This article popped up in my social media feed tonight and has made me feel so sad: http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/oct/23/loneliness-health-dangerous-old-age-death?CMP=fb_gu. I am well-acquainted with loneliness and I have already tried the author’s recommended actions. Still, I am no less alone and isolated.
For example, I have been on leave from work for the past fortnight and reached out to many friends and former work colleagues during this period. I have socialised with over ten people throughout my break – including relatives – yet I have walked away from each encounter feeling equal measures of loneliness and gratitude.
I suppose it’s because I only ever socialise with others on their terms. Overall, I am powerless and desperate. I yearn for social interaction but, often times, there’s no-one available to hang out with me when I really need them. Their lives are rich and busy, crammed to bursting with children, partners, careers and hobbies. They cannot fathom what it’s like to be afflicted with forced and prolonged isolation. They cannot imagine how lonely it is to be me.
Oddly, I find little reassurance or comfort during social encounters, even in the wake of powerful longing. They often feel counter-productive. I am an outsider… a fact which remains with whomever I socialise. I am painfully aware that I do not belong and I become highly self-conscious.
The feelings of worthlessness created by The Forgiven One over the years still echo throughout my soul, reverberating loudest in the company of others. I do all I can to stifle their echoes, and I am highly skilled in projecting false enthusiasm and a positive public image. My social media profiles portray a confident, social butterfly, fluttering from one exciting event to the next. There is nothing exciting about my life… there is only endless loneliness; hidden behind ever-rising walls.
I am lonely and it’s a debilitating state. Yet, what can I do? I put myself ‘out there’ – into that vast maze of social avenues – only to find myself repeatedly trapped alone in yet another dead end. I so long for someone. It’s a silly dream, I know, but it would be truly amazing to have a best friend or partner willing to share my life and interests. I am pining for privileges I do not deserve… but I dream of these gifts nonetheless.
I dream of a world in which my individual loneliness does not exist, and that is the most perilous desire of all. I am destined to be disappointed… in myself more so than others, because I cannot possibly achieve something which relies on my own worth. I haven’t had any self-worth for so long, I cannot remember the taste of confidence nor the smell of contentment. I do not remember anything before my worthlessness. I do not remember who I am.