Pretty much constantly, I have this sense of never quite belonging anywhere and it makes me so desperately lonely that I draw away from people, lose all motivation to do anything and don’t know how to get out of it. I’m feeling this right now and instead of doing my recent thing where I write when I’m “out of feeling crap,” I’m going to write this in the moment, truthfully. Later, I’ll feel horribly guilty for posting negatively but for now, I need to express this because I feel hopeless as fuck and don’t know how to talk about it.

Where does this feeling come from? I’ve tried to answer this question by thinking, writing, talking, singing but nothing quite works. Nothing quite adds up to feeling like I’m truly “with something” and that’s the problem. I hear people talking about things they love, or things they’re part of and I wonder, “Do I love it that much? Am I just an empty shell because I feel so separated sometimes?” It terrifies me and as you can probably tell, it’s difficult to talk about.

I love music, sure, but I don’t get obsessed with bands. Individual songs are what are on my playlist; I don’t even particularly like a specific genre or style of music. Often I say my music taste is obscure but it’s not the obscure of other people’s; I like weird songs but not songs of a type or anything like that. I don’t vehemently hate many songs either. People talk about songs, artists or things I’ve barely heard of and sometimes, so I don’t look stupid, I pretend to know what it is and I listen to the songs afterwards, hating myself and wishing I was more open to music, just wishing I was able to join in. It’s not that “no one gets me” because I don’t have a love of punk rock or alternative music or heavy metal – it’s just that I don’t dedicate myself enough to listening.

I don’t watch enough movies, musicals or plays to be able to understand many references. As with music, I sometimes have to act as if I get it and it leaves me feeling hollow and like I’m wildly stupid because I just don’t understand. It’s not that I worry about people hating me (for once), it’s more that I feel, personally, like I never do enough and that if I tried to watch all these movies, I’d only be doing it to understand when really, I want to watch them so I’ll enjoy them. The movies I have watched, I howl about with enthusiasm because those are the ones I get and can confidently speak about. It’s not even the fact that I’m visually impaired – it’s just that I didn’t in the past and it’s catching up to me now.

With books, I feel a little more confident but still not “with a group”. I love young adult novels, strange feminist literature and some but I still haven’t read enough to be able to feel even a little bit comfortable when talking in class or even with some people I know. In the online world it’s easier; I don’t have the pressure to “READ THIS BOOK” or that. However, I often find myself shying away from conversations about books – even ones I’ve read – because I’m afraid of just not being “with it” enough. It holds me back but I don’t know how to stop myself.

When I say all this, I feel lazy. Surely it’d be easy for me to listen more, read more, watch more movies or just get involved? I get upset, overwhelmed and then entrench the belief that I’m no good to anyone in my mind, forcing myself to believe I’m the shadow of a person and then feeling intense disgust. That’s not healthy and I know that but when I never seem to put effort in, I make myself think I then deserve to feel this isolated. I hate that.

I don’t know, I just don’t feel like I belong in a specific group, community or fandom. It may seem pitiful and whining of me to say this but I feel on the fringes, too embarrassed to speak up because my voice won’t be loud enough, won’t be assured enough. When I talk to someone about a common interest, I feel one step behind because I like a specific part of that interest whereas many people like multiple parts. It confuses me because there are only a few times where I feel like I’m on an even footing and “with someone” when I discuss things.

Of course, there are exceptions to this pile of loneliness I feel. Blogging’s a big one; I feel at home here, with no push to fit with the mould of someone who reads a type of book or who can talk for hours about something with someone and feel comfortable. However, sometimes I find myself shoving my voice to the outskirts on purpose because I ask myself if it’s worth it, whether I should just give up or why people care. That’s why I write this, though; I write it to share my unfiltered thoughts when I need to. They may be negative, they may be confusing but they belong to me and people can’t diminish that by belittling them, even by accident. Volunteering is somewhere else where I express myself because there, it doesn’t matter what I like or don’t like – it just matters that I’m a person and that I can show that to people.

