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I Miss Being Single ... and Depressed

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I'm married but let me tell you something, I miss the days when I was single, alone and depressed.

woman depressed with her husband and son

Radical Mommy: Now before all you moms out there get your size 8 knickers into a twist because I'm saying that I wish I were single again, let me get ONE thing straight. I love my husband and my child more than life itself and I am beyond grateful that I have them in my life.

That being said, though, I actually miss the loneliness and sadness that you occasionally feel when you're single and not dating anyone. I'm not talking about being depressed BECAUSE you're not dating someone, I'm talking about being alone and having the time to actually spend a few minutes in negative thoughts. I'm talking about having the chance to actually wallow in a little self pity. I'm talking about having the chance to be depressed and NOT have to put on a happy face whenever your baby walks into the room.

The thing I miss the VERY most is sitting on the back step of my little apartment, smoking a cigarette in the cold night air and just .... thinking. Thinking about where I am in my life, where I want to go and what I might have passed up. I miss being melancholy. I miss listening to the darkness -- without someone breaking the silence with a question or a request. I miss just having the space to be "depressed."

When I was dating my husband, it was a very on-and-off relationship, and we broke up several times before getting married. Looking back, those times during our breakups were some of the most precious times to me. I was alone and I was sad and I spent a lot of time just thinking about myself and my place on the earth. To this day, I credit my alone and sad time to who I have become and sometimes I fear that without it again, I might not become who I want to be. (I have no idea who that is, but maybe if I had some sad alone time, I would!)

Now, if I'm lucky, I get five minutes tops to sit outside in the cold and indulge my angst. Then I head inside, shut the door and bathe in the joy that is having a 4-year-old whose face lights up every time you enter a room ... even if you've only been gone for five minutes.


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25 comments so far | Post a comment now
J January 28, 2009, 8:09 AM

I totally get what you are saying and like you I love my child more than life itself and wouldn’t trade him for the world. But I miss it too.

designtwit January 28, 2009, 9:11 AM

I get it too. It would be nice to be able to slip quietly into the bathroom for some business and not have your sweet child banging on the door because you left the room. So I still have my head in my hands but, for other reasons.


ash January 28, 2009, 9:24 AM

I was just thinking about this last night. I agree and understand 100%. I miss it!!

suziĆ© January 28, 2009, 9:41 AM

My husband is so sweet he feels like he needs to make me happy at all times even when he is not the reason I am upset. Sometimes I am just trying to figure out things for myself and reflect on things by myself. I get it

Katelyn January 28, 2009, 10:32 AM

Not sure why you felt you needed to preface your main point with the stuff about setting us straight… I know of very few moms or even married women who haven’t had the exact same thoughts as you. The ones who haven’t ever struggled with this stuff are the odd ones out.

I have spent plenty of time missing the endless opportunities to “just be” of my pre-family life. I miss having the chance to cry or write without causing anyone to worry (husband) , or be left sitting in their crib (baby, obv). It’s hard when so many people are watching and depending on us to be “together” at all times.



Mary January 28, 2009, 10:55 AM

I don’t know if this helps, but I read an interesting article today on CNN site, under Oprah’s section, about whether you are disappointed or depressed. I totally get what Melissa is writing about but, after reading the “disappointment” article, it seems like what you are describing is the only first stage to a life long challenge.

Steph January 28, 2009, 12:47 PM

I totally understand this mom. I also think that the time i had during break ups with my pre-husband:) were very precious times..when I got to think of things and actually grew as a person. And I do find it difficult now..when I feel like crying not to be able to because I dont want our little one to see me upset. It is such a life change..more than words can describe. I give you props for being brave and writing this…and obviously by all the comments—you are not alone.

toomchtodu January 28, 2009, 2:01 PM

How I long for some quiet, alone time! I miss being able to sit idle…not having to keep checking items off my “to do list.” I dearly love my family but secretly have wished for my single life once every so often. I’m glad to see I am not the only one who feels this way.

cyndi January 28, 2009, 7:21 PM

I am glad I am not alone.

I never thought I;d get so tired of being married and being a mom, and maybe your not there yet, but I am.
I have several children and would lay down my life for any one of them in a second. It gets so hard when they turn around 13, puberty, rebelion. its very tough. If I had a chance to do it all over, I’d wait till I was 35 to get married and only have one child.

ashley January 29, 2009, 10:42 AM

I am always wishing I was back in high school or my first year in college. As hard as it was back then worrying who I was going to eat lunch with, whether or not so and so liked, nothing compares to how hard it is now. I have to tiptoe around my husbands moods, especially now cause he had surgery 2 weeks ago. It’s just so hard. Every single night I dream that I am still in high school and I am always disappointed to wake up in the middle of one of those dreams. It helps though that I wake up to a beautiful blonde haired blue eyed baby girl or my son whispering Momma, Momma, Momma, Wake up, Wake up, Wake up!!!

eliza March 17, 2009, 1:47 AM

Ashley, that is exactly how I feel.. I am only 21, no kids but married. Even though I have the greatest hubby in the world, I still feel like all this is too early for me..In conclusion, I am not happy and I wish I could change my life but I am afraid of the consequences.

