My friend and my neighbor you have put away from me, and darkness is my only companion” (Psalm 88, KJV).
It is starting to happen. With the declining daylight hours, my peripheral vision is diminishing rapidly. I am beginning to feel as though my eyes can only see inwardly. I struggle to see anything on either side or in front of me. Voices are muffled, light is dim. The dark walls are closing in.
Don’t worry; I am not desperate. But my heart is very heavy.
A difficult shift is taking place.
Winter Rachel has arrived, and she is a loner.
I feel the isolation closing in around me–less so when I am physically with people–nonetheless, there is a barrier keeping me separate from others even when we are in the same room.
With the emotional and mental isolation, perspective scatters. Two weeks ago, I was buoyant and full of optimism; today, I am convinced that I will certainly fail. Fear sets in that I will lack the impetus, smarts, energy and support to do what I have promised to do.
I struggle to perceive whether things actually are falling apart, whether people truly are avoiding me, or whether this is all in my mind.
One minute: I try to shake off the anxiety. I focus, I make lists, I take a step forward, I keep going.
The next: I’m afraid. I feel very alone. And at times, devoid of feeling. I’m longing to sleep it all away. For months.
The next: I have hope because I know that it will not last forever. Gratefully, I usually know this, even when I can’t feel it.
For this week, it is very hard work to put in the time, to put one foot in front of the other, to act and wait and wonder and set aside the feelings of rejection and loneliness and isolation.
Friends, you need do nothing. I just thought you might want to know. xo
When we honestly ask ourselves which person in our lives mean the most to us, we often find that it is those who, instead of giving advice, solutions, or cures, have chosen rather to share our pain and touch our wounds with a warm and tender hand. The friend who can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with us in an hour of grief and bereavement, who can tolerate not knowing, not curing, not healing and face with us the reality of our powerlessness, that is a friend who cares.” — Henri J.M. Nouwen (The Road to Daybreak: A Spiritual Journey)