Feeling Gutted on Christmas Eve

It is Christmas eve. And my hair has turned out perfect. Despite not having enough hairspray. But maybe that is why I ended up with such loose curls, and I’m just blessed that they stuck. It’s a Christmas miracle.

It is Christmas Eve and I am alone. Not like when I was alone for Thanksgiving last year, when I was Belgium. Drinking fabulous beer and meeting gorgeous men. No, this time I am truly alone.

I spent time with a friend’s family today. But I leave that family party feeling gutted. And I want to tell you all of the reasons I am feeling gutted.

Because my mom booked a trip to Florida for Christmas without telling me. Or inviting me. When I found out, and I asked her what I was supposed to do for the holiday, she said, “Oh you know, you come and go as you please.”

Because my dad is still not talking to me, save the occasional holiday text and a very generous Christmas gift. He is in the Maldives islands. He kindly let me know he was going there for the holidays via text just a day before he left.

Because I have not written anything I am proud of in months. I have dozens of half written essays on my desktop, but I can’t seem to find a point of view on them, to close them out, to make them worth reading.

Because I cannot see another engagement announcement on Instagram without screaming.

Because every post of a smiling family on my feed makes my stomach hurt deeper.

Because I as I write this, drinking wine for five hours, and my stomach hurts. After drinking all week, I know I need to stop. Not tonight, but in general. I need to take a break from drinking. But I am absolutely terrified of the loneliness that would bring. Because my only social interaction comes from drinking at the bar across the street.

Because a man I adored told me that he liked me. Too much. He was scared of where it was going. That it was scary of how well I knew him. that he never met anyone like me. That I was a mystery. And that he was nervous I did not like him. Because he didn’t feel like I had been vulnerable with him. And when I finally submitted to vulnerability, and told him what I was feeling, I didn’t hear anything back. And I’m back to square one.

Because I am tired of falling in love with men who aren’t ready to be with me. Because they know that letting themselves fall in love with me means something. And I am so tired. Just so tired.

And so gutted. Every bit of energy I have this holiday is being poured into this essay. Because even though my hair is perfect, and my makeup is on point, I am lonely. And I want to tell you everything I am lonely for.

I am lonely for friends. Friends who live nearby me. Friends who I see in person, regularly. I don’t know where they all went. I used to have so many.

I am lonely for my family. Not my family. The family I wish I had.

I am lonely for New York City, a city where I’ve never lived but dreamed of living my whole life. Watching movies and television shows filmed in NYC (like really filmed there, not on a studio lot in LA), makes my heart hurt, and I grow so much lonelier.

I am lonely for the man I wish I had. The man that will love me, without being scared of what that means.  

This is a loneliness I’ve known my whole life. It is not just feeling bored, which I often do. This is a pain. A pain in my heart. While the rest of my body goes numb.

This is a loneliness I’ve known my whole life. It is a feeling I am much too familiar with. It is so painful, I feel like I might die. But for some fucking reason, I never do.

This is a loneliness I’ve known my whole life. And that’s why I got a spade tattooed on my forearm. To remember that this feeling will pass, and will always make it through. I know I will. I just need to feel my way through it.

I want to feel it through in the shower. All I want to do is to take a hot shower, for hours. Because I don’t have a bathtub. I want to take a hot shower sipping my wine, letting the hot water splatter on my back, warming my muscles at an almost even rate as the red wine.

But I don’t want to ruin my perfect curls. So, I don’t get in the shower. I just lay here. And feel it.

Stephanie DeLacy unapologetically shares what it’s like to navigate the world as 20-something white girl, with humor, profanity, and raw vulnerability. Stephanie recounts stories of her travel, mental health, and the journey to loving her body. Her descriptions of dating are bawdy but incredibly relatable. She courageously describes her dysfunctional childhood, healing from trauma, and how she’s evolved as a survivor of sexual assault. At times, heart wrenching, her stories will evoke raw emotion and connect to you on the most guttural level. She hopes to inspire authentic living and human connection.  Stephanie lives in Cleveland with her dog and two cats.