Wednesday, October 02, 2019

Loneliness Can Kill

These days, almost every day, when I wake up, anxiety attacks. It feels like my wrists are swollen with blood circulation. And an article in The Economist, How Does It Really Feel to Be Lonely, expresses many things that I also feel.

 “’I’m lonely, and I want to have a family’, and there’s a kind of shame in that.”

“if I were to write the truth [to a dating site] – that I’m lonely and worried I might not have a family – it would be just the most off-putting thing.”

“The greatest suffering is being lonely, feeling unloved, just having no one,” Mother Teresa wrote.

“They feel ashamed or embarrassed, as though feeling lonely isn’t something serious.”

“I think it is very likely”, [the psychologist Adam Phillips] says, “that people who are lonely as adults were lonely as children.”

Looking back, James explains, he reckons he had begun to distance himself from his parents and their bitterly unhappy marriage when he was about six. By the time they divorced, when he was nine, he was “completely separate” from them: “I was living in the same house as my mother and sister, but I probably wouldn’t spend more than 15 minutes a day in their company. I routinely had meals alone, then went back up to my room and stayed there, alone.”

“Loneliness is worthlessness. You feel you don’t fit in, that people don’t understand you. You feel terrible about yourself, you feel rejected. Everyone goes to the pub, but they don’t invite you. Why? Because there’s something wrong with you.”

“Like being surrounded by a dark void that you have no way of crossing.”

“Mental-health problems and depression are quite fashionable now, but loneliness is not fashionable. There’s something shameful about it – ‘it’s my fault, there’s something wrong with me, I’m a horrible person.’”

For 91-year-old Robbie, living in Kent and a widower since 2012, “loneliness is not having somebody to do nothing with.”

After three books by Kaiko, I’m now reading The Sacred Willow by Mai Eliott. Yesterday, another book by Tim O’brien, If I Die in a Combat Zone, arrived and Tanizawa Eiichi’s book on Kaiko should be on its way here.