Please Don’t Leave Me

Please Don't Leave Me

Unless we love and are loved, each of us is alone, each o us is deeply lonely. – Mortimer Adler

For someone who fears math, I sure pay a lot of attention to numbers.  My eating disorder counts calories, perfectionism analyzes grades, and OCD (ok, I have not been officially diagnosed but several professionals have told me that I have it) makes certain numbers safe and necessary to follow.  My obsession with numbers also plays a role in my blogging.  Every day, I excitedly check my stats with the hope that they will rise.  If not, I just remind myself of how much each comment, like, and view means to me.  Focusing on trying to help others encourages me to keep on writing no matter if many people are viewing my work or not.  Even touching one person would make all of my work worth it.

Yesterday, however, I felt my heart sink as I viewed my number of followers.  It had dropped.  For the first time, someone had chosen to abandon me and my writing.  Negative assumptions filled me right away.  What had I said that was offensive?  Was I too ugly in my pictures?  Maybe I had triggered someone instead of helping them.  Miserable, I forgot to be grateful for all of the wonderful people who do read my blog.  Instead I felt alone.

This fear of abandonment is a common feeling for me.  Although I dread social events, I long to be invited and mournfully look at the pictures of grinning friends on Facebook.  My fear of others keeps me stuck in the pit of loneliness.  Gradually, I step forward each day attempting to connect with the world around me.  This very blog is an example of that.  Tiny but real, my progress continues to go in the right direction.  I still have a long way to go but I will eventually make it.

Yet, impatience and criticism bug me by pointing out only my mistakes.  So, when I see that I have one less friend on Facebook, I fight back depression.  I have to remind myself that people can choose to do what they like with their time.  Maybe they simply want a few less friends to keep up with on social media.  Perhaps their decision to eliminate me has more to do with them than with anything I have said or done.

As hard as it is, I have to learn not to take everything personally.  People are allowed to have feelings, make choices, and go through life without me playing a role in it.  Whether my mother fumes about bad news or an acquaintance hates the color pink, their responses have little if anything to do with me.  I can only control myself.  Sure, I can try to influence and inspire those around me.  But that is it.  I do not have any magical powers to make people love me or miraculously be happy.  By being the best version of myself and becoming healthy, I will be able to have a positive impact on – but not control of  – the world.

Back to my stats, I am still rather sad and also worried.  If I offended anyone, I would really like to know.  Honestly, the questioning causes far more anxiety than the truth.  However, I am so grateful for each and every one of my followers.  You have no idea how much joy and hope you have brought to me.  I also hope that I have encouraged and inspired you.

My fear of being abandoned is still strong.  Since before I can remember, this has haunted me.  Yet I try to remember that I am surrounded by a safe and loving family.  Although I often feel lonely, there are many wonderful friends who have greatly changed my life.  Plus there are all of you who are reading this.  I might feel alone but I am really being held figuratively (and sometimes literally) by safe and caring arms.  Thank you for reminding me that I am never truly deserted.  Likewise, I am with you in my heart, encouraging and reminding you of your worth!

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24 thoughts on “Please Don’t Leave Me

  1. autisticook says:

    Funny that you should write this today.

    I had a thought about “likes” on WordPress and how it’s rare for me to press the like button. I’d rather comment when a post resonates with me. But then I started thinking, well, maybe it’s not like that for everyone. I don’t pay attention to how many likes my own posts get, so for me they’re not important. But maybe for others they are. Is it really too much to ask of me just to press that button? Maybe it will brighten someone else’s day even if it doesn’t mean much to me.

    And then you write this. And I read it and I recognise the feeling. Even though I wouldn’t be able to tell you my number of followers. Maybe I stopped paying attention to that when I realised some of my “followers” were just spam blogs wanting me to visit their pages. But nevertheless, I recognise that feeling. You’re putting yourself out there and instead of getting appreciated for it, people run away. Never mind that not everyone runs away. No response means they want to run away, obviously.

    I don’t have any solutions for that feeling, yet. But it does get better, over time. Sometimes a lot of time. It’s normal to want to feel appreciated and loved, so that’s not something you’re ever going to change. But the fear becomes less with every person who doesn’t run away. Even if you find it hard to believe and are just waiting for the other shoe to drop. Gradually, slowly, it will get better. I have faith in that. And in you.

