted to do and not what other people wanted. Everything became about me and I finally realized that putting my needs first isn’t selfish at all; self-care is important and it’s what I was missing all along.
I found inspiration amongst the chaos and it’s all thanks to the greatest pain I have ever felt that I can finally experience happiness again.
Written by Brittany Powers
Brittany is a young poetry and prose writer, currently publishing her first book. Keep your eyes out for her interview, coming soon.