Loneliness can be felt while surrounded by people, and it can be felt when one is all alone. It can be pervasive, it can be momentary, it can linger in the background and come out unexpectedly. And it’s far more common than you think.
Or maybe not – I don’t know what you think.
That’s a pet peeve. I keep hearing, or seeing, actually, people say, “That’s ridiculous!” or “You’re just feeling sorry for yourself!” a particular favorite of my stepmother, who had a hand in convincing me I deserved to be alone, or “How can anyone think that way?” about most anything you can imagine. Everyone is a separate individual with their own thoughts and feelings, their own perspective and their own experiences. There aren’t two people that much alike that they can understand everything about each other.
Or maybe there are. What do I know?
If we were talking about me, for example, people might say I have lots of friends, and I do, though I might never see them. Many of them I’ve never met. I like to keep it that way to avoid their eventual disappointment. That’s the sort of thing that can lead to loneliness. What if people found out what I’m really like? In my case, it’s a lack of trust. I don’t trust anyone, except my husband, to see me. And maybe my cousin, because it turns out we’re a lot alike. I don’t even tell people my religious beliefs, or lack thereof, unless I know we’re in the same demographic.
I have a lovely life, but I’ve never made many local friends. Everyone I know is through work, and you can’t trust people who are clients. You can, and I do, but it’s work. I miss, sometimes, working with other people, though I acknowledge it’s not always easy to get along with people, depending on who you and they are.
I don’t like to call people because as I discussed with my cousin last week, I think I’m interrupting something important, which would be anything they’re doing and I’m not. Besides, I’m not good on the phone. I need to see people in real life to have something to say.
And even then you might think I’m the boringest person on the planet.
I amuse my husband, but he’s easily amused, fortunately.
People are social creatures, but for some reason some of us don’t trust easily, and we hide from the light like the bugs you see from turning over a rock.
Many depressed people are lonely and say they have no one to turn to, no one who believes them or listens. That may be true, or there may be someone close by that wants to help them but doesn’t know how, and the depressed person can’t see the part of the other person that is there for them because they can’t recognize it. Maybe they’ve had too many people tell them they could just snap out of it if they wanted, or they’re just lazy, as if people enjoy being depressed and do it to themselves.
People don’t want to be depressed nor lonely. Most of the time I’m fine, working or doing the thing I seem to be doing the most of these days, resting, because I can amuse myself for hours alone. But I miss people. Some people don’t. But if someone is depressed and feels all alone, it’s likely they miss people. Sometimes I miss people.
That sounds very self-absorbed, but we all relate to the world starting from the inside, from what we know and experience. Where else would we start from?