Anonymous April 9, 2009, 4:48 PM

I wish I understood what you meant…I do experience the depression and am lost in my own thoughts way too much…yes, I’m single, never married, and no kids (but I have a puppy to fill the void). I pray everyday that I could be with a man who could take me out of my own daily thoughts.. I long for someone to be waiting for me when I get home from work. Don’t get me wrong, being able to do what I want when I want is a joy but it’s a lonely road to take….

Anonymous April 9, 2009, 4:53 PM

I wish I understood what you meant…I do experience the depression and am lost in my own thoughts way too much…yes, I’m single, never married, and no kids (but I have a puppy to fill the void). I pray everyday that I could be with a man who could take me out of my own daily thoughts.. I long for someone to be waiting for me when I get home from work. Don’t get me wrong, being able to do what I want when I want is a joy but it’s a lonely road to take….

Anonymous April 9, 2009, 4:54 PM

I wish I understood what you meant…I do experience the depression and am lost in my own thoughts way too much…yes, I’m single, never married, and no kids (but I have a puppy to fill the void). I pray everyday that I could be with a man who could take me out of my own daily thoughts.. I long for someone to be waiting for me when I get home from work. Don’t get me wrong, being able to do what I want when I want is a joy but it’s a lonely road to take….

Anonymous May 6, 2009, 2:10 PM

I totally understand what you mean. I think people NEED to be able to think. If you don’t, you end up just floating thought life blindly. I have three little ones and when I want to sit and reflect, I can’t! So now it takes longer to come up with solutions or to grieve because I can’t sit and reflect and be sad and cry like I need to sometimes. Tears bring healing and if you can’t reflect and cry, it’ll come out all over the place at the worst times and at the wrong people (like your husband). lol.

Mel August 6, 2009, 2:20 AM

radical mommy or typical 20th century whining mommy?

many people go their entire lives being alone, some unable to even hook up let alone get married. You’re talking about a psychological state that is achievable. You can still have “you time.” Don’t be greedy. There are people who have to face the depression of never knowing if they will ever end up in a caring relationship, some even a relationship period. That is not a depression worth longing for.

Perhaps you should have spent the time it took to write this article researching or learning how to empathize with people in this condition. Then you would likely realize how lucky you are to exist in your “la-la land” and you’d realize how garishly snobbish your article comes off as. Not everyone is able to hook up. Be happy you are not one of these people, but don’t rub it in the faces of others by suggesting that you would LIKE to feel depressed in any way. I guarantee you that this article would fall to the bottom of your pile quite quick if you should find yourself in a divorce, losing your child(ren).

But anyway, that’s just my opinion. No personal harm intended, I just think you need a reality jolt.

anonymous September 15, 2009, 7:15 PM

I agree with the above statement, then again not all relationships bring happiness. Some people just choose to be with someone for financial support or because they didnt find the right guy and married the wrong guy for them. I completely agree with mel you could be divorced and lose your kids OR have no one to wake up to let alone go out with.I would be grateful for what you have whether or not you feel like you need me time, Im sure when the kids are at school and your husband is at work you just have way too much time and come up with this stuff…do some online shopping or read a book and let your family breath alittle and be independant, theres no need to constantly listen to every little thing they say or respond to everything they do. I think any unhappiness you are feeling is more about missing your childhood and the times that somehow took care of you instead of having to be a mother and caretaker. Be grateful for what you have and take it easy on yourself and your family

Ken November 16, 2009, 11:33 PM

Wow. You miss being single, lonely, and depressed, huh? I’ve been single for almost ten years now and I’m so lonesome, that half the time, I honestly wish I would never wake up in the morning. I would have no problem with it just being over. I couldn’t even imagine wanting to feel this way. But whatever floats your boat.

Scoobador December 1, 2009, 2:15 AM

We have a strong bias toward happiness in our culture (maybe in all cultures, too) - if someone is crying they are pleaded with to stop, if someone is ever melancholy they are urged and worked on to be “cheered up,” and if anything is depressing someone they are told to forget about it and distract themselves. But just like how eating cake every day would start to make cake taste foul, trying to be happy on a constant basis may be comparable to being sad on a daily basis.

You last few at the end certainly have reason, at face value, to resent what appears to be arrogance, but the bottom line is a lack of opportunity to feel meaningful emotions. When life is forced into being rainbows and sunshine (such as how it might be when one has a toddler), life stops looking so bright on the whole, because things always look brighter when contrasted to darkness. For her, there’s no tangible darkness, which is important to have.

Dave July 14, 2010, 1:54 PM

Well. I’m one of the few people out there who actually likes being alone more than being with people. I have played the game my entire life anyways (go out, have fun with friends, accidently get into relationships that usually don’t last, etc.). I’m in the depths of the longest relationship of my entire life (18 months now) and marriage is popping up in conversation. We see eachother everyday! There’s absolutely no reason why i shouldn’t marry her but then i think about the fact that some of the best times in my life were when i was alone for long stretches of time during my internships (new city, no friends and only for a couple of months).


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