Sunday, October 7, 2007

When loneliness rears its ugly head

As a favorite person of mine used to tell me "you are a human being with the full range of human emotions." I needed to be told this because I used to judge my emotions and blame myself for having any "negative" ones.

So, having the full range of human emotions, I sometimes feel dreadfully lonely. I try to remind myself that everyone feels that way sometimes, whether they live with other people or not. But since I live alone, I tend to think that's why I'm lonely.

I also remind myself that it's good that I'm not afraid to be alone -- I think that many people are afraid of loneliness and thus avoid being alone. That's not a problem I have. I'm not afraid of loneliness, but I don't like it when I experience it.

I was feeling lonely and jealous the other day when I heard a doctor talking lovingly to his significant other on the phone. It wasn't smarmy or sexy, just very loving and kind. And suddenly I was feeling a strong desire to be in a loving relationship and a lot of sadness that I wasn't.

Naturally, this feeling, like all other feelings (for better or for worse) passed in time, and not very much time at that. I've spent time with friends this weekend, both in person and on the phone and through email, and I don't feel lonely anymore.

It's easy to blame my single status for feelings of loneliness, which is a short jump to blaming myself for my single status. But I think that's an error in logic, and also it's railing against unavoidable circumstances in life. I don't have an intimate relationship in my life right now, but I do have close friends and the animals I live with, who provide nurturance and comfort and who are all very dear to me. Everyone feels lonely sometimes, but it's a feeling that passes and doesn't have to be feared or avoided.


Anonymous said...

Agreed. There's something that feels so pathetic about admitting loneliness, even to oneself--the word itself enforces the pathos. But in fact feeling lonely and being alone are two very different things. And YOU are not alone. You will feel lonely sometimes. That is when you will pick up the phone and call me.

John said...

Very eloquently put. I feel you. It's a timeless lament. A bit ironic also, as it seems the more "connected" we become technologically, the more disconnected we feel on a personal level.

Catherine said...

Thank you both for your comments.

Anonymous, I would feel creepy about your line about calling you, except that I know who you are from your writing style.

John, thank you for understanding. I'm currently enjoying "blog infatuation" which means I'm feeling *more* connected to the world as a result of blogging. But this could pass unless I become POPULAR BEYOND MY WILDEST DREAMS, which would seem unlikely except that my wildest dreams on this front are rather modest -- I'm happy with a few regular readers and comments. So thank you for yours. PS I admire the work you're doing for CASPCA.

Anonymous said...

Hi Catherine

It's always good to know that there are others who feel the way I do even when you are surrounded by people. My sisters live with me, I have several close friends and my work life is rather full yet there are times, usually at the end of the day, when no matter how much you've done during the day, you yearn for something more.

You did the right thing in reaching out to your friends. They can be godsent sometimes. I realised that even though they may have their own lives and plans which may not include you, there are alternatives and the universe has a funny way of revealing these to you. Hang in there and appreciate all that is good around you, from the little blossoms of nature to the smile of a stranger.
Peace Catherine.