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Loneliness Versus Being Alone (Or - HOw Different Loneliness Can Be From Being Alone)
On Sunday I got a YouTube alert about a video which was posted by a man called Matthew Hussey.  I was expecting it to be one of his usual "How to catch and keep your ideal man forever" kind of videos (I usually watch these for the pure comedy value I find in them - I am sorry but if you are asking a total stranger how to catch and keep your ideal man there has to be something seriously wrong with your circle of friends).

Instead it was a thoughtful video which kind of tied in with how I was feeling that day (not only was it Mothering Sunday but my Grandma would have been 94 years old).  The title was "You are not alone" and it spoke about the difference between loneliness and being on your own.

This blog post is my take on the subject.

The first line of the churus of one of my favourite songs is "Loneliness is what I feel but I will tell you the morning after" ("The Morning After" by City To City).  Although the entire song sounds like a version of a man's excuse for talking someone into a one night stand - I find the lyrics deep and meaningful on a completely different level.

The second line is - in a way - more important than the first at least as far as this blog post is concerned.

"There is still a wound to heal but I will tell you the morning after".

To me that speaks about feeling you have to hide your true feeling or problems - sometimes even from your closest friends - either because you know they wouldn't understand (even after you have spent hours trying to explain what goes on in your head) or because you have been taught that "it is your problem - you sort it" one time too many.

If I am perfectly honest - the times when I feel the loneliest are the times when I am with a group of people.  This is either because I know that I am going to have to make myself stand out in order to do something they can all do without any difficulty - or because I have had the same old argument with a different group of people and I can tell the result will be the same.  Or worse - when I feel like I am being judged for some unknown reason.

Loneliness can also be connected with being alone - even I have been known to seek company at times when I have been quite happily sitting on my own for a few hours.  We are presented with media reports saying how being alone can lead to loneliness - with ensuing health problems.  We are also told that we are not made to be alone (something about interdependence and no man being an island).

The question for me is - what happens when circumstances teach you that you are better off alone (as in being on your own)?  In my case - this is usually because I cannot stomach the idea of pretending to be "normal" (whatever that is) any more and I am likely to go on "closedown" any second.  Me on "full closedown" means that I am angry enough with myself to burst into tears for apparently no reason (and I hate crying).  When this happens just find me a quiet space and leave me alone.

I find it very difficult to explain exactly how I feel sometimes - I must admit this blog helps a bit.  Trying to break my feelings and history down into bitesized chunks can be very traumatic.

There is an example which I fear is about to happen again in a few days.

As you know I really hate Projection Screens - these are usually seen as an excuse for people with 20/20 vision to demonstrate exactly how bad my eyesight is.

My church has had an Audio/Visual display for quite a few years - they use it for song lyrics and other things.  They also use it to drive me up the wall - I thought this was an accidental byproduct but it seems to be intentional.

When they first had it I put in a couple of complaints due to the fact that I couldn't see half of the stuff on it.  This was because the people in charge of the controls had apparently fallen in love with the range of backgrounds which can be applied behind the text.  Result?  People like me were provided with a booklet of lyrics for the songs - PowerPoint projections for the sermons have not been included in this booklet but I let that one go.

Now - I would much prefer to be the same as everybody else - either reading the lyrics off the screen or from a book.  I feel less like a freak that way.

The last time I put a complaint in the person who replied turned round to me and said "It is your sight and your problem."  (Let's just say I try not to speak to that individual any more.)

Funnily enough the same subject is coming up for discussion next week.  This will be fun - I am mentally drawing up a list of problems I have with it so I can blind them with them.

There are times when I really find being alone (as in on my own) to be the best cure for loneliness,  I can read a book, watch TV, write this blog, or even just sit in silence thinking my own thoughts without feeling like I am "on display" and, therefore, need to be careful.

If I am in a group of people I am usually happiest just sitting and observing what is going on - before I decide whether or not to speak to someone.  Don't get me wrong - I will speak to you if you speak to me first but I will rarely start the conversation unless you seem like a particularly interesting specimen (or I think you have some information I need).

Yes - I am a loner but I am never lonely when I am on my own.

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