When I took off to college, I went from living with my family to a dorm roommate. From a dorm roommate to an apartment roommate. From an apartment roommate to living with my boyfriend. From living with my boyfriend to living with my husband. From living with my husband to living alone with my two sons. 

During this time, I slowly transitioned from depending on my family and friends to depending on my husband to share my life with. I turned first to my husband for all the good and bad things. The joyous occasions and the hard, dark days. We intertwined our lives together, from home to name to new life. And then one night, our joint life was cut in half. 

The loneliness started to really show itself in the past nine months. Once the divorce was final and the co-parenting schedule set, communication and appearances are only when essential. Somehow, 10 years of relying on each other needed to stop. Somehow, daily texts, nightly phone calls, and “OMG did you just see what the kid did” were no longer acceptable. Somehow, the person I told my deepest thoughts to wasn’t my person anymore. I wasn’t allowed. 

I am lonely. 

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The loneliness is in a place my family and friends cannot fill the void. They have their own lives, families, stresses. They are a comfort to me always—but they cannot be by my side every day. It might sound a little crazy, but it’s true. I have had to pull away a bit. To see if I could do this on my own. To see if I had the strength to live alone. To see if I had the courage and tenacity to survive alone. Because I’ve never had to before. 

I have proven to myself and others that I can. I still can if I wanted to . . . but I don’t want to anymore. I am ready to share my life again. I am ready to open my heart up to something true and lasting. I believe God didn’t make me to live this life alone. He knows how much love I have inside of me. He made it. 

Loneliness is leaving an ache inside of me. One where no matter the amount of light shined upon it will ease the darkness. I feel it inside of my bones. Throbbing. Pounding. Causing acute pain. A pain so severe, it steals my breath. I am left shaking. Wondering how I will ever move past this. 

I continue on. At times faking it and sometimes, I even believe myself. You would never know with the smile on my face and the energy I put forth. I push myself even more. Demanding myself to keep trying new ways to defeat the loneliness. Dating. Hobbies. Exercise. Writing. Social Media. Allowing the quick flame to soothe my tender heart. A facade to what is truly beneath. 

Loneliness is oppressive. Cruel. Heartbreaking. Hard. Unjust. Harsh. Burdensome. Depressing. Brutal. And it is mine alone to carry. 

I pray. All. The. Time. I place this in God’s hands over and over again. But God is not physically here next to me. He can’t physically hold me when I shatter. He can’t physically love me when I need touch and a firm hand. He can’t physically be next to me when I wake up in the morning and go to bed at night. He is in my heart and He hears my struggles and burdens. But I need something more. 

I need to share my day. I need to share my happiness. My sadness. My orneriness. I need to share my children. For they are my heart and soul. My sons make me happy, angry, annoyed, and joyful. They are funny, bright little men. I need to love someone. Hard. True. Real. I am made for more than the life I am currently living. Although it has been two years, the loneliness reiterates to me daily that yes, this is my life. One that I can’t believe at times. My reality is divorce. But my heart remembers love, connection, and sharing. I wonder if that makes it worse. 

Finally, the loneliness is drowning me. I can’t hide it anymore. I am so tired. From doing this alone. This. This life. This love. This parenthood. This fun. This disease. This city. This journey. This faith. This joy. This sadness. This struggle. Me. I am tired of doing me alone. 

Loneliness is scaring me. The despair it causes me. The emptiness it creates. It is starting to lie to me. Making me believe I will be this way forever. Making me question if I am the reason behind the loneliness. Do I not believe enough? Am I not praying enough? Am I too much? 

I think the hardest part of it all is I keep the faith. I keep moving forward. I keep loving myself. I keep believing in God and what He has in store for me. 

Yet, I am more lonely than I have ever been. 

Katie Wiegel

A momma of 2 young boys whose days are filled with wrestling, running, and noise. A Nebraska native with a love of coffee, the Lord, a good romance novel, movies, and dessert. Just trying to figure out motherhood and life while battling and conquering depression with anxiety and navigating separation, divorce, and co-parenting. Read more about my journey in life at www.lovelyinthedark.com