Only the Lonely

It’s the weirdest feeling in the world to be surrounded by people and still feel out of sorts – and dare I say it: lonely.

I mean, it’s not a particularly cool thing to admit is it? And when you think of the word it conjures up something unsavory, like a shrew-like old woman emptying the contents of her near empty fridge and sharing it with ten cats. As if that sounds like an unhappy life.

I do feel it though and it’s not as though I don’t know I’m loved. I’m so lucky but I can’t help feeling alone sometimes. It usually hits me when I’m in big groups – and honestly if life were a movie, in my mopey moments the rain would start and I’d be gazing out of a window, listening to Dido or some shit. Sometimes I’d be in a Greyhound bus.

I think this is my anxiety sending me exaggerated messages. I love my own company but when I feel low I question everything. Do my friends actually like me? Am I too old for them? Do they pity me? Am I a joke? Am I a burden?

I wish I could pause my brain when it’s fucking me around like this. What I have is amazing and I need to shut the hell up. Feeling this way is probably just part and parcel of being hormonal and in need of some time off work.

Loneliness is no joke though and it’s part of the reason I started saying yes to more sociable activities. I know not everyone has the same choices. Now more than ever perhaps the horror club needs it’s first meeting.

Do you ever feel like this? How do you combat it?

Solo

One of the most important things in this life, as far as I’m concerned, is me time. It sounds cliché, especially when you frame it in that popular self-care meme kind of way but boy, is it true.

I get incredibly angsty if I don’t have at least an evening or weekend day a week to myself, doing whatever the fuck I fancy. I also strongly advocate solo dates because honestly, nobody gives good date like I do. My main jam is the cinema date for one.

You get to see what you want, sit where you want and eat what you want. You can do more than one movie and nobody moans about it. Sometimes, on very special days you can do a hat trick. I just love to spread myself out and lose myself in whatever is unfolding on screen.

That’s not to say I don’t bloody love going with my film buds, which I do all the time but the lone wolf viewing is something I do at least once a week if I can.

I struggle a lot being around too many people – and around people too much of the time – so I often have to excuse myself for a breather. Even if it’s just 30 minutes with my book or a long old soak in the tub. It wasn’t always this way, a lot of the time I was alone growing up, even when I first moved to Brighton wasn’t by choice. I had friends but I was in no way as outgoing as I am now. I was scared to go out a lot of the time – my social anxiety crippled me to the point I’d make myself ill. As a result I was a lonely person, alone a lot and not enjoying it the way I do now.

Thankfully a few things have changed in that department and I’m not sure how, I guess I stopped giving such a shit about socialising. I don’t worry as much about every little thing and I’m sure that’s a comfort that comes with age. Plus, I surround myself with people who understand me – if I’d done and my social battery is running low, they just accept it.

I think I’ve found the balance. Now I thrive on the peace and quiet of my own company but I also enjoy being out and about. Finding the right balance is the key to my optimum mental health – and I always feel it when I’ve been overdoing it. The quickest and easiest solution to that is to take myself to the movies. On Monday, I’ll be spending a few hours with Bruce. The shark from Jaws, that is.

What are your thoughts on going solo?