What is loneliness?

What is loneliness?

Hello, I’m Benjamin Wagner, this is my blog and today I come to you uncut and raw. Be prepared.

Here I am, sitting by my laptop on Christmas Day in a house surrounded by my family. I speak to a friend in a foreign land and we chat and make merry. We speak often and I trust them greatly.

But I won’t tell him that right now, I feel so, so alone.

Loneliness is an odd duck. Much like depression and anxiety, I find that it can be difficult to explain. Loneliness can have many different faces. The most obvious of which is being completely and utterly alone. Sat by yourself, completely naked covered in nothing but a sheet, rocking back and forth like a demented rocking chair. Or sat, fairly normally in a room of people yet the feeling of utter helplessness still overwhelms you.

Photo by MART PRODUCTION on Pexels.com (I enjoy Pexels stock photos, sue me)

This isn’t a new phenomenon for me. I found myself attempting to ingratiate myself into the Anime society at my University in my first two weeks, participating in everything I could and trying to create bonds. Until it hit me. Everyone was bonding with other people, making friends and building connections. Yet here I was sat watching Gintama around a group of people that don’t even know my name.

I legged it out of there quicker than my large tree trunk body will usually move. This helplessness is most certainly a sort of fear. An overwhelming and uncontrollable monster that sneaks up behind you to rape and demean you.

So we move on to today’s loneliness. And this one is the strangest of all. I am with people I care about. My mother, father and younger brother. We have exchanged gifts and everybody is happy and gay. I always make a special effort at Christmas to make sure I pick out gifts that will fill the recipient with joy. For me, Christmas isn’t just an obligation but an opportunity to show the other person you care about them and that you know them.

And after about 20 crappy Christmas’s, this one was… good.

I got some great gifts. I gave some great gifts. Everything should be perfect.

But. It. Isn’t.

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

Not understanding why I feel a certain why drives me bananas. I want things to be logical, to make sense. But they don’t. They just don’t.

Good things happen and life goes on. I don’t fulfilled by receiving what I wish for. These are things I would have bought myself eventually. They should make me feel happy. I’m not a monk; I haven’t given up worldly possessions. So I sit there and look at my little pile and I think:

Maybe I am not worthy. Am I good enough? What is so wrong with me? These thoughts spiral uncontrollably and create a typhoon of discontent and worry that overcomes me. Consumes me. Sometimes it is so bad I just stop functioning.

I find depression and loneliness are very much close cousins. Loneliness can be a cause of depression, a product of it or even an aftereffect of it. Self-loathing. Anxiety. The whole spectrum of mental frailties that we humans can possess threaten to overtake you at any moment. We need to be strong. We need to resist. But, I at least, rarely do.

And so we come to the crux of the matter. I turned to food. As I always do and seemingly always will. I succumb to temptation and my 4 weeks of hard, hard dieting ends in a chocolate-smothered instant. This will undoubtedly lead to more feelings of regret, loathing and useless self-hate. I need to catch this before I spiral into another cycle of binges but whether that happens will remain to be seen.

Photo by Johannes Plenio on Pexels.com

Can I put all of these problems down to loneliness? No. What I feel is a complex mixture of hundreds of emotions colliding like a battleship on acid. Do people have it worse than me? Yes, undoubtedly. Does that make this hurt any less?

Not a damn bit.

I’ve been Benjamin Wagner, I hope this makes a little bit of sense, and I, sadly, endorse this message.

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