A Portrait Of Loneliness

“Loneliness is the human condition. Cultivate it. The way it tunnels into you allows your soul room to grow. Never expect to outgrow loneliness. Never hope to find people who will understand you, someone to fill that space. An intelligent, sensitive person is the exception, the very great exception. If you expect to find people who will understand you, you will grow murderous with disappointment. The best you’ll ever do is to understand yourself, know what it is that you want, and not let the cattle stand in your way.” -Janet Fitch
Kevin Lee

There are things even I wouldn’t admit. And I consider myself a grade-A Oversharing Mess™.

But I don’t feel like myself today, so fuck it.

When there is a void in your soul, it translates into a void in your day. A mess of time wasted — mindless distraction, avoidance, endless daydreams.

There is a stagnation, one that digs a hole which, in time, will become your grave. The casualty: your identity. You cease to feel like a person.

There is an overwhelming sense of grief.

Then there are the drugs. Oh my god, the drugs. They consume and devour you whole. It begins innocuously enough — after all, what’s one night of careless escape? One night turns into several which spiral into weeks.

Spin around in circles long enough, you begin to believe that circle is your home. An unmade bed of drained bottles and thin white lines.

You develop something like tunnel vision.

Nothing seems good enough, you don’t seem good enough, what is the point you ask yourself.

Enter social media. Curated images on a screen, aesthetically pleasing to the public eye. There is an inherent sense of lack that haunts you — and so, you post.

This is who I am, you shout at the world. You are #LivingYourBestLife. Whether or not the world listens, you try not to care. You try, and you fail.

Notifications, null, void. Infinite content, the illusion of inclusion.

Meanwhile, around you, nothing. You sleep alone, wake alone, day after day after day.

Sometimes, you surround yourself with people, in hopes that the noise will fill the silence in your heart.

(It doesn’t.)

Sometimes, there are the parties. The gaiety of false grinning faces, eyes hazy with smoke and whiskey, promises made that will long be forgotten at morning light.

Mornings are the hardest, by far.

You wake alone, with nothing but thoughts that seem to race the rising sun. The world is still, quiet — but your mind does not follow suit.

Is this just who I’m meant to be? you find yourself asking. Why is it, that in a room full of people, full of friends who love and adore me, do I still feel so fucking alone?

Despite the constant influx of text messages, despite the nights full of laughter and camaraderie, despite all the beauty you experience every single day — at your core, there is loneliness.

A loneliness so familiar it feels like home.


I don’t feel like myself today. I haven’t felt like myself in a long while, actually.

There is something like a void. And when there is a void in your soul, there is a void in every single day.

The loneliest know this well.

And so we try to fill it. Some write. Some reach for the pill bottle. Others run until their feet blister, work until dawn, or drink until they can’t see. We go to bed with strangers, and enter relationships with completely wrong people.

We bear the brunt of heartbreak and hangovers — all in the name of feeling a little less alone.

Some people romanticize loneliness. I am one of them.

Long days spent in solitude, headphones in, an island floating among an ocean of others. Free to think my own thoughts, dream my own daydreams and wallow in my own existence, all without the noise of emptiness and disappointment.

And what, then, can be said of disappointment?

I admit I tend to hold unreal expectations over others. I’ve always gotten bored of people, and I hate it. Never-ending is my quest to find those souls who never yawn, or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous Roman candles.

And when I am inevitably let down by what I find, I retreat — back into my comfortable cave of isolation.

It is here that I wither and allow the loneliness to fester, until it is all I have left.

I guess what I’m trying to remind myself is that loneliness is a self-inflicted wound.

A vicious cycle of expectation, disappointment, and yearning, brought on by a skewed (and frankly fucked-up) view of the world and its inhabitants.

It is cycle that can be broken. Not by filling empty spaces with empty vices, or empty beds with other lonely bodies — but by self-reflection and honesty.

(i.e. this thing that I’m writing, this self-portrait of sorts)

It’s a cruel irony — when you find yourself at your loneliest, you are at a time where you most need to be alone.

Loneliness is both the disease and the cure. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

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