    • You always have such a deep wisdom about things! Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts. What you said makes a lot of sense. I think that as I slowly become less afraid of meeting people and also gain more social skills, people will run away less and so will I. It is hard to remember that the feeling of being lonely is normal. However, every feeling is felt by everyone at some point in their life. Thank you so much for your encouragement! It really does mean a lot to me! 🙂

      • autisticook says:

        😀
        Thanks for the deep wisdom comment, it doesn’t feel that way but I guess 36 years of making mistakes pays off a little bit. 😉

        • Time does bring wisdom but I also think that there are some people (and many with Aspergers that I have met) who are born with a deep wisdom. You seem to have that and it is really amazing. 🙂

        • jefairgrieve says:

          Wait until you get to be my age, autisticook! How about 74 years of making mistakes! However, I have found that as I have gotten older, I have more “learning” to call upon, and my mistake-making has decreased somewhat. There is hope! ; )

          • autisticook says:

            74 years sounds like fun! I certainly hope I will never stop making mistakes completely, that would mean I have nothing left to learn! But… fewer would be nice. 😉

    • thank you so much for this beautiful comment

  2. jefairgrieve says:

    Dear Anna Rose,
    Followers, readers, “likers,” — If you have a purpose for blogging–and you do!–then keep your purpose in mind. I get VERY few responses to my blog, and sometimes I wonder if I’m writing into the air, but every so often somebody lets me know that what I have said is helpful. I figure if even one person finds my blog posts helpful, my work is worth continuing.

    If you focus on giving, doing a service, and don’t worry about anything else, then the ups and downs of your stats probably won’t matter so much. At least, that’s the way I look at it. Also, I plan to one day organize and publish my blog posts in hard copy, so that’s another reason for continuing to blog. As I look at the awards you have received, the ones listed in your left margin, I see that you have a lot of incentive to keep on truckin’, as they say. Those awards tell you that your work is appreciated!

    Some days, when only two people have looked at my blog, I get really discouraged. But then I figure that if one or both of those two people get any information or help from my posts, I’ve reached at least those two people. Better to reach two people in a day than none at all. Of course, there have been days when my readership has been 0! But I still keep blogging. That’s life. If you believe in what you are doing, just keep doing it! Have faith in the value of your work. And your work IS valuable. I don’t have a problem with eating disorders, for example, but through reading your posts, I now have a much better understanding of people who do. That helps me have more empathy for others.

    What you have to say about your struggle is, I believe, truly helpful to others who share your struggle! I find your articles interesting and insightful even though I don’t deal with the same issues as you. Peace, Anna Rose . . .

    • Thank you so much for your wise words! Keeping in mind the purpose of the blog is very helpful. And I agree with you that even if a couple of people viewed my pages, I am hopeful that it helped them. And just so you know, I do read your blog and find it very helpful! People like you are making the world a more beautiful places! 🙂 I am thankful that mine helps you understand those with eating disorders and thank you for the encouragement!

    • autisticook says:

      This. I think this is what I wanted to say but worded in a better way. 🙂

  3. I’ve always been inspired by your posts. In fact, since I began following I’ve noticed I look at things differently than I once did. It can be sad to lose a follower or two because you never know why someone chose to “unfollow” you. Just know that many of your readers are truly touched by your words and experiences and forever will be. Those are the readers that will never leave you.

    I’m one of them 🙂

  4. ashokbhatia says:

    You don’t write for commercial reasons. You write because you wish to convey something to the universe around you. You know how to articulate it well. You write it for your own inner peace, bliss and satisfaction. Not for being a Pied Piper of sorts. Keep it up!

  5. Bourbon says:

    Honestly, I think sometimes people unfollow because they’ve moved on from the blogging phase in their lives. I always keep in mind how people are only ever really here for a portion of their/my lives. I know it’s so easy to take it personally though, I do too. But looks like you have some v dedicated readers here so keep it going xx

  6. mudtherapist says:

    love reading all your posts! I am inspired by you! Hope you keep writing!

  7. Maggi Chalkline says:

    Love, love your blog. You honesty, struggles, and clarity in writing bring tears to my eyes and soothe my heart. Please, please keep writing.

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