Not too long ago, I spoke to a friend of mine who asked me: “Even when you’re surrounded by people, do you still feel alone?”
I felt this shocked sense of relation to what he said: I’d known it previously, said it to myself but that was when it had really hit me that he was right. The night before, I had cried a little to myself whilst feeling too sad to properly process it. Everything felt hollow and empty; I felt scared and so separated from all of the people around me. Why, though?
I don’t know for how long I’ve been feeling this inexplicable loneliness. It’s probably been for a while because I have felt as if I’m surrounded by this constant sadness. Yes, I’ve felt lonely by myself and when I remember how much I screwed people over before but only recently have I realised the exact signs of loneliness which I had refused to acknowledge before.
Trying to surround myself with people
In order to combat how I feel, I’ve tried to talk to as many people as possible. That includes emailing people, messaging and calling people on Skype, organising to meet up with people (this coincided with my sadness because I genuinely want to see my friends) and making sure I’m engaging with a group as much as possible. I went to my friend Swan’s birthday ‘gathering’ on Saturday and it was great; when I got home though, I realised that it only really sticks around when I’m around people. The feeling really doesn’t last, no matter how hard I try.
Distracting myself when alone
It’s weird: I used to like being by myself but recently, I’ve hated it. To stop thinking a little, and to stop myself from feeling overwhelmed because of feels, I find ways to distract myself. I read, sing – that’s been a big one recently, scroll through Twitter, try and blog and various other things. Before, I thought it was just because I was bored but the frequency with which I do these things is kind of worrying and points towards me just not wanting to be alone. It seems as if my mind will make up stupid reasons as to why I need to do this, that and the other without wanting to think that it’s lonely.
Not feeling happy or complete even when in a group
Even when I’m in the midst of a large group, I never feel quite whole. This is totally contrary to what you’d expect. I kind of feel apart from it all – not because of the people but simply because I’m not engaging as much as I’d like – and that annoys me. It then turns into an illogical paranoia that everyone hates me, which I know to be false. I end up feeling more lonely than I did at the start and I need to stress that this is not because of the people present, but rather my mind being a moron.
Being almost resistant to physical contact but leaning into it when given
I’ve found myself shuddering away from the thought of people hugging me and flinching when I think about people doing so, which is weird because I love hugs. They make me feel safer I suppose, proof that I’m not just scared here and that people like me, yet – especially in terms of ‘romance’ – I can’t quite bring myself to think that being close to someone is possible. Perhaps it’s gone round in a circle, where I thought it was ridiculous that I could accept physical contact so then didn’t. When someone does hug me, or is close to me I almost revel in it, happy, but before it I’d almost describe myself as ‘prickly’. That is, unwilling to initiate or wary of it. Ugh, I don’t know.
Pushing people away whilst wanting them to notice
I’m not good with knowing when I should talk to friends and when I shouldn’t; consequently, I may have accidentally shut myself off from a few people who I really love. In doing so, I’ve become incredibly sad and I think that this has contributed to me feeling lonely because I think that nobody would wish to talk to me anyway: have I caused this all? Whichever it is, a corner of my mind still craves attention and tries to get it by talking to people. This is all linked, I think, and now I’m confused as to what I may have done to perpetuate it.
Feeling unmotivated and pointless
This one’s a consequence of me feeling alone. I don’t feel like doing much which is sad: I sang earlier and it was okay; I got unmotivated to read blogs which I usually love. As a side note, perhaps to get me more motivated and so prevent some of this cycle, could you link me to any posts¥ love and enjoy, either that you wrote or someone else did?
It’s taken me about a day to write this post. Now I’ve written out my thoughts it doesn’t feel so oppressive and bad but I still have a lingering sense of incompleteness. I’m sorry for the long nature of this post but because I haven’t had an outlet for the last month, I need this time to properly examine how I feel.
Do you ever feel alone without explanation, like I do? Have the things I’ve listed about how I act been how you feel as well? If so, remember you’re not alone.
I know how it feels and though it can leave you feeling upset, there are plenty of people who must be the same. So even for our loneliness, we’re not alone in feeling it. That’s a strange sentence to say but I hope it’s comforting for you; you can always find people who feel a little of how you do. It’s just about searching and understanding; if I’m that person for you or you’re that person for me, it will make my day. What will also make my day is if, next time you think that someone is feeling lonely or upset, you just say a kind word to them. If you relate to their feelings and tell them so it’ll mean more to them, I think, than any big gesture.
Supporting people in little ways really helps. I’ll try and remember that, take my loneliness and make it into something positive for someone else. It’s one of the things which can do good here, because too often I slip into thinking all of it’s just worthless. If I can at least let you know there are more people who think how you think and feel scared too, I won’t feel so trapped in my thoughts. I hope it can be the same for you.
From Elm 🙂