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I Am Not Alone. You Are Not Alone. Even When It Feels That Way.

October 2, 2011

Three recent events, too connected to be called coincidences, have reminded me that I’m never really alone.

Event A:

 “One of the hardest things as a small business owner is sometimes the feeling of isolation.” {An email from a friend back home who owns a lovely brick & mortar shop.}

I’ve been feeling very alone and very responsible lately. I have great friends, near and far, but I still feel terribly removed.

The last two months have been rife with transition (new employees and relocating our headquarters to Phnom Penh), uncertainty (debuting our brand at our first trade show), and difficult expectations (near-impossible deadlines).

There have been numerous unexpected obstacles and many decisions to be made. The weight of navigating our course has been heavy.

Somewhere, somehow, to relieve myself of the burden, I began to emotionally disengage from my support system. I withdrew from the very people who would make me feel less alone.

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Event B:

What do you call the phase when you are emotionally raw, green with envy, and ready to completely give in and wallow in self-doubt? Nicole Antoinette calls this a sad cocoon.

I am a connoisseur of the sad cocoon. Have a new project to launch but instead, you want to spend a weekend in bed eating nothing but cereal and watching a marathon of the old Bravo show Step It Up And Dance? Don’t worry; I’ve done that already.

Yes, I’ve given in to the sad cocoon many times. But, I’ve never analyzed why.

Good thing Nicole has, “I also think, annoyingly enough, that we feel this way when we’re tip-toeing around the edges of doing something scary. It’s almost a test of how serious we are about taking the leap from our comfortable, well-worn lives and flinging ourselves toward what’s next.

So the sad cocoon is a response to fear. If I paid more attention in maths, I could probably write a proof using the transitive property to show that fear causes isolation.

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Event C:

I received an email today from a reader who felt like it was finally time to connect after she finished, Soul-stirring Reads & Recommendations to Provide Safe Harbour During Challenging Voyages.

Turns out she’s experienced the darkness too and the subsequent desire to surrender. For her, surrender takes the form of periodically neglecting her blog.

The parting words of her email, “I just wanted to say you’re not alone and this darkness means our light will shine even brighter.

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In the last week, I’ve received the same message three times – “You are not alone.”

I am not alone in feeling overwhelmed or isolated.

I am not alone in falling into spells of sadness, experiencing jealousy, or of periodically surrendering to darkness.

I am not alone in feeling scared of new possibilities.

I am not alone. Not ever. Neither are you.

You are not alone.

Regardless of what you’re feeling, you are not alone. 

One Comment leave one →
  1. October 2, 2011 9:21 pm

    Oh Leigh… this made me cry. I felt so deeply last night … I was wallowing by reading bodice-rippers and trying to ignore my feeling of deep alone-ness…not loneliness. And then I decided to not resist and just feel and feel and feel- and I cried and cried it I was all cried out.
    I’m still more or less not doing much and wondering if I will, but I feel now like it is possible for me to walk on from this tunnel. Like for you, it was a time that made me disengage so much too (still am pretty disengaged) and I felt like no one will ‘get’ this.
    But like you your reminders, people and friends who I thought would never even know, kept popping up- unexpected phone calls and FB messages. I needed the reassurance that we’re all connected.

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