Unlike other emotions, loneliness doesn’t have a slow onset for me. When I get happy, angry, or maybe even sad; most of the time it starts slowly and builds up. Sometimes building to a weight too heavy to carry.
Loneliness is different. It just appears, and has the most ironic presence about it. When I feel lonely, it’s like there’s someone invisible making all the physical sensations stronger and colder. It feels like all the other emotions I usually battle have a hand over their mouths; still there trying to get their own say in, but a bigger noise and feeling just overshadows them into nearly silence.
It’s overwhelming. I don’t like being alone anyway. Jean Paul Sartre said, “If you’re lonely when you’re alone, you’re in bad company”. I understand that and believe it myself. But it begs the question of loneliness when other people are there.
Loneliness, for me anyway, feels like the darkest of all emotions. It’s not just when nobody is around, but it’s being around people and feeling the weight of their completely separate reality.
It’s being sat feeling in such turmoil, but simply observing that everyone else is having their own thoughts, feelings, opinions and problems. They have their own imagination, their own sense of what these emotions feel like. It’s because our realities sometimes weigh so much that we forget to observe that.
But when it is observed, and someone asks how you are, what they can do to help and the like; and loneliness is still there. That’s why loneliness is the darkest emotion I feel. Its not a case of not being asked how you are which makes you lonely. Its a case of knowing even when you answer, and give your best explanation of your feelings, that for them it’s just another story that they get time away from. It’s another ironic reminder that sometimes talking doesn’t help.
This has sounded so depressing, and I shouldn’t feel guilty for talking about negative emotions but I do. I can’t get a sense of reality without personifying that loneliness, giving it its own appearance mentally and most importantly, separating it from being a part of who I am. That philosophical thought alone, that loneliness is not a part of me but a visitor to my mental state; has kept me going more than telling someone how I feel. Sometimes. Other times, it doesn’t work; but I get a smidge of control back every time I remember I don’t have to give it the attention it craves.