I’m happily single. I’ve tried relationships, been in love, and still I prefer the single life. I’ve mentioned previously that I never want kids, and my dream is to be the eccentric aunt who travels and brings back crazy stories of adventure and a few trinkets for her nieces and nephews and god children. Lord knows I’ve already made headway with the crazy stories and the life I’ve lived thus far and how many people have labeled me their children’s godmother. For the most part, I’m pretty darn content with this outcome.
A downside to this lifestyle choice is it means I live (and will continue to live) on a single income, and everyone around me is pairing up and always has someone by their side when they feel lonely. The single income thing I can deal with – it means I have less responsibility, less anxiety over another person, and I can control every single dollar that enters (or exits) my life. The loneliness thing though… That’s not something easily dealt with.
As someone who is surprisingly introverted, I need a lot of alone time. I relish it and enjoy my own company. When I tell people I like to be alone they ask me if I get lonely, and the answer is absolute, yes I do. But it’s rare, and it’s fleeting and I don’t usually have to worry about it for too long. This last month however has been a surprisingly lonely month. Being lonely is a very different feeling to being alone, and I know it is probably tied to my depression – but this loneliness is insipid and making me feel like I’m bothering everyone around me. This is the kind of depressive loneliness that makes you isolate yourself because you feel like you’re bothering the people around you with your very presence and you don’t want to inflict yourself on others.
My job recently took a strange turn and, having received a sideways not-quite-promotion, I’m alone in my office every day. It’s just me and… Well, it’s just me and the animatronic cat a coworker bought me because they knew I was lonely. Like I said, I need a lot of alone time, but that’s because my job is people, people, people. I use to work next to several people every day. When I wasn’t sitting next to them, I was interviewing people every day, recruiting people every day… Now I’m alone in the office, all day, every day for the entire working week. It was a slow descent in to loneliness, but when I got there, it was – and has been – pretty bad.
Since I’ve been aware of just how isolated I’ve become, I’ve been making a conscious effort to leave my house and stick to plans despite the appalling weather and the nagging voice saying I should stay in bed. At work I’m trying to engage at the lunch table, and I take every chance I get to talk to my coworkers. My housemates have also been a great help in making me feel less crazy and more supported. It’s a slow climb out of dissociating and feeling so lonely, but I’m slowly getting there.
What about you? Have you ever ended up feeling so lonely you isolate yourself further? What techniques do you use to get out of it?
Until next time – stay silly, and know you are loved xx