Loneliness can make you bitter. Be careful.
You’ve tried several techniques to ease your isolation and sometimes they work, but other times, on days when you’ve spent hours floating on a raft of your thoughts, nothing you say and nothing they tell you, can make you feel connected.
Sometimes you paint your voice in a bright colour and say i’m fine and sometimes you convince yourself too. Fake it til you make it. Be careful with your words–not just the ones in your mouth, the ones in your head, the ones that know you’re not fine–The Universe is always listening.
Sometimes you’re honest I’m blue I feel like shit, almost crying: I’m just tired. Loneliness is exhausting. You worry that you’re exhausting other people; you’re tired of saying you’re not okay. Even if you were okay for nine days in a row and then you spent two days in bed watching Law and Order and eating entire packets of Tim Tams, you have those days at least every month and you’re constantly terrified that people will get sick of your fragility, of the way you need.
And somewhere in between these two, you don’t have the energy to express yourself so you speak in monosyllables, voice like a flatline, hanging up without saying goodbye, or only putting one x at the end of your message. And then you will tell yourself that no one will notice you only put x instead of xx and maybe this is true and maybe it isn’t, but the distance between you and everyone else will grow anyway.
Loneliness can make you bitter. Be careful.
The wet-towel feeling of scrolling through your phonebook and not knowing who to call. This makes you feel pathetic. It reminds you that you don’t belong. You’re a chameleon: you belong a little bit everywhere but nowhere substantially. Not anywhere, not to anyone. There are ugly whispers at the back of you head telling you that you are Someone that Loses People. You do not know how to be exclusive with your love and so people are always leaving you because, well, that’s life, but you swallow these losses. Let them sit in you like chewing gum. You thought you found somewhere to belong last year. To someones, to Someone, but then the main chink broke and you lost the entire necklace. Grief.
Loneliness is tinged with grief. It can stain you from the inside out. Be careful. Don’t be bitter when your desire to connect is not met. This is called Learning to Be on Your Own. And maybe this is true: “Remember: the time you feel lonely is the time you most need to be by yourself. Life’s cruelest irony.” (Douglas Coupland, Shampoo Planet)
Try to learn not to be afraid of your loneliness. Loneliness is just the fear of disconnect, of not being understood or loved or wanted. You agree with Sylvia Plath–“How we need another soul to cling to!”–but she killed herself so maybe take that with a pinch of salt. It’s funny how little things can make you feel connected. Writing kissed herself first, by accident, and wondering whether it’s a message from The Universe while you drift on the raft, no human lighthouses in sight.
You need to learn how to swim in oceans of fear. How to use the oars of determination. How to navigate the darkness of depression by the stars of hope. Stop expecting people to take care of you. The world is not your mother. She took too good care of you. You were too loved as a child and it did not prepare you for a world full of human islands.
This happened once:
-You can tell you’ve been raised in a family with a lot of love.
– Because of the way you give it so freely to others.
Keep love for yourself. Channel it all back into you. Don’t fret about not having enough people to love. Stop being disappointed when you don’t get it back. Stop worrying about whether you need too much. You do need too much. That’s because you give too much of yourself away. You smile when you don’t feel like it. Buy coffees for him because you don’t have any money but he has even less. You give your time and energy and compassion and it drains you. You give away your power.
Don’t feel lonely because you know that, if you went missing, it would take at least two days for someone to realise. Don’t feel lonely because you don’t know who to put as your emergency contact number. Don’t give yourself bitter advice on how not be lonely. “I despise my own hypersensitiveness, which requires so much reassurance. It is certainly abnormal to crave so much to be loved and understood.” (Anais Nin)
It is so easy for you to feel lonely and you hate yourself for it. The ugly voice tells you that your loneliness is your failure. This is not true. “All great and precious things are lonely.” (John Steinbeck, East of Eden) and if this is true, then you’re pretty fucking awesome.
But sit with your loneliness. Own it. Loneliness is not synonymous with worthlessness.You do not deserve to feel lonely. You are not being punished for not being x enough. Understand yourself. You know you crave company because you’re bored of feeling alone. Be kinder to yourself. Write more. Smile at your reflection. Don’t stay in bed all day watch tv just so you don’t have to feel like you exist. Move your body even if you don’t want to. Accept not belonging. Celebrate it.
It is the isolation that drives you. The constant urge to connect. This is why you track down the silver linings and catch all the little things that others miss and have a big empathy bone. This is why you write.
But please stop suffering. Don’t being afraid of your loneliness. Embrace it. Even though you don’t believe what you are writing. Fake it til you make it. At least, accept it.
“We must become so alone, so utterly alone, that we withdraw into our innermost self. It is a way of bitter suffering. But then our solitude is overcome, we are no longer alone, for we find that our innermost self is the spirit, that it is God, the indivisible. And suddenly we find ourselves in the midst of the world, yet undisturbed by its multiplicity, for our innermost soul we know ourselves to be one with all being.” (Hermann Hesse)