I'm sitting in my room alone, surfing through the internet, trying to entertain myself somehow and then it hits me: loneliness. Every day, I do the same stuff. I read, draw, listen to music, watch Youtube videos, study and so on. It's fun to be alone and I'm used to it. But what happens when I want to talk to someone and I got no one? How do I deal with it?
Loneliness is something everyone will experience at some point in their lives. Every individual copes with it differently: some despite the feeling and others embrace it. I have chosen to embrace mine and try my hardest to gain something from it. For instance, I use the feeling of loneliness to write this essay right now. It often makes me feel bored and empty which I dislike the most. I struggle mostly with social loneliness which means the lack of social contacts and group. Whenever I manage to get inside a conversation with my peers, I feel disconnected. The emotion that there's no one who would understand me and want to hear my problems. That's emotional loneliness and I think it's worse than social. No matter how many friends a person has, loneliness can be present every day.
I like to point out that I'm autistic because it's one of the reasons why I don't have any friends. I have seriously tried, I promise. A year ago, I beat myself up from being such an awkward mess around my peers. The diagnose was a relief but it didn't help me to gain any friends. I did tell one of my classmates about it but she never quite understood it. It has been over two months from the last time we spoke. Perhaps I scared her away, who knows.
Is my loneliness my fault only? I say it's not. I have done my part by being more social and stepping out of my comfort zone yet it has proven to not be enough. It is because the environment is as responsible as the individual. Interaction is between two or more people. It's not one's job to make sure the conversation flows. Same goes with team spirit: everyone makes sure no one is left out. I was rarely asked to join a group project and it was often the teacher who forced others to take me in. The motive to discriminate a person out of a community is due to them being different. This difference doesn't need to be clearly visible: what type of clothes the person wears, how they talk, where they come from and how they interact can be enough to make others feel uncomfortable. This "black sheep" doesn't belong here, so to speak.
In Ancient Greece, different individuals were banished and treated like they were ghosts just because they were breaking the norms or people didn't like them. This punishment was called ostracism and the term is still used. Ostracism today is shown in many ways: whenever you get ignored and receive silent treatment, whenever you get talked over and are not invited to an event. The term is also described as an emotion that's more painful than loneliness. It's the worst punishment of all and I bet we all know the feeling.
Being alone is not a synonym to loneliness. I love being with myself and even the most extroverted person needs their own space. It's loneliness when you want to socialise but cannot do it. Fortunately, the internet is the key to break that. There are tons of anonymous forums and help groups to join. I'm currently part of a support group for lonely folks dealing with mental issues and it has been rewarding. I also found a forum full of socially withdrawn people where you don't need a username to chat. Of course, I have this site and a couple of other sites to post my essays and stories. Hobbies and having a walk outside help me to have a break from depressing thoughts.
Loneliness sucks but it's part of life. I want this essay to be helpful for those who blame themselves or struggle to cope with it. You do have to get out of your safe space to have a chance to speak with people but don't hate yourself if you fail. Hard work will be rewarded in the future. Meanwhile, learn to enjoy the present and don't rush. Loneliness is like any other negative emotion: it doesn't last forever.