Tuesday, 16 February 2016

The Problem With Loneliness

The problem with loneliness, is that no-one likes to hear that they're not enough. 

You can't tell a friend, because they'll feel instantly inadequate. 

You can't tell a stranger, for they'll fear it's contagious. 

The problem with loneliness is that it's something nobody wants to hear, yet you so desperately need to be heard. An unwelcome truth we sacrifice our sanities to avoid confessing. 

The problem with loneliness is that seeing more people and doing more things is not the cure. In a room of ten thousand, no man is more alone. 

It is so little to do with how many friends you actually have. Instead, the deepest most important part of your soul becomes isolated and calcified, no longer able to move with the fluidity and freedom it previously used to dance with the souls of others.

Yet you become more susceptible and vulnerable than ever to art. Music, film and poetry are granted a direct channel through to the heart of this more emotionally volatile version of you, further mutating your being into something far removed from being convincingly human. 

The problem with loneliness, is that home extends no further than the place you lay your head and a plug socket near the bed.

Towns and cities just mean coffee shops by day and wine bars by night, sat in the window with a book as the rain leaves a light condensation on the inside of the glass, your eyes reading the same sentence over and over again, believing the answer would undoubtedly lie in a sudden tap on the shoulder which never comes.

The problem with loneliness in that independence seems an antonym, yet they are perfect partners of the cruellest kind. Just because you remain capable of flying solo, it doesn't mean you always want to.

No experience on earth isn't improved tenfold by being shared.

A lone wolf still howls at the moon to hear the call of his brethren. 

It's just now the echo falls on deaf ears.

But the biggest problem remains the greatest virtue of loneliness; 

you can never unacknowledge it.

Once you've realised you are a lonely person, conversation and connection become the most valuable currency. An experience shared among people that just get you the greatest gift you could ever receive. Catching the eye of a like-minded soul glimmering half-obscured amongst the bustling crowds something close to divine.

But until then, it just takes a little time battling through the storm clouds to get there.


  1. Beautifully written, as always. You somehow managed to breathe a sort of life into loneliness, one of the most un-alive feeling emotions out there. Love this line in particular: "Just because you remain capable of flying solo, it doesn't mean you always want to."

    1. Thank you for reading Nicole. I often feel weird about posting stuff like this because I don't know if it's doing a good thing... but I certainly feel a lot more liberated from the weight of it x

  2. this is so wonderfully written Katie x
    Trudy | TrudyJohanna

  3. You have no idea how much I can relate to this post at the moment :( This is just perfect.

    hellomissjordan.com xx

    1. Oh Jordan, it's such a beautifully horrible position to be in. My love x

  4. Amazingly written Katie! So relatable. I'm a freelancer - so my life literally is spent in coffee shops. I get pretty lonely too, and crave someone talking to me about my work, or conversations with the barista! x


    1. I actually think that's what the greatest part of this loneliness actually is - I'm a freelancer too so working from my bed or a coffee shop isn't actually all it's cracked up to be sometimes. Thank you for reading x

  5. Can totally relate to this. Beautiful piece. Breathtaking. I'm just speechless, to be honest.

  6. I have an anecdote about loneliness, one that I seem to be telling over and over and over again these days. It's so suffocating that the first time you establish true contact with another person (after spending a long time on your own) it makes you lightheaded. It makes you feel like you're in a movie or something.

    There was a time my life was all get up -> go to work -> go back home. I didn't talk to a single person and I lived in a studio, so there wasn't even a shared kitchen I could go to if I wanted a chat and a cup of tea. One morning, I was making pancakes and I had an idea to bring some to my neighbor, and introduce myself. It was so totally uncool, but suddenly I was determined to do it, heart in my throat and all of that.

    My neighbor liked the pancakes. Then he invited me to dinner.

    Nothing came out of that, and the next week, I was back to my routine, and I didn't see him again for months and months. But I lived in a dream for 24 hours and that was true food for the soul.

    (I'm sorry. I know how that sounds. But it's like you say - loneliness is terrible. It sucks the life out of you. And it's so widely encouraged in our society, even if we make all the noises about the value of friendship and being part of a group. Establishing a true connection takes guts. No surprise, it tends to happen mostly in art.)


  7. Such a lovely piece, Katie!
    It's too hard to explain loneliness to anyone, as everyone has a different view to battle it and it seems like coming off as "weak" to give your explanations. I wish it was easier. Though the great thing about it is there's always room in loneliness to contemplate about things that matter.

    Noor | Noor's Place

  8. I really love this, and I love the fact that you write about things like this. It's so personal, and for me (and I'm sure plenty of people) being personal online is just so darn scary. Whenever I read your blog and see you baring yourself, wide open, for the world to read, I find myself becoming so inspired. Partly because I admire you for it, but also because I just really, really relate.

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