Not Being Alone in Being Alone

I am deeply unhappy.

I know I’m not alone as this is such a difficult time for many. I know I won’t be deeply unhappy forever. I know the countless reasons I and my family are lucky. I know that I will get through this.

Those things help. But they don’t change that, right now, I’m deeply unhappy.

Some of it, I’m sure, is a result of this past year. Some of it, equally reasonably, is related to this upcoming year with all the uncertainties and fears involved. Some of it, I know, is because I am feeling at sea right now, lacking purpose and direction. Some of it is family related. It’s the perfect storm of awfulness weighing me down.

As a result, I’m struggling to do anything. Little things are super irritating. I just want to sleep. I find myself playing Solitaire on my phone for absurd amounts of time because it is just distracting enough for my brain but doesn’t require serious thinking. I’m beating myself up for not getting things done that need to be done. I tell myself I have more time than I’ve had in years and yet nothing is getting accomplished. (And, actually, things are getting accomplished and I know that, but not enough and maybe not the stuff that matters so I’m still beating myself up.)

Lots of people have reached out and checked on me in the past few months and I am grateful to them all, more than they’ll ever know. Again, I know I’ll be okay. Not immediately, maybe not tomorrow or next week or even next month, but I know I’ll be okay. I’m writing this not because I feel I need others to know this about me, specifically, but because I am sure others are feeling similarly. Feeling this way isn’t something we like to talk about, maybe not even something we like to face and admit to ourselves. I know I’ve been fighting facing it for a bit now. So I’m writing in case someone else needs to know they aren’t alone, in case someone else needs to see their emotions in black and white here.

My 13 year old and I took a 4 1/2 mile walk recently. We weren’t sure how long the walk would be, around a nearby lake, and it was definitely longer than my kid felt prepared for that day. We saw this rock about a mile from the end and it was encouraging. I’m not sure I’m really doing good work to keep up at the moment, but moving forward is better than staying still.


I am deeply unhappy. I’ll be okay.

9 replies on “Not Being Alone in Being Alone”

  1. Me too. It all feels too much. I’ve been alone, physically alone in this house for 130 days. I desperately miss hugs and smiles and time with people I love. Thank you for sharing! Knowing I’m not the only one helps…a lot! Sending you virtual hugs, my friend!

    • jenorr says:

      Knowing others are going through the same thing is so helpful. It feels counterintuitive but I get it. Sending hugs back your way!

      • Dahlia says:

        Love you both and I am right there with you both. I miss hugs and smiles and cafes and museums and bookshops. All the little and big things that make my soul happy. Giant hugs and a reunion soon!

  2. Kathi Ray says:

    I find that I cannot just relax and enjoy. I decided to finish 45 ceu units (450 hours total) in order to get the raise of a MA plus 30. I cannot just sit and read and my attention and focus for activities I love like beading is non-existent! I do get what you are feeling Jen!

    • jenorr says:

      I’m impressed you took that on! Attention and stamina have been such issues for me, I can’t imagine such a goal. That’s awesome.

  3. fishstory says:

    The word I keep coming back to is feeling “unmoored.” Hope we all find safe harbor sooner rather than later. <3

  4. Charlene says:

    Jennifer. Again your writing is connecting to so many. I can’t wait to see you again this summer.

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