I didn’t have a particularly snappy entry title for this one, sorry. As you might expect, this one is about loneliness. I know most people feel it, though some people are more comfortable with it than others. It’s an unpleasant feeling, and unfortunately one of the main problems with depression – that it causes you to withdraw from those around you, or those who want to be around you, and spend too much time inside your own head.
This is a problem with depression that has been with me for a long time, and probably one of the worst parts. I’ve mentioned before that, on some level, I need to be around people, and not just anyone – I need to be around people I like, and hopefully who like me in return. But a lot of my preferred activities tend to be somewhat lonely ones; it’s difficult to read with other people, for instance, and a lot of my favorite video games are single player. So I have to struggle to find things to do that include other people, and sometimes I’m not very good at that. Roleplaying games help, because they tend to be group activities, but I find myself not up to the task of teaching a whole group of people how to play them – the right words just don’t seem to come.
Even around people I know and like, though, I can quite easily find myself alone. I’ve become pretty good at being alone even in a crowded room; I’ve been told before that I seem to essentially radiate a ‘get the hell away from me’ vibe. It isn’t intentional, but it still happens; I become lost in my own thoughts, especially when not being engaged by others, and then withdraw. I stop participating, if I was even participating before, and just avoid contact with others. This tends to happen in places where I feel uncomfortable, and I’m sorry to say that this keeps happening here, through no fault of the residents of said place – I don’t know how to engage them, and so I feel uncomfortable being in their place.
I find it tends to happen often late at night, which is problematic for me. I like to stay up late; I am a night person, not a morning person. But most other people go to sleep before I do, leaving me with periods of time where I have nobody to talk to or share my thoughts with. Sometimes this is good, because it gives me time to catch up on things for the day – writing my posts here, reading, watching an episode or two of something I’m interested in. There are times, though, when I am just lost, trying to find some way to occupy myself until I feel like going to sleep. I just feel like my own thoughts are attacking me, telling me that I really haven’t gotten as far as I think, that I’ll never get better.
I’m not really sure where I’m going with this; I don’t feel particularly lonely as I write this, though I do wish I had some friends around. These are the times I miss being at Menninger, because we could sit around and talk about these kinds of thoughts and our problems without getting distracted by who won which sporting event or what new movies are out. It’s hard to initiate conversations about thoughts and feeling, because I have such difficulty expressing them and opening up. I want to improve at this, but I keep feeling like something I say will go horribly wrong and I’ll be persona non grata. Then I would be truly lonely, and I don’t know how long I could take that.
While I’m here, I’d like to thank my friends and family who have taken the time to read this, or any other part, of my blog. I know I’ve kept up a pretty steady posting stream, and some of it can be long and rambling and hard to digest. It is great that you cared enough to take the time to read these, and I appreciate everything that has been left as a comment. It is weird for me to have all this out in a public place, but it is also much easier to express here in words than verbally in person. I’m grateful for all the support, and I hope that some of this can show others they aren’t alone, and that things can get better.