One of the worst manifestations of discomfort, for me, is loneliness. When I’m all right with myself, when I don’t feel like a fraud and things are okay, then I’m perfectly fine with my own company.
But when I’m unstable, whether that instability is internal or external, then my own company is just not enough. I regress to the age of eight, with those little self-pity fantasies building up into a world where I’ve been unjustly left alone by my friends, who have realised I’m not that interesting at all and are off doing their own thing.
It’s a circular pattern, this loneliness: it feeds off that impostor syndrome — soon people will realise I’m nothing like they thought I was — and in some awful way it becomes a self-truth and I can’t stand my own company, and I’m just an awful person.
Is this a manifestation of anxiety? I’m reasonably sure it’s not depression. But I sit here and feel hollow when I send a text and it goes unanswered (usually for perfectly good reasons). How does it emerge? Why does it emerge? I believe some of it inherited, but that’s just predisposition, isn’t it? There’s something environmental that triggers it, or highlights it, or something.
Loneliness is when the echo chamber of your own head only repeats the bad stuff you write about yourself. Solitude is when you take time for yourself, to think, to reflect, to consider, to digest, in your own company and no one else’s.
I’m in a loneliness place tonight. I hope I’m not there tomorrow.