Are you alone?

Loneliness is a strange concept. You can be alone physically, but you can also be alone when you’re surrounded by crowds of people. We consider loneliness to be something where we do not have a partner to share our lives with, or have less family than others. I wonder how those same people would feel about loneliness if they really had no one. Not a brother, or an uncle, or a parent, or any friends.

Are you really alone if there are people in your life who you care about? Technically, yes. But in reality, probably not.

I’ve spent the day cat/house sitting. I find being in empty houses a little scary, which doesn’t really help. What is worse than that, however, is this almost overwhelming feeling of emptiness.

I’m enjoying spending some time alone, having the freedom to cook whatever I want, watch anything I’d like on TV and generally relax in a house where I’m not about to be disturbed at any given moment.

Aside from the positive aspect to this experience, I’m also faced with some less than positive thoughts. The idea of living alone, like this, every single day. I’ve enjoyed cooking for myself and sitting down at the table to eat, but really, it’s quite sad that I was sat alone tonight. I do it every single day of my life, anyway, but the difference is my parents are usually downstairs whilst I’m holed up in my bedroom.

It’s stranger still that we can feel loneliness before it’s even happened, we can anticipate the feeling of being without as though it’s a real thing that’s already happening. I’m worrying that there is loneliness in my future when it’s not something I really need to worry about right now.

I spent the morning with other people, so it’s not like I’ve spent every waking moment alone. I’ve had my share of socialisation for today.

Nor can I really be considered as alone – I have two cats (one snoring one) for company. So how can I still feel that loneliness?

Considering loneliness is supposed to be quite simple, it doesn’t half become complex when you look at it in greater detail.


4 thoughts on “Are you alone?

  1. Excellent topic. I enjoy solitude too. It’s how I get things done – looking for work, thinking of my day, relaxing.

    I think it’s important, too, that we remember the difference between solitude and loneliness:

    Speaking from experience, I believe a large part of the problem is guilt. We, especially as women, are decried as selfish for wanting to take care of our own needs. It’s everywhere. Job descriptions demand ‘bright, bubbly personality’ as the default. If you’re not that, you’re told to fuck off and the JCP/WP try to force you onto ‘confidence-building’ courses – or, insultingly, DANGEROUSLY, try forcing you to see their ‘psychiatrists’.

    There is nothing wrong in being introverted, nor wanting time to yourself. If I can spend time with my dad when we’re both in a good mood, and it doesn’t harm me, then I’m all for it.

    1. You’re very right, loneliness and solitude are different things and deserve their own separate recognition. The latter being something people are more likely to choose.

      When you say WP, are you referring to the Work Programme? Confidence building is one thing, but suggesting you see a psychiatrist is another entirely.

      I absolutely hate that job descriptions ask for bubbly people, completely ignoring the hardworking introverts out there. Just because I’m an introvert, doesn’t mean I can’t deal with people well. If anything, it means I’m better at doing so because I consider their feel is as much as my own. The current flavour of the month phrase I’ve come across a few times in recent weeks: fearless. Because you really need to be fearless to serve customers?!!! Ridiculous.

      1. Yep. I mean the Work Programme. Frankly, them demanding people see their psychiatrists? It’s dangerous. It will ruin any development their own mental health team has made. They are there to help the DWP. Not the claimant’s health.

        I hate that too. I also hate how the Work Programme and JCP insist you use all that gobbledegook speak on your CVs. It’s formulaic, boring, and were I am employer I’d toss it in the bin.

        You need to be fearless to handle the DWP. Perhaps that should be used as relevant experience!

      2. I am days away from going on the Work Programme, the thought makes me very sad. It’s not that I need help, I just need someone to give me a break.

        I hate the idea of someone telling me what to do with my CV. If a woman from the National Careers Service, my still current/almost previous advisor and a friend who works in recruitment thinks it’s okay, then surely it’s okay?! I’m not good at being told what to do when there’s no point to it.

        I’m sorry you had to go through them. 😦

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