Loneliness (or solitude?)

Of late, a few of my friends have asked me if I’m not lonely, seeing as I live on my own and what I do for a living is not particularly sociable.

Of course, I occasionally have moments where I am. Am lucky, though as I have some good friends, even though the ones I love the most live far away.

The truth is that there’s a huge difference between loneliness and solitude for me, and I’ve never been so lonely in my life as when I was with the wrong person in a misguided attempt to ‘do the right thing’, trying to ‘make it work’ when I was clearly unhappy.

What I’ve realised is that for me, the difference between loneliness and solitude is a state of mind. I’ve learnt to love my own company, to be comfortable in myself. Much easier without having someone to undermine you!

Unless you can access this state of mind, it doesn’t really matter how many people you have around you, inside your mind, there’s a kind of alienation there. Interactions are less about fun, connection, more about neediness. Getting others to fill the gaps.

Anyway, I have cats. Often preferable to humans.