Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Alone and lonely

Yesterday Frances Coppola produced a very thought-provoking post entitled 'Loneliness', one in which she suggested that being alone does not necessarily mean being lonely - when in fact it can and does, a point that in the ensuing exchange of views on Twitter appeared to escape the notice of those tweeting.

When someone has lived on their own for a number of years it becomes increasingly difficult to entertain the notion of sharing your life and 'space' with another because, as a result of living alone, I believe one tends to become 'selfish' in that it is possible to resent the loss of an ability to do what you want, when you want. This then leads to an 'inner conflict', one in which the ability to please oneself fights with the wish to have someone with whom to talk, someone with whom to share the pleasures of life on a daily basis.

On the emotional front similar conflicts can occur as a result of ones experience of the life lived so far. Let us assume a hypothetical situation, one in which someone has been 'hurt' twice (by 'hurt' it is meant that one has 'suffered' infidelity) Taking this scenario further, let us assume that an element of cynicism understandably enters ones reasoning, in that should someone declare undying love for you the first reaction on your part is: 'do you?'.

As one becomes older the future becomes even more and more uncertain when the matter of lifespan enters the equation, in view of which the question then arises whether you have the right to cause the other person the grief which presumably they will feel should you die after only a year or two of 'togetherness'. Conflicting with that is the opposing problem that all one wishes for is company, both physical and emotional. All in all, an insurmountable quandary methinks.

One can have all the books, music, 'interests' and family possible, however it does not negate the fact that one can still be 'alone' and 'lonely'.

Just saying..........


Afterthought: Consider a recently bereaved person, age immaterial, I wager they feel alone and lonely on a daily basis. Consider the single severely disabled, I wager they too feel alone and lonely on a daily basis.

7 comments:

The Gray Monk said...

As someone who has spent a large part of his life "alone" for various reasons, you are right in stating that it becomes increasingly difficult to share living space and even enjoyment. However, that can be amended if one has the desire to do so.

Humanity was not, in my view, designed to live entirely alone. We need company if only for the stimulus it gives us in social interaction.

doclorraine said...

Thanks for taking the tim eto post thois following the on-line conversation yday. I guess it's ahrd to capture the complexity of human interaction in a few posts, and Frances' post, which I found compelling, didn't delve into the reasons people feel as they do. The joy of liberation from abusive people in the home and escape from fear or exploitation, or denial of the very warmth that sharing might bring is a powerful feeling to overcome. Jeanette Winterson's book, Why be Happy When you can be Normal touches on some of these issues towards the end when she writes eloquently of her need for the door to be always left open, following her earlier unhappiness. I think we all long for that 'other' who brings meaning to it all, at heart, but not all of us settle easily? I don't mean to sound contrarian, just a little exploration

doclorraine said...

sorry for typos - hair trigger send!

WitteringsfromWitney said...

TGM: Erudite last paragraph, if I may say so and agree. On the desire aspect, I have that but unfortunately when put on the scales, they don't seem to tip very much......

d: Thank you for taking the time to comment. You are not being contrarian at all. As you may have guessed, the comments I made were those based on personal experiences.

Whilst my door is also open I am still unfortunately wary to whom I allow entry.

The Boiling Frog said...

A thought-provoking post WfW and, if I may say, rather sad.

Personally as an only child I'm used to, and largely prefer, the alone part but as you rightly say there's the inherent conflict - even when you're married.

wheniwas8.com said...

A thoughtful post from you too David. I agree with you and with Frances.

You can feel lonely when surrounded as well as when alone, isn't that one of the contradictions of life?

We are social creatures but we are selfish creatures too; that is what makes us what we are. Balancing our desires with the desires of those we care for is life.

Lesley x

WitteringsfromWitney said...

TBF: Thank you. As they say, life can be a bitch sometimes......

Lesley: Thank you too.