There are more than 300 million of us in the United States, and sometimes it seems like we're all friends on Facebook. But the sad truth is that Americans are lonelier than ever. Between 1985 and 2004, the number of people who said there was no one with whom they discussed important matters tripled, to 25 percent, according to Duke University researchers. Unfortunately, as a new study linking women to increased risk of heart disease shows, all this loneliness can be detrimental to our health.
This is the first paragraph in a Newsweek article I read this morning. The whole article spoke to me. This is the core of my problem. And it has been like this for years. In or out of romantic relationships, surrounded by friends, working with people on a daily basis. I am intensely lonely. I know part of what's happening this minute is an attempt at total redefinition of myself in sobriety. But above that, I'm in my mid-40's with no direction, no passion for any subject, no real career that interests me, no love relationship and no one I can turn to for support. I am surrounded by family, friends, co-workers and customers and I have never felt so lost and alone in my life. I wrote a couple of weeks ago about finding a safe harbor to navigate from. And I still believe I have found that safe harbor. What I didn't know was how comfortable I would get in that harbor and then how it would leave me completely empty. When my life was full of drama and alcohol and transient relationships there was at least some activity happening, whether good or bad. Now, as much I love my sobriety, it is so different. I feel so happy that I am sober, and I will go to any lengths to maintain my sobriety, but this overwhelming feeling of heaviness and emptiness and I am on my own forever is strong and suffocating. I guess I hope that if I talk about it here and other places, it will pass, I will find my compass. My purpose and life will have meaning and that meaning will take away the intense sadness I feel. I hope.