Thursday, May 19, 2011


These days, much time is spent with Ms. Maya
It is rare that I am by myself for much more than a day at a time. But the few times that I have been, this overwhelming, suffocating, irrational sadness has at some points has overcome me. The worse time was when I was at a meeting in San Diego before cell phones and ready computer access. Usually I have a meeting buddy or two(see situational friends: people who cling tenaciously to you in some situations but don't give you the time of day in others) but not this time. I also was staying at a hotel well away from the others. I felt so totally alone. I knew what I was feeling was totally irrational but I just could not help the tears. There is a movie Living Out Loud starring Holly Hunter whose character finds herself without friends in NYC due to a divorce and that her whole social network was dependent on her being married. Despite being surrounded by people, she is so lonely that she starts to hallucinate people saying what she wants to hear. It was confusing watching it as it it is not clear what is real and what is wishful thinking. She so desperately wanted a social connection.

When I was mulling over whether I wanted to to Italy by myself and stay in a small mountain village for almost 6 weeks with a good chance of finding myself isolated, I thought back to my extreme reaction in San Diego. I went anyway and I had no problems about feeling alone. I actually had little time to feel isolated.

In many ways, my son is like me. He needs to have people around. Usually this is not a problem as he is a friendly person who has many friends. But he is careful to make sure there is always a social support system nearby.He called last night in total misery from Mexico City. He is sick and feels totally isolated. Despite being in a luxury hotel, he feels he is surrounded by filth and crime. He has trouble breathing the thin, polluted air. He did not go to work today as he feels too weak though he is getting better. At least when I was in San Diego, I was physically healthy, at sea level, and could speak the language of the people around me. I also was not stuck there for 2 weeks.

Tomorrow is my high school reunion. I am not going. On top of me being fat, my recent eye infection, though getting better, makes me look extra hideous. I ran a route today that kept me from view most of the time.


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Holly said...

wow - 6 weeks alone in Italy - you are brave! i know what you mean about 'alone'time. i don't do very well all alone...but, i am learning. doesn't seem to be another option handy!!

for the recors...i thinkyou shoudl still go to your hs reunion - it would be uch a hoot! and, clearly - you would not be the ONLY one not at ideal body weight (i think you look good!) or the only one who has ever had pink eye...

Alli said...

I guess I'm the opposite Sue. I like being alone, I prefer traveling alone. Both boys generally have things to do on the weekends, stay at their friends or whatever. I love the alone time, peaceful, quiet solitude.
The only time I don't like being alone is when I start to over think, feel myself going back into that place with being sick again. Then I wish I had others around me but that generally doesn't happen....

Love Alli .......xx

Anonymous said...

Hi Sue,
I have been reading your blog for a long time now. I started reading about your cancer journey, but have stayred put to hear about your family. I really enjoy your writing and comments, and all your kids and grandkids are beautiful.
A fan.

Chez said...

Sue it is a shame that things are such you are going to miss out on the reunion. There will always be another.
I have never felt loneliness and isolation as I do these days. It will actually be covered in my next post as part of the decision making process. Do hope your eye continues to heal.

Sue in Italia/In the Land Of Cancer said...

Hi Holly
Still look too bad for public display plus I don't think I know anyone who will be there. I went to a huge school.
Hi Alli
I admire your self-sufficiency. I am married to someone who wishes to be alone most of the time so I have to give him lots of space. Thus my journeys alone or with others.


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