Holley Hyler

A r t i s t


October 1, 2018

Next week, I’ll be starting a part-time job at the bookstore. While I was cooking dinner tonight, I was thinking about that. I was thinking, “What a relief. I won’t have to be alone with my thoughts all day anymore.” But just because I won’t be alone with my thoughts for most hours of the day doesn’t mean they won’t still be there. They’ll come to me before I go to bed, when I’m in the shower, when I’m on breaks. I’m in love with someone that nobody thinks I should be in love with – including the object of my love himself – and everyone thinks that I have a problem. That I should have moved on. Sometimes the wanting him is not very intense, and sometimes it is. It’s not me to jump from relationship to relationship. If I don’t feel something, I don’t want it. And even though I have met a lot of people these last few years, I have yet to find anyone who ignites those sparks within me. I am lonely, but not in the way most people think of being lonely.

It’s not so bad, being single. But there are entire days that I don’t hear another familiar human voice. My family has become wrapped up in their own dramas – spouses, pets, stepchildren, etc. Or they have enough friends of their own, or they don’t have the same intense demons inside their heads as I do, so they maybe don’t need to connect as much. My friend’s daughter just started college, and has to deal with at least one weepy phone call per day – usually more. Anyone left over is someone I don’t really want to talk to, because whenever I have talked to them in the past, I felt worse.

I don’t want to repeat the laundry list of people (family members included) who have left this year. I don’t want to think about them anymore. But I do. I do think of them, and my mind circles back to the impossible question. “Why? Why did s/he leave?”

I’m judging myself now, while I’m writing this. Why do I need so much support? Maybe because, a lot of the times when people support me, they aren’t really giving me the love and acceptance I need. Maybe they’re repeating advice that they’ve been told or that looks good on paper. Maybe they feel unqualified and that’s why they keep suggesting therapists and medication. But I could save so much time, money, and agony just by feeling accepted for the way I am. By having regular conversations with someone I love – no, they don’t always have to be deep, but I need some measure of intimacy (not the kind that has anything to do with sex – as we all know, sex can have nothing to do with intimacy).

And I guess if no one else can do that for me, I have to start with myself.

Forgive me if I have turned into an island. It is not for a lack of wanting to connect. It is just because I no longer know how to, without breaking myself into more and more fragments that don’t really fit anywhere when I try to force them.


  1. Everything you say is true, if judged by my experience.

    Good news about the bookstore job. I found the best way to “get out of myself” was to help others. Mine was volunteer work, but helping readers find books amounts to the same.

    Liked by 1 person

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