The Peace Before The Chaos, Fighting Isolation In The Post Holiday Season.
An eerie stillness permeated the air, a feeling of isolation surrounded me. The room was a perfect square, and all the furniture was similarly proportioned. Through the window, I saw a white cat, a bag of half-peeled oranges, and a cactus in the doorway–the only few things spicing up my newfound existence in Phoenix, Arizona. I found myself without any company during the holidays, the first month of the year, and in the worst of health. I had no relatives, no financial resources, and no friends around—just me a few years back.
Many of you have found yourself in a similar situation—noticing days on end the simple objects in your room in hopes of distracting yourself from reality. An organ throbbing and zooming in on animals, simply because, the closest people to you have ripped your heart out, stomped on it, and burned it to pieces. Lying on the bed, eyes wide open, unable to drift into a dreamless sleep. Scanning the room, becoming overly familiar with everything in it. Finding yourself mesmerized by the pattern of the pillow case, in a way you never were before. The hum of the clock, too loud and too long. Even the ants marching on the kitchen counter seemed to make more sense than the people around you. You could feel the pulse of your heart in your chest, pounded by memories and broken promises.
Weirdly, you are at peace. The air is still and peaceful, but then a sudden heaviness settles over her body. You feel alone, with nothing to do and no one to report to. Panic begins to to rise in your chest like bile, and doubt clouds your mind—what have you done? What do you live for now? Your eyes begin to sting, and a single tear trickles down your dusty cheek. Your stomach bubbles with anxiety, and electric currents of fear race through your veins. You curl into a desperate ball, hiding under the blanket like an abandoned kitten. In the distance, a low rumble of thunder echos your own despair as a darkness descends.
That peace before the chaos is the pathway to isolation. It’s the settling of feelings that flood your heart. It’s the process before the chaos takes over. Before ego takes over. It’s the torrent of emotions bubbling in your veins, after a a hollow abyss in your core has been registered. Your stomach feels like it contains a fire that is slowly consuming you as a single tear trickles down your face and sweat forms on your brow.
Acknowledging loneliness is one of the toughest things to do. Not just emotionally, but physically. The mind keeps score and so does the body.To fight it, you have to know how to recognize it first. It’s not digging into an empty bag of chips or a box of chocolates, only to realize the desired solace is never found. Desperately seeking that last drop of wine, that place in which to find comfort is futile; for it was never there in the first place. Giving into cravings for junk can be a coping mechanism, but that’s easier said than done.
Combatting loneliness requires you to fight for your victory. Exploring new places and faces is a sure way to do that. Reaching for the unknown, with a breeze in your sails, helps in beating the feeling. Enjoying the warmth of the sun rays and scaling a mountain with all fours is a step in the right direction. Rolling down hills and petting cows will help to make it disappear. Writing letters to those sitting in wheelchairs, preparing a bubble bath full of candles, and talking with women on the train can all bring comfort. It could be as simple as running into children on ice skates: every small action counts. You must fight for it.
I did it too, and while I was lying in bed, tracing my fingers over the faded marks in the pillowcase, watching that white cat twitch its tail against the window, I found the only thing that could bring me a smile: writing and girlfriends. As I wrote, one chapter at a time, my novel came together. I repeated this process, until I had accomplished what I set out to do—a newfound growth inside me. I called my landlady and filled her in on the stories I was writing. I laughed with my childhood girlfriend. I greeted my neighbor with a wave as I read the words aloud to her. Plus, I sent texts to all the women I knew. I confided in my best friend, asked for strength from my mentor and found solace in the support of the women around me, until the emptiness in my heart was finally filled.
All women are incredible in times of loneliness. And if you’re looking for a place to honor, celebrate, and appreciate this fact, then you’ve come to the right place. Here at Women World, we come from various backgrounds – we are mothers, writers, businesswomen, yogis, financiers, partners, wives, students, superheroes, and so much more! You are no longer alone. Join us on IG at @wearewomenworld. We value the connection.
Alice Hlidkova is a copywriter and blog curator at Women World.