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Post Info TOPIC: Lonely vs Alone


Annointed Queen of Mook - Founder and Editor

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Lonely vs Alone


Lonely vs Alone

Here is a really interesting news piece about a person who spent their time in the woods for thirty years and only spoke to one person during that time. I don't know how they did it, but it got me thinking about 'lonely' and 'alone' and I'd love to hear your thoughts about those. Have you got any personal thoughts or musings about 'lonely' and 'alone' and how you deal with it?

ALONE: About once a year I spend a week on my own. Now I do it as a writing holiday to avoid hurting the people I love, but I used to just save up and go off to Ireland or wherever. In that time, I talk to no-one if I can help it. I never once get lonely during this time. Instead, I seem to get much less absorbed in myself. The present becomes everything. I get very aware of everything around me. I eat, sleep, sing, work, sit and look when I want to. My outer appearance becomes what-the-fuck-ever, like if you're on your period for a couple of days at home and there's no-one to see you. My one concession to physical 'beauty' in alone-time is "do I have the pleasure of a shower right now or would I prefer not to?" I'm a bit shy to say this bit but if I meet people during this time they seem to like me a whole lot more, perhaps because we always seem to like someone who seems very true to themselves and very comfortable with what they are about and not bogged down with anything. Obviously that isn't the regular me, but during this alone period it is. During these times I have accidentally met dangerous people and we have parted company safely, courteously, and whatever was bothering them, they have left feeling temporarily better and saner about everything. It feels like something's been importantly (but temporarily) fixed. I could never pull this off in the normal world.

LONELY: In comparison, in my daily urban living I can sometimes feel lonely even if I just spoke with someone a minute ago, and I'm a bit more invested in my story to the point of being slightly embarrassed and bored with it, and I can get worried about things and people. I can be 'alone' for a couple of hours but really it's a bit twitchy and 'lonely' and whatever I do, I feel I ought to be doing something else - yet on these holidays I would know exactly what to do with that time and I would feel great.

I was feeling a bit lonely and twitchy right now so I wrote this.

'Lonely' and 'alone' are both really useful in their own way but one feels so much better than the other. What do you think about 'lonely' and 'alone'?



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Runic Mook of the North (mod)

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Ironically, I never feel lonely when I'm alone. Loneliness is for me a feeling that occurs when confronted with how utterly alien a lot of people around me are (Quite often this happens after parliamentary elections, I'm usually so baffled by the result that I'm left in some insecure limbo for months afterwards, waiting for people I meet to suddenly rip off their human-masks and show that they are really lizards from outer space).

Who was it that said "Loneliness isn't the lack of company, it's the lack of kindred spirits" or something in that vein?

Not that I really find it difficult to connect to other people, I usually get along fairly well with most (I even have a work reference describing me as "jolly and well liked" :D ) and usually experience the company of others as something positive and interesting.

But I do not really need the company of people, I think I could spend a considerable amount of time alone and not mind at all. The longest I've spent without talking to or seeing another human being is about a month, and I would have been perfectly fine going longer.

It is much much worse being without trees and animal friends.

 

Possibly this is a cultural thing, but I always took it for granted that regular amounts of time spent alone in the great outdoors is necessary to maintain mental and emotional health. I don't know why, perhaps to have the time to think about things?



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"So what you are saying is -I shouldn't play with fire" she said at last. "Of course you should" said One-Eye gently. "But don't be surprised if the fire play back." -Joanne Harris

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