The Long Loneliness

My Story

The thing about this 3-year healing journey I’ve been on is that so far, I’ve done it all alone. I haven’t been without guides and companions, certainly. The medicine cards don’t read themselves. But mostly those companions have been fleeting. People coming into my life at the moment I was most ready for what they had to teach, then fading gently into the background as I walked forward on my path.

Certainly, many people have noticed a change in me. The pounds coming off, the light coming back into my eyes, the weight of old hurts being released from my shoulders. But I’ve not shared much with anyone along the way. It’s been an intensely personal process, and something I haven’t quite known how to talk about except in vague generalities. I mean, who would even take me seriously, given the range of crazy things I’ve tried? Well, here’s hoping that you’ll take me seriously—whoever you are. If you’re still reading, I guess that’s a good sign.

The point is that all of this healing without sharing has been lonely. A good kind of lonely, maybe—the kind usually described with lovely-sounding words like solitude or seclusion. But lately it’s started to feel like my period of spiritual confinement might be coming to an end.

Remember that commitment I made about following my intuition? Well, a few months ago I started to feel like it was time to open up and include other people in my healing process. I wasn’t sure what that feeling really meant, but as I have let it steep inside of me, I’ve come to see that of all the things I lost back in 2015, the one thing I haven’t gotten back is a strong sense of connection, closeness, and relationship. And I’ve even begun to wonder if I ever really had it at all. I’ve filled a lot of holes in my soul these past three years, but that one still gapes open, and it feels like I might finally be ready to start filling it in.

Writing a blog might seem like a slightly misguided—even narcissistic—way of connecting with people, but for me it seems like a good place to start. Mostly because the very first step in any kind of relationship is opening up a path to vulnerability. You can’t connect if you’re hiding. And back in Jordan I got so good at hiding that it took me three years to find myself again. But I think I’m nearly there.

So…here I am, opening myself to the world in an act of faith—faith that genuine expression can somehow fuel genuine connection. Even in the digital world. Of all the crazy things I’ve done over the past three years, this is by far the scariest. From the depths of that as-yet-unfilled hole in my soul, fear screams out that this particular cosmic trail of breadcrumbs could possibly lead off an existential cliff. But nothing I’ve done thus far has killed me. So here goes.

Welcome to my world. Welcome to my community.