Tuesday 18 March 2014

Alone vs Lonely

"The lonelier [people] get, the less adept they become at navigating social currents. Loneliness grows around them, like mould or fur, a prophylactic that inhibits contact, no matter how badly contact is desired. Loneliness is accretive, extending and perpetuating itself." (From here)

Loneliness is a strange creature. It is hunger, it is shame, it is not something to be admitted to. Loneliness is stress, it makes you spin like a top, scared to interact with people, lest they push you away, makes you see things, hear things, gives you ideas ideas ideas bouncing around your skull. Loneliness is danger, you can die in the jungle, eaten by some wild animal, by the monsters under your bed.

Loneliness keeps you from sleeping well, and eventually the sleep deprivation adds to the stress, and left is a ball of hyper tension.

How can one be lonely in the midst of friends, coworkers, city life? How can one get out of that state?

I don't think I would call myself lonely. I am alone a lot of the time, but I don't feel lonely. Yet I am suffering the symptoms of loneliness, and I have for a long time been aware that the cure for my sleep issues is to find someone I can relax around to sleep next to, cuddle up to, a few nights a month. Convincing my reptile brain that no, I am not lonely, I have people around me. Oxytocin relieving the stress hormones - maybe balancing them out, or maybe stopping the production, I don't know which. But it is highly functional as stress relief, steadies me, makes me more coherent, useful, productive in a stable way

I still wouldn't say I feel lonely most of the time, but I am certainly exhibiting signs of it. Maybe I just have issues identifying my own feelings? Yet I am so happy to be alone, my starfish sleeping position, my autonomy and freedom.