Just a quick post...
I have always thought that I was the type of person who just doesn't get lonely. I can go to movies or dinner all by myself, and it doesn't feel strange to me. Even after having the kids, a couple of days with no one in the house but me used to be just fine. Going a whole week alone I would start to miss them, but that's not really the same thing as feeling lonely, you know?
The realization hit me the other day, though: I didn't feel lonely because I felt that I would always have my wife there if I needed her. Ironically, I know she will still be there for me if I need something, within reason, but the fact that we are really under no obligation to support each other drove home the fact that I can, in fact, get lonely, and will likely be feeling that way for the rest of my life.
I know engaging in games of "what if" are rarely, if ever, productive, but I can't help but think that maybe if I had known this ages ago, I would have shown Allison more appreciation for her, what she meant, or means, to me. I have to consider that we both could have been much, much happier, and all of this pain could have been avoided.
All I know right now is that I can't let myself get hurt like this again. I would rather be lonely than get into a relationship that I would mess up. Constant chronic pain can be ignored with enough time and toughness - but these spikes of agony just drive home how much everything hurts, and I don't want to do it anymore.