My heartache was tangible and the air was thick with loneliness, as the sound of laughter flooded in through my bedroom window. I was trying to cope with my new life alone, no spouse, no parents, no family and no friends, when my new neighbor’s merriment permeated the silence.
They had been building a new structure in their backyard, a man cave, complete with a large screen TV, bar, Foosball table and reclining sofas. I watch them from the solitude of my room. I didn’t know them and their joy was in direct opposition to my misery.
I wanted to be there with them, to bask in their excitement and participate in their touchdown cheers, but I was trying to claw my way out of a depression. I was afraid and I felt so out of sorts that I knew it was best that I kept to the shadows.
Yet I longed for company and any form of connection. Many times, I played out how I would introduce myself, but my fear and insecurity kept me immobile. Until one day I couldn’t stand the darkness anymore. I saw an opportunity and with five seconds of insane courage I introduced myself from across the fence.
They graciously invited me over for dinner and to watch the game and just like that the darkness started to lift.
I spent every other day with them. They listened to my story and treated me with sympathy and kindness, always asking if there was anything I needed and my new friend Gwen would bring over food to make sure I was eating enough. Gwen, her husband and their friends were a God send for me. I don’t know what I would have done without them.
Aside from lifting my spirits and taking my mind off my troubles, I felt a sense of empowerment. I saw what I wanted – friendship and connection and I made it happen despite my fear.
Soon after I reconciled with my brothers and reached out to friends my Narcissist Ex had scared away.
That one moment of courage changed my life. I felt like I could affect change and that I was in charge of my life – for the first time. I learned that I was capable of creating the life I wanted and little by little I did just that.
Creating the Life You Want Requires A Leap of Faith
A lot of people dread the holidays. It’s a time that they feel most alone and when a message like this are most important. Over the last couple of weeks I’ve had clients tell me – I hate the holidays. They’re a massive trigger for me. They hate being alone, they’re estranged from their friends and family and they don’t know what to do. They tell me things like:
- I don’t have any friends
- Everyone is married with kids
- I’m old no one wants to spend time with me
- The people that invite me I don’t really like them
- I don’t want people to know I’m alone so I let people think I have plans
- I’ve tried, everyone is so unhealthy and I end up wishing I didn’t go
The one thing I’ve learned is that if there is something you want, even if it’s just to feel like you belong somewhere – you have got to leap. You’ve got to take that leap of faith or you’ll end up with nothing but regret for company.
Reach out, pick up that phone – I can tell you from experience, I love having stragglers and singles over for the holidays. The more the merrier and I think most people feel that way.
Host your own holiday parties. Invite other singles and and stragglers that are in the same boat you are. Go out and volunteer at a soup kitchen. There’s always somewhere you can be to create a connection with others.
As I am writing this I scrolled through Facebook and came across a Thanksgiving picture of Jennifer Aniston’s holiday dinner entitled Friendsgiving. She hosted long time friends Courtney Cox, Justin Bateman, Jimmy Kimmel, several other friends and even her ex Justin Theroux.
Aniston’s father passed away some time ago and she is estranged from her toxic mother. Life didn’t give her the perfect family that we all hope for, so she did the only thing she could do – she created one.
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