The strange paradox of loneliness

I’ve just had my mind blown and I’d like to share it with you (stranger). It’s properly out of whack.

I’ve not felt lonely for uncountable years. I remember it and how I made peace with it and it was a vast relief because it really is bloody awful to us hoomans. Loneliness is a horrible pain that we naturally (I think) run away from, to the only real place of ease, the company of others.

Forgive me for using the religious term for the meeting of people – ‘fellowship’, it does exactly what it says on the tin, which is handy just now.

It’s odd because the act of fellowship is the act of meeting people who we are, in fact, always entirely separate from. It would kind of make better intuitive sense if we wanted, not the enforced separation we have with each other, but with our own selves whose thoughts we are most intimately connected with. But that’s the very thing we don’t want. We want the company of a stranger. Is that not a paradox of Herculean proportions?

I have to say it’s blown my mind.

Tonight I was hungry for the presence of a stranger. That is astonishing – to discover the thing I wanted and would draw comfort from is the company of an unknown person who, in fact, I am entirely separate from and entirely blind to their inner thoughts, just as they are from mine.


KOG. 29 July 2020.

2 thoughts on “The strange paradox of loneliness

  1. I think there is something basic and instinctive for humans to want to huddle together when bad shit is going on. The reality is we are not entirely separate but bonded to each other in mysterious ways and these bonds can make life bearable when nothing else does. A baby is soothed by a loving touch – as in fact are so many other animals. I think we have this need to be with each other in huddles for comfort is drilled out of us in this individualistic world and those of us who do not have that feeling of comforting loving family or community train ourselves not to need it and even to despise it and yet if a bomb goes off nearby watch how people run to comfort and hold the strangers around them. I think we need more honesty around loneliness and isolation. We were not on the whole designed for it and it makes us sick. I live with loneliness every day – I did as a child and have never really managed to assuage it because those who have strong family and community become not just protective of it but are exclusive instead of inclusive. For me, my socialism is based on the idea that we should live in inclusive communities so that nobody needs to feel excluded, isolated and unprotected. Excluding people is the root of all evil…. I would have loved to study this more and research it! Love to you Keith ❤

  2. I think you know I consider myself odd too but, on this occasion with a difference. I find my peculiar mental health problem throws me the other way, the lonelier I feel, the more I hide? I will cocoon myself inside my home, ignoring the phone and only making contact by text to assure those closest I am okay (or really alive).

    Maybe its my 2 cats that help with this, as although they are typical moggies they also sense when I am in most pain and stay close; I receive real affection from them at these times and not merely the ‘cupboard love’ cats are renown for,

    I believe for those of us with mental ill-health, other people can often become the distraction needed to remind us we are still a part of the world, and perhaps your hunger for company is an indicator your mindset has indeed altered.

    Whatever it is and becomes I wish you nothing but happiness my friend x

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