There are always places where you feel more at ease but at the moment, the feeling of loneliness that I tell myself is self-made is taking over my thoughts. Although I’ll talk about it in counselling on Wednesday, I needed an outlet where people don’t give a shit if I scream my thoughts onto a screen, if I’m momentarily selfish because the whole point of my blog is to help me and others, if and when they need the help.

I’m sorry that this post is so jumbled and rambling and, well, weird. I’m trying to get used to writing again; words are becoming difficult to get out sometimes and I want to talk about feeling alone in one of the only places I don’t.

Do you ever feel like this too?

From Elm 🙂

Update: I wrote this on Friday and decided to leave it for a bit. Although I still feel like this, it’s not all-consuming right now but reading over it, I got a real sense of how unhappy I felt. Sometimes it’s good to look back on things.

38 thoughts on “Belonging

    • I understand that – it really helps to combat the loneliness and to distract yourself. The weather is horrible over here, freezing and sometimes rainy. Thanks so much for sharing xx

  1. Sometimes I feel the same, like I don’t quite belong anywhere and belonging is the feeling I most often crave. You know where I do belong though?? Right here, in the blogosphere, and so do you, my friend. 😀

  2. I used to belong to something until she cut me out of her life after over 6 years. With no reason. I feel isolated and lonely I’m still yet to discover how I’ll get over this but you’re not alone kid. I’m here with you too.

    • I’m so so sorry to hear this. It’s heartbreaking when you get no warning and somebody who you love so much suddenly disappears from your life – I hope you’re okay and if you aren’t now, I know you will be more okay than you are right now in the future. Thank you so much for sharing your experience and I’m glad I could help you to feel less alone, even a little bit

  3. Yeah a lot of the time I feel like I don’t belong in areas where I should but then I think a lot of the time we feel this way when we shouldn’t; I’m sure many other people in the same group feel exactly the same way. I guess it’s just another one of those things our brain tricks us on

  4. Oh my gosh, I’ve never related to anything more. In my moments of “oh shit, I’ve got no one and no one gets me”, I feel exactly like this. Like I need to pretend to share the passion to fit in or that I don’t care enough about a film like others do to be included. AND YES to the not belonging part of the post. Outside of the blogging world, I don’t really know where I stand. Last year, I felt sure of the group of friends I had, but since then we’ve all changed and now I don’t know if it feels right where I am – whether I belong to the group like I want to belong, if that makes sense. I mean, this is probably the lack of sleep talking and I know I’ll be fine in the morning but like you said, it’s good to get your thoughts of the moment down to reflect on later xx

    • That makes perfect sense and I get that, a love all with belonging ina group. It’s not even enough to say “People change and that’s okay” because that may be the case but it’s not very comforting. Thank you for this comment and I hope you got more sleep over the last few days! Xx

  5. I feel this. I’ve been having a lot of trouble seeing where my place in society is. There are smart people, I’m not smart enough to be one, there are practical people, I have no skills in that area, there are sporty people, I can’t do sports at all, there are musical people, I play no music, there are arty people, I’m not good enough, there are theatre people. I don’t have the confidence, there are book nerds, i don’t read enough books, gamers, i don’t game enough — you see what i mean? Everyone fits into a bubble and I’m just stuck on the outside. I’ve been like this for my entire life and I still don’t get where to go. I’m confused.

    • Oh my god, this is exactly it and you’ve perfectly summarised how I feel. I just don’t feel like I’m with it enough or good enough to be in anyt kind of group. Thank you so so much xx

  6. Sorry you have been feeling lonely and isolated. I think at some point everyone kind of looks for that click or fandom to fit into, sometimes more extreme than others. A lot of the time it is so we can get that feeling of fitting in or being apart of something. Now that I am older and a bit wiser I have grown to learn you don’t need to belong to something to feel important or not alone. Trust me. We all have different interests, hobbies etc whatever it may be that is what makes us human. I don’t fit into any clicks. I have a strong passion for music and I know a lot about it, have favorite artists etc. However, I feel my passion is a lot stronger than people in my life or I have met, so much I feel alone with it. It doesn’t bother me though and my love for music never had anything to do with finding someone to relate to or fit in. However in some ways my love for music can be seen as something that has kept me going and it has definitely helped my well being and mental health etc in that sense. Some people worship a God, or have passions in things like science or whatever. My passion and life savior is music. 🙂 It just what works for me.

