By: Samantha Crocker
Loneliness is such a mental game. I had never experienced it before. I'd never been so desperate for human connection. As a child, I surrounded myself with friends who made me smile, happy, and feel safe. Growing up, I always had a circle of friends that were like family to me. When that was taken from me, I was alone for the first time in my life.
So going a little deeper into the story is that I’m 24 years old, married to my best friend for 2 years. I was a Registered Behavioral Tech, working with kids with autism, and I loved it. Even happier news came when we found out we were expecting our first baby.
So how did I feel so alone during all this happiness?
My baby and I had to move to another state while my husband stayed behind and worked, trying to save money for us. My daughter and I lived with my parents in a town of 1500 people. I graduated high school in a class of 4000. Honestly, I was okay with moving to a town where I knew no one. I thought it could be a new opportunity for me. But it wasn’t like that. There was nowhere to go to meet people. Only one coffee shop! It was a small, farming town in Kansas. Plus, I had a newborn baby so I couldn’t just go anywhere or be out for a long time. I had no friends. No job. No husband. It was winter--no park, no walks, no sunshine.
I was crying every day.
I felt so sad and desperate. Worse, I felt ashamed for feeling this way. I had a new beautiful baby, I had a new life, but I felt alone during it all. I would cry to my husband and ask him to get me out of the situation, but we couldn’t afford it, not yet. Maybe it sounds materialistic, but it wasn’t about that. I needed human connection. I joined Facebook groups, but those didn't help. I texted my old friends, but we didn’t have much in common anymore. My family can be toxic, fighting and yelling constantly. I was utterly alone and taking care of a newborn. I loved her so much, but I couldn't help still feeling lonely.
Looking back to those months, I can say it was the darkest time I have ever been through. But on the other side of it now, I feel strong that I made it. I feel like springtime, as though sunshine and life have come back into me. I pushed through. I did my best. I faked it till I made it, literally. Now my baby is 10 months old, active and rambunctious. We still live with my family, but we have a end date and will be moving into our own apartment as a family of 3 before too much longer. I still haven't made friends here. I don't have many connections, but what I do have is my strength. To know that I can push through such a sad and hard time by myself tells me that I will be okay.
I am happy to share this time of darkness and alone now because it’s behind me. Yes, I have some days with dark clouds, but I'm not scared anymore. I’m happier, knowing the woman I am today. Every experience makes us stronger. And I hope my writing helps you to know that there is a light at the end of the dark tunnel. You can get there and you will.