Friday, March 31, 2017

The Anatomy of Loneliness


 
"
Don't you get lonely?" someone recently inquired of my seemingly hermit-like, solo  existence in my small apartment by the beach. "No" - I proclaimed - "there are people who live all around me". 
On a Friday evening such as this one, mentally exhausted from dealing with teenagers all day, my retreat into my small alone-space, is a welcome respite. The notion of not having to speak to another soul again (except of my own choosing) for an entire weekend, is a welcome gift. The mental and emotional withdrawal from others, recharges my batteries and renews my energy - but lonely? I wondered.
There is loneliness - and there is being alone. At times I feel classicly "lonely" (not having another person in my immediate vicinity who gives a toss, is in a sense, a loneliness experience); and yet I have felt incredibly lonely in the company of people I know. But chronically lonely?  When I think of what "loneliness" looks, feels and sounds like, I picture sadness, as if the two are synonymous. No - I do not feel sadness at finding myself on my own; I do feel strangely at peace with this quiet, solo existence.
So it is with great pleasure that I announce to the inquiring person that not only was I surrounded by other people living in this huge old mansion-turned-apartments, but I was in fact of the other genre of "loneliness". I was the lonely of "unfrequented, remote, isolated". This, I believe, to be some sort of sub-conscious choice. Perhaps a fear of rejection; perhaps a fear of "getting in the way"; perhaps a long-engrained distrust. So - I therefore am alone; at times transiently lonely for human adult contact and conversation; but mostly lonely because I dwell in my head, in some remote, isolated place. This is what separates me. 
This is what keeps me, alone.

 

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