I began a journey nearly a year ago and I have prolonged ending it now for about a month, but now that I am a couple days shy of the 13-month mark this is what I have concluded. What is the Year of Esther? — The Year of Esther
I like to write things down like this so that I will remember it later. It is a record of the past, because if you ever try to remember something and then retell it later a lot of times the story changes and becomes something completely different. Like how you swear you remember something that did not quite happen the way you remember it to be.
I previously titled this post I’m ready because after a year of self-love and self-discovery I came to the same conclusion I had a year ago. I am ready, ready for that next step in my life. Now, I come from a long line of women who have spent long periods of time in their life single. My mother was single until she met my father at the age of 23 maybe, all I know is that they were married and had my sister all before her 25th birthday.
Now for me, this is what happened to me on my 25th year of life, which started out excellent by the way! I graduated with my masters and quit my job. Just up and quit no other jobs lined up nothing. I had a casual relationship which was a first which bombed when things started to get too serious. I started a new job making more money than I had ever made. I moved out on my own, and then as though the universe felt like I was doing too good for myself my mother is diagnosed with cancer 6 months before my 26th birthday, passes away because of it 3 months before my 26th birthday. Killer year for this old girl!
One thing I always wondered is what would have become of my life if my mother was still alive. Up until then, nothing extremely tragic had ever happened to me, I had experienced somethings but nothing too crazy, nothing I couldn’t overcome with hot chocolate and a good ‘ol hug from my mama.
Of course, to no surprise to me, I suffered from the symptom of grief called isolation. Over the years it has managed to come and go, usually comes as the weather starts to change, colder air moves in and makes its way out during the first warm day before spring officially starts. Now isolation is both a symptom of grief. So from age 26 until now the beginning of my 29th year of life, I have spent 2 and a half years in deep isolation, then suddenly after my 27th birthday, I found that enough was enough and that I had to somehow take control of my grief or let it continue to control me.
Now for the facts about isolation. I have found that there is social isolation and then there is emotional isolation and my issue is emotional. Now, what emotional isolation has done for me in a positive way is that I have somehow been able to control my emotions, and often times now, there is a lack of emotion for certain things. It isn’t that I suddenly do not care but when something as traumatic as your mother passing away of breast cancer happens, there are things that come very long on the “give a shit” scale. Emotionally, I am not the same and some people from my past love it, I, on the other hand, feel indifferent and confused about how I am feeling about anything most of the time. The good thing with me is that I do not become complacent about anything if something does not seem right I am not one to say that’s just the way I am, I try to understand it first before chalking it up as who I am.
Now, like everything, there is a negative side to emotional isolation. I came across an article that summed it up nicely for me:
When a person feels they have no one they can talk to or confide in. Perhaps they have relationships that trigger negative feelings and thoughts so they withdraw as a defense against feeling stress, betrayal, pressure, shame or guilt. Emotionally isolated individuals may evolve to a point where they keep their feelings to themselves and they feel totally despondent about communicating with others or receiving their emotional support. One may be emotionally isolated despite having friends and family because they keep their relationships on a superficial level. In this, way they might be surrounded by people, yet still feel lonely and unable to relate to or bond with others.
For grievers, this might occur when they feel others aren’t tolerant or accepting of their grief. They may also cut themselves off emotionally if it seems like people are uncomfortable with their expression of grief related emotions or if others react to their feelings in a way that minimizes their grief or pushes them to move on.
So, with that being said I am in a position where I have this image in my mind of where I should be and where I want to be but then there is the reality of where I need to be. I came to this confusion today, that it is not important when you get there is that you have to believe you will get there. So here, I am a year later and because I am so hard on myself, I would say I have nothing to show for it but there is so much more than I have gained from the experience. What I hope you will learn through your own journey is that you have to be open to what comes next no matter what comes. If you want love, really if you want anything in life you have to open yourself up to receive it. If you are like me struggling with emotional isolation like I usually tell myself stop it!