I am alone right now. I often am. Am I lonely? What exactly is loneliness? I am struggling with this so I am turning to my dictionary for help. The entry for lonely is as follows:
1. feeling alone – feeling sad through being without friends or company
2. Isolated – isolated and rarely visited
3. Without companionship or support – done or lived through without companionship or support from other people.
Reading this explanation I believe I have hit on something significant. The fluidity of language has created some interesting nuances here. Some of which resonate with me.
Am I lonely in the first sense? Is that truly the case? I have some serious doubts. I am starting to suspect that for the most part I am lonely in the second sense. I am inclined to think that when I am sad and mostly isolated, I am not sad because I am mostly isolated.
But something is off, isn’t it?
Trying to scratch this surface brings me to some tricky territory. I am asking myself why I prefer isolation. What is it about the idea of friends that mostly makes me sad? Why is a room full of people a place I don’t want to be?
The answer seems to be “connection.” A scary, upsetting word. I have trouble with my connections. A lot of trouble. To the extent that I would rather not face it.
Mostly I am disconnected. I am disconnected from so many people that it is overwhelming. Only a few remain on threads that I can tug on… and usually the tugging is from a distance. Some people I feel are lost to me that I would rather not have lost. But I don’t have the strength to reconnect. I am wrapped up in guilt and anxiety from the state I have brought myself to.
Where does this floundering with connections come from? And what about the people I never connected to in the first place? This brings me to my sincerity trap. I hate to feel disingenuous… and the idea that I might seem that way fills me with dread. This dread is a trap. It makes me afraid to speak and afraid to act. I don’t want to risk saying something I don’t mean or doing something I don’t feel. That is why I am most comfortable alone. Everything about socializing needs to come in miniscule doses or I can’t handle it.
But I am sad that those connections I make falter. So maybe I am lonely type 1 after all. Still I think the conventional number of connections is too many for me… and ultimately it is the quality that needs to fit. The idea of being able to forge connections on my own terms seems like an impossible task. It also feels too demanding. Why should I dictate the dynamics of a relationship? What makes me more important? To make matters even more nebulous I have only a vague amount of awareness when it comes to what I want. What is the perfect scenario? What would make me happy?
It all seems to come down obstacles I have put in my own way, which is very frustrating. The way I see it, I have sadness that has isolated me… and I guess isolation that saddens me as well. They are feeding each other. It is daunting because interrupting the loop is not a simple task. I can’t just tack on new acquaintances and “break” isolation. If something inside me is pulling me away, then the connections will falter just the same.
I guess that answers my question, though. My loneliness exists… and it is a sinister loop.