    I can’t give you advice on how to come out of this funk other than I think you are a beautiful writer and person. You are not alone and yes you will always have the WordPress community to support you. 🙂 I have been lonely all my life, even in crowded rooms or with friends. I can’t relate to most people and it is just something I have come to accept. It doesn’t bother me much anymore. Truth is, sometimes the more people I meet the less I want to spend time with them cause they be cray. Haha. Jk. I hope you get what I mean though. But because of who I am naturally and humans give me anxiety etc and are tiring I can’t really help much. But I am here for you and I wish you the best on your journey. ❤ 🙂

    • You’ve helped a lot because you’ve provided me with comfort which I really appreciate. I’m going to try and think better of myself and realise that what is important to others doesn’t have to be important to me in order to form long-lasting relationships. Blogging, writing and talking to others is what keeps me going; it’s so wonderful to read that you love music so much. It’s refreshing and beautiful. Thank you for being so great and writing your thoughtful comment xx

  7. The ache of loneliness can be hard, I’ve been struggling with it since I was young. It’s weird because I’m a social butterfly, I love socialising and I’m talkative but I always have this pain that never seems to go away. I just don’t seem to belong anywhere, always the ‘insignificant’ person in the group who feels pushed aside and left in the dark. As negative as it may seem I try to see the positive in it, yeah we may not feel like we belong but maybe it’s because we are made not to. Think of all the people who are famous and successful and felt as if they never fitted in and being a bit cliche, they were the ”lone wolf’. We’re special because we are different, we think and speak differently. Another way to look at it is that you just haven’t found your “group of people” yet, perhaps they are waiting for you and you will meet them one day. Please don’t feel inclined to go out of your way to look at the books, music and movies people are speaking about to fit in, it’s okay to not have the same interests as other people and not know what they’re talking about. It’s even better when you look into what they speak about because you WANT TO not because you feel like you HAVE TO. When you are feeling like this try to remember the people you are important to, even remembering the love and support you get on your blog is worth thinking about when the ache of loneliness grows upon you again x

    • That’s so nice to hear – thank you. I understand what you mean about feeling on the outside and I get that too. But I’d never thought about it like that before, in terms of us not fitting in because we think differently: that’s such an interesting angle to go on! Thank you xxx

  8. When I was reading this, my mind kept screaming ‘SHES PART OF BLOGGING, SHE’S LITERALLY IN A COMMUNITY’. However, sometimes blogging isn’t enough to feel stable or belonged in this world and I get that. I’m not saying everyone feels this way because they are just some people in this world who get through life so easily and have amazing social lives and confidence. You don’t need to fit in and that’s good because (wait for the cliche), you’ll be unique and well, you make this world interesting. Music and other little things like that shouldn’t define you as a person. It’s the way you treat others that fits you with a group. However, my mum always says that when you go to uni there won’t be social groups but just friends with no specific interest and you might feel like you belong then. Keep your head up Elm and this was a good post to upload. A lot more people than you think feel the same way as you do 🙂

    • I hope uni, or something, will help me to feel less alone. It’s comforting to know that others feel like this – not because it’s a good thing but because it makes me feel like I’m not on my own in this confusion.

      Thank you for all this, Astrid 🙂 you’re great xx

  9. I feel like this too sometimes, but I don’t think it’s not as often as you might feel it. I can’t really help you, because I haven’t even thought about dealing with it, but I just try to stop thinking about all of the things I’m not part of or don’t enjoy, and think of the things I still do enjoy and am a part of.

  10. I feel like this *all the time* And especially so during my teens/early 20s. It’s the reason I blog too – to get my thoughts out of my head. And, indeed, I feel more at home here than anywhere else in some ways. That said, I know a lot more about who “my people” are and who I want to spend time with IRL. And I’m trying to build those relationships over time, seeing people one-on-one or in small groups, and slowly I’m feeling less lonely. ish.

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