The Loneliest Sweet Potato

“I feel sad because no one is in love with me.”

After the end of my most recent relationship, something inside of me changed, or should I say died? I felt incredibly hopeless, I hated men, I struggled to believe in “happily ever after,” I was convinced that love was merely a word… oh, and did I mention that I hated men? Happiness, hope and the desire to love died within me.

“I feel sad a lot, but when I make other people feel good I feel good for a little bit. I feel good for a little bit, then I get lonely. I get lonely and I am uncomfortable in my lonely.” 

I was so sad that monotonous, daily tasks became obstacles, requiring much effort. Often the greatest feat of my day was simply getting out of bed. Tears made putting on makeup really difficult and my lack of eating made my limbs feel like freshly poured cement. I felt heavy and lifeless.

“In my lonely at the grocery store, I practice trying to make myself feel good by pretending I’m a regular person buying her groceries. Not a very sad person trying not to cry.” 

I thought about death, more than I’d care to admit. When I could fall asleep I dreamt of not waking up, as my dreams were the only place sadness couldn’t find me.

“Crying gives me a headache. Headaches make me want to crawl into bed and crawling into bed is what sad people do.” 

Days go by so slow when you are sad. About two weeks after the breakup, I knew I had to attempt to return to normality. I had to find a routine that didn’t include a partner and the life we built together. As a result, I did a great deal of wandering or placing myself in spaces with large crowds so I didn’t look so sad. I went to leadership conferences, dinner with friends, volunteer opportunities and lots of grocery stores and shopping centers. Essentially anywhere that no one could know that nobody is in love with me. Where no one knew that I was falling apart inside.

“What sad people do when they are lonely looks a lot like me at the grocery store.”

Surrounding myself with others and giving my time was how I began the process of healing. Making other people feel good or doing good deeds in general made me feel good, for a little bit. When it was time to head home, like darkness overtaking day I felt the uncomfortable gaze of sadness lurking behind me. Waiting to strike the moment I was alone.

“The cashier seems surprised when I ask her how her night is going. Her night is going okay, she says. She says nothing else except “cash, credit or debit?”  She waves goodbye. Goodbye is the saddest word I know, the saddest word you know is my name.”

It took weeks to be able to confidently look sadness in the face and demand its halt. Daily task returned to their normal pace, tears didn’t cloud my eyes at stop lights and most importantly, I stopped missing him. I stopped missing what we had, what I thought would be and every hope and dream that lied within another being.

“Less sad because at least at the grocery store no one knows that nobody is in love with me.” 

I used to believe in love, that doesn’t live here anymore. Now, I believe in effort, commitment and desire. Love is just a word, people give it life and meaning.

I still feel lonely and I still feel sad. Sad that in a world so large, no one is in love with me. Lonely because there’s not another laying next to me at night. Lonely and sad are suffocating. Lonely and sad are two of the first things I think of when someone asks me, “How are you?” Lonely and sad are always there, just masked temporarily by words like, “okay” or “fine”.

Yet, I am less sad than yesterday and not as lonely either. Everyday gets easier, but with each new day I fear getting further from what I used to crave the most: love. I struggle to find the balance between wanting to take risks and staying safe in my own space.

Alone is safe, alone is lonely, alone is sad.

As always,

Devin J.

Watch the original poem here




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