The room was dark except the table lamp in front of me. My laptop was open and a cup of coffee was getting cold. I was sitting stiffly. Tears rolled down my cheek but I did not know why I was crying.
I was not jobless, the reason was not a broken relationship, I earned a decent salary. I was earning respect but I was alone. Being alone has nothing to do with being single, neither does it have anything to do with staying alone. I am alone amid many people. I am alone with my parents when they visit me. I am also alone when I am alone.
Now, I know it may be getting confusing for you because you might understand loneliness in a different way. It is not isolation, depression, solitude, mood-swings, bad phase, breakup, resignation, struggle and all other things. These are not even reasons for loneliness at times. However, you will often find situations when you are alone or loneliness might lead to these feelings. But, that’s not the story I am here to tell you.
I come from a happy family with the usual if’s and but’s. My hometown in West Bengal has a wonderful cultural history but a pathetic present of deteriorating academic opportunities. So, after completing my graduation, I had to leave my family to chase my dreams and my family was very supportive. With time, I achieved what I wanted to.
My loneliness has been very self-contradictory. At times, I feel jealous to see happy couples or a big group of friends but most of the time, I feel sleepy at the dates I have been to. I feel like leaving everything and going somewhere I can be alone but when I reach, I miss my friends. I wait to spend my weekends alone but at times, I get very frustrated and look for people to at least talk to me. My parents are the only ones who wait to talk to me every day. I sometimes love to talk to them but some days I just get angry as soon as the conversation starts.
It feels like I have no one.
You can have sex with as many people but you don’t crave sex to be happy, you crave it to get out of the place you’ve been stuck in. You forget how to make love, you forget how to hold someone, you forget how to touch, you just know the exact spots which will help you to achieve what you want.
I used to cry sometimes because I had no one to talk to. I had no one to go out with on weekends. What was I looking for? You cannot answer this question all the time.
Let me clarify one very basic thing, loneliness is not solitude. You should achieve solitude but loneliness is imposed. I still fight to come to terms with loneliness. Sometimes I win, sometimes I fail. But loneliness has taught me many things.
I have started accepting the fact that loneliness is something I must deal with. Yes, I never wanted to be lonely but now that I am, it’s better to accept it. When you start accepting the loneliness then you will start exploring things which make you feel less lonely. No, I won’t use the cliched ‘focus on your work’. It’s bullshit, trust me. If you always feel lonely you cannot even focus on your favourite chicken.
So I tried to explore spaces apart from my work. I started gymming and it’s a great thing to do. Then I started reading more.
A very important thing to learn if you are lonely is to balance your food. I was never hungry but would eat all the time. You should eat food for a need and not to make you feel better.
I started meeting people without the aim to date them. I started doing things I love, like attending poetry sessions or storytelling sessions. I started meeting new people and for the first time, it also turned to some kind of dating.
Then I started attending sessions professionally and made sure my interactions remainded professional. It helped me in meeting some great people.
With time, now I write more, I drink less, I smoke less, I spend on good things and I fight less. But it’s not that I am never lonely, it still happens to me but I am now more frank about my issue.
You can share your stories with me or reach out if you just want to talk. I know that conversation is very important when you are in such a phase. Trust me I am not an expert but a survivor hence I can listen. Reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow and DM @sayantan_gh.