A friend asked me if I thought loneliness was a symptom. I told him only of being a human being.
I know people that have never felt welcome. No one ever says thank you for being here. No one says my day is better because you are here.
I think people need to be welcome somewhere.
The strange thing is that it is so hard to tell others how lonely you are. It makes us look bad. Somehow when others know it is more vulnerability than we can do. And sometimes people don’t want to know because it reminds them how lonely they are.
So largely we hide it. We dont want to feel bad. We don’t want to look bad. We don’t to be bad news.
And maybe sometimes we are afraid that people will tell us we are right. We are not welcome. We don’t fit in. And life for us, such as it is, will always be alone.
I know because some times I am lonely. I don’t feel like I fit. I feel I am on a desert island despite the crowds of people. And I don’t always think it matters. Sometimes I prefer it my secret.
Trauma never resolves itself on the timetable of others even when you really want it to and you just get tired of being bad news. You get the feeling “How are you doing?” is not a real question requiring a real answer and you just quickly mutter okay.
I told my friend loneliness was okay. I told him a lot of people shared his questions. I told him that maybe everybody was sometimes lonely and that most of us did a crappy job at making others, particularly if they were different from us, feel welcome. I told him he was not weak, if anything he was strong. Loneliness comes often with a vow of silence and I thanked him for being loud.
The threat of loneliness is that it makes you feel different than other people. It makes you feel like they can’t know and really don’t want to know what it feels like to be you.
Silence promises protection and that is a lie. Still it seems courteous and well mannered and sometimes you hope it is enough and no one will notice.
What I have come to believe is the real threat of loneliness is that sometimes it convinces you that is all you are. And that is the real danger. Sometimes you forget about the problems in life and believe you are the problem. You convince yourself the real problem is not the hole you are in but that you are the hole.
Tomorrow welcome somebody. Tell them they made a difference. Tell them they are not alone.
Perhaps someone will tell you the same thing. We all need it.