Loneliness, Functioning and Human Warmth

For all the effort I put into escaping escapism, from time to time I suddenly realize how it has made its way back into my life in subtler forms, as a sort of survival instinct that is so hard to eradicate. Augustine was one of the first to realize that, the more you are self-conscious, the more your rationalizations become subtler, evil becomes thinner, hides deeper, but it never really stops.

Apathy still takes me all too easily, instead of letting me suffer like I should. Maybe that is the reason for my inability to act, to express myself.

I feel lonely. I could have said that at any time during the last several years, but these days it strikes me harder than usual. I realized I spend about 6 and a half days alone every week. Which then leads me to wonder how anyone is supposed to feel ok, how anyone is supposed to ‘work’ within circumstances like my own. At this point I turn to my Nietzschean “Higher men vs. the Herd” line of thought, and realize that I should, I should endure it, I should ‘work’ (function) despite it, I should shine through it. Not to mention those thoughts that reflect on how some truly despicable and stupid human beings have friends, which mean that I somehow don’t deserve them, either because I’m more despicable than them or because I’m clearly missing something that lets them have friends and prevents me from the same.

And so I’m left with two, almost opposite feelings: a profound wish, a crave even, to feel loved, to cuddle with someone, to have sex with someone, to share human warmth not just with words but with the body; and on the other side a mix of stoicism and self-deprecation – stuff like “I clearly don’t deserve it, so I have to earn it first”, “Maybe I don’t have it in me”, “I have to endure and make do without it, shine through it” and maybe someday, in that future that never comes and never will. And when I can’t negate either, that turns into profound dissatisfaction and a bleak outlook on the future, and inaction.

Perhaps it will always be a mystery to me, how some people tell me they struggle to understand certain things that seem so clear to me, and yet I fail to understand such a supposedly simple thing as how people get to know other people and make friends. Here’s another not-quite-contradiction: I hate and despise the vast majority of people just as I crave their company, their touch and their warmth – not of everyone, admittedly, just enough, just 2 or 3, to keep the loneliness away.

There’s one thing I know for sure: in these years characterized by failure to reach one’s goals, dissatisfaction, depression, self-hate and “not-enoughness”, my best friend – the owner of that o.5 day per week of my life – is the only thing that keeps me alive, sane, and sometimes happy and thankful. She makes me feel loved, and yes, I still think I don’t deserve it, but somehow she sees through that and she still does make me feel that way. She’s the only one who does.

But the feeling leaves soon, about a day after her, and I go back to normal. Still, those few hours that she gives me, they feel like freedom. They feel like hope. And I wonder whether, if I had a bit more of that, I couldn’t then overcome so many of the difficulties that keep me down, that keep me from going from though to action, that keep me listening to that voice that says “You’re not good enough, you don’t deserve anything”. I wonder…

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4 thoughts on “Loneliness, Functioning and Human Warmth

  1. Gray says:

    I feel like I could have written this. Actually most of your posts I feel like I could have written. The thing is, even in a room full of friends you will probably still feel alone. It’s a gift and a curse to navigate this shitfight with your own rudder, but whichever you place your emphasis on you’re stuck with it. Alienation is your albatross and company and friendship won’t rid you of it and won’t give you impetus for action. It’s an excuse. You’re scared of failure, not stymied by loneliness.

    Not psychoanalysing you here, more speaking from my own experience, it’s precisely the desire and need for friendship and love that strangles the will to create in the first place, because it’s acceptance we crave and the possibility we won’t get it that we fear. I say your curse is the very thing that makes your thoughts worth putting in to action, it’s what gives you the ability to be able to offer something new and unique, which is the only impetus you really need.

    • Angel Tear says:

      I already feel alone in a room full of friends, I realized loneliness only goes away with those interactions that are only really possible when you’re alone with another person, two at most, which is that warmth I was talking about, and that you just don’t get in a group.

      I do agree with you that alienation is both a gift and a curse, and I never looked to become integrated into, how could I call it, mainstream society? I don’t plan on spending my whole time with other people, that’s a quite clear case of escapism, and I do value the time I spend alone, if it wasn’t so total. Is that what you meant with “it’s precisely the desire and need for friendship and love that strangles the will to create in the first place”? I would love if you could expand on that.

      The fact that I’m failing at converting intentions into actions tells me there’s something I’m missing. I’m not sure what it is, but maybe… if I’m scared of failure so much it’s stopping me, feeling loved and supported by someone, just one or two people, can take the edge off of that fear; and if it’s lack of confidence holding me back, knowing someone believes in me can help me regain it. Because as much as I may know, on some abstract level, that, as you say, I may have something unique to offer, at the end of the day I just don’t believe it, certainly not enough to act on it. I wouldn’t bet on myself. But when my best friend makes me feel that way, I believe it because I trust her.

      Thank you for reading, and thank you for commenting. It’s very much appreciated ^_^

      • Gray says:

        Hey, no problem, like I say I feel like you’re tapping in to all of the same things I have struggled with and continue to struggle with. So I’m not preaching to you here, I’m as much talking to myself as you :P

        I do think you’re right that having someone close can help give you confidence and self belief. For me I think the problem is really that it doesn’t matter who or how many people tell me something is good, I still have this unshakable fear that whatever I do is not going to be perfect. Better not to try and never find out than try and be proven right. So I told myself for a long time, oh, if I can just find someone who loves me and believes in me then it won’t matter if things aren’t perfect, there’ll be this magical unbottling and I’ll have all the confidence to get the stuff out that I know is in there. But when I had that, it never really happened. I still had this abstract fear of even getting started. And I think that’s more a problem of perfectionism. In other words it’s a fear of validation at its most abstract. It doesn’t matter how many friends tell me they like my music, even if I trust them and their taste, it just means I shift the threshold higher. Yes my friends like it, but they’re my friends, other people won’t like it. And if they do? Yes, they like it, but people who actually DO this stuff won’t. There’s no end to that and there’s no end to the rationalising away that can be done. I guess that’s what I mean about the desire for friendship and love, as an extension of the desire for validation, that can be what strangles the will to create, because there’s always a fear that it won’t be good enough, there’s always another set of hypothetical eyes and ears that you can throw it up against and find it wanting before you even begin.
        As an example, I won awards for my grades in philosophy at uni. I had professors tell me personally they were impressed with my work. So here is someone who actually does this stuff. I should feel validated right? Confident in my abilities? But I don’t. Oh, I got lucky with my grades, it wasn’t so much about my work as it was the lack of ability of the other people in the class. My professor was probably grading against that more than anything. And I’m probably right. The point is I’ll always find a way not to be good enough, because there is no enough. Other people aren’t going to give it to me and thinking they are the support that will bridge that gap hasn’t worked for me. Of course that’s not to say that it won’t for you. But it’s always possible that, like me, it’s really just rationalising something else.
        So for me I am working on changing my perspective. The way I look at it, I’m here, I’ve got shit to say, and if I don’t say it I’ll leave nothing behind but wasted potential. Fuck it if it falls flat. Hell if I’m going to be an introvert I may as well have something to show for it, perfect or otherwise. You strike me as an extremely intelligent and creative individual, but also someone who is caught in a neurosis between being naturally driven to express yourself, having all the tools to do it, but being hamstrung by fear of expectations. Then again I might just be reading myself in to you, so please don’t take offence if I’m wrong.

  2. Gray says:

    Eek, sorry that was badly formatted :)

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