Loneliness is one of those universal feelings that we can all recognise, yet it’s not something we talk about enough. Funnily enough, talking about it could be the cure, so how are missing that obvious irony so easily?
There are different types of loneliness, and different feelings effect people in different ways. Personally, I felt it as a teenager when I couldn’t fit in, in new cities when I didn’t know people, in terrible relationships and when I lost prominent people in my life (through death, breakups, relocation…). Right now I’m feeling it because although I have a few incredibly close friends, I’ve lost a few friends that were very important. The people who I trusted, but weren’t my main source of emotional support. The few I could have fun with, but I didn’t see all the time. Obviously every friendship is different, but if you want to try and squeeze people into imaginary boxes then they were the circle just outside my very close friends. All of them gone, over the last 3 or 4 months. Poof. Vanished.
They all have their own reasons of course, and I’m not arguing with them. Most of them found girlfriends and just stopped texting me back. One had the guts to actually tell me that his girlfriend felt uncomfortable about our friendship. I respect that, it’s upsetting, but it doesn’t surprise me that he was the one to come to me honestly. I know that was hard for him to admit. Ultimately, his honesty is one of the things I love about him. That and the fact that he was the only guy friend I had that I never worried about wanting more or judging me based on the fact that I am a woman. Interesting really that his girlfriend is uncomfortable about our relationship considering I appreciated it for exactly the opposite of what she’s worried about.
Don’t get me wrong here, I love the people in my life. But I’m not sure they’ll appreciate me messaging them 20 times a day with mildly humorous memes when I’m bored. Before, this was spread, now it’s condensed and I feel like an irritant. I’m an extrovert and I’d happily spend 5 or 6 nights a week with people. I don’t think my close introverted friends would appreciate that either. I don’t want to be needy, but I’ve lost people I love, that featured in my life daily and I don’t understand why.
Another thing that bothers me is that I’ve been dropped for girlfriends. I feel reduced down to a “threat” that I don’t relate to. It makes me feel like I did something wrong. I know that’s not true, but when I’m sat by myself with no memes coming my way, it’s easy to convince myself otherwise.
In my mind, I guess that’s loneliness. Those times when I feel unwanted and unimportant. A big part of any relationship is knowing you have an impact on the other person, so when you feel like your predominant impact is negative then the need to isolate yourself can over take any want to reach out.
I read today that loneliness can be worse for your health than smoking, drinking and obesity. I can see that. Sometimes it physically hurts. I’d argue that it’s taken less seriously than anything else that has that kind of detriment to health.
So if talking helps, like it does then most things, then I think we should talk about it more. This is probably why I posting this. I’m writing about it to help me, but posting it gives me the hope that it might help someone else. That makes me feel less lonely, the idea that talking about my problems openly might help someone else. I do feel a little better. Even though I’m still alone.