This is going to be a very vulnerable piece for me. Honestly, I am struggling with writing it because of the different aspects of myself that this post is revealing. I am doing so however, because this is the only way we grow; by facing our fears and rising above various challenges. I hope that by the end of this there is something that you can take away from it.
Before I zoom out, it is important that I zoom in. Being alone and feeling alone are two completely different things. Have you ever been in a room full of people and still felt unseen or isolated? You were not technically alone. There were people all around you, but in your being, you were the only one there.
We all desire acknowledgment. But what does that look like within the context of the individual? I entitled this coping with loneliness but in reality, there is no cookie cutter way to mitigate this deficiency in our lives.
I struggle with this topic so deeply because all I know is loneliness. It pains me to acknowledge that fact because I have people in my life who demonstrate their love for me; but when put in proper perspective, I have no one who is willing to “go over the cliff” with me.
What I am referring to is life over situational support. It is easy for someone to be “there” when you need them, but is a person willing to be there when you do not need them? I often ask myself the question, is anyone thinking of me? I feel like that is too much to ask of a person: “please consider me”.
Who am I to you for you to be considerate of my well-being? This question has an inherent implication of does one believe that they are worthy of consideration. Is my existence valuable enough for me to think of me? If I were to disappear by the time I finish writing this would anyone notice? For example, over the last 72 hours, no one has even thought “hey I should see how Ken is doing”. I know because my phone has not rung once.
Again, I realize this is too much to ask of someone, and I am tiptoeing around a place I hate to be. The fact remains however, that I have a longing to belong and nowhere that I belong to. This is true in every area of my life – I am lonely in the most bitter sense of the word.
Who would be there for me if I could not be there for myself? Who is there for me when I cannot be there for myself? This is a new struggle, as I have come to the revelation that I cannot be all that I am meant to be without the help of others. I have a desire for companionship, and I hate that flaw in me.
I wish I was not so imperfect in this way. A desire to be known, accepted, and followed over a cliff. A longing to belong. A fetish to be fetishized. Worship. I desire to be worshiped.
I know this can come off as an extremist standpoint, and I am probably wrong for thinking this way. But when you look at it from a theological perspective, the Bible says that we were created in God’s likeness meaning we bare his characteristics. If this is the case, and God wants to be worshiped, why would that not be something that is present in our own lives?
And when you think about it, have you ever met anyone who does not enjoy being celebrated? Call me crazy, but I would argue that adoration is part of the human experience. I may be one of the few people to express it in this way, but I refuse to believe that I am the only person to ever feel like this before.
The question becomes, how do we cope with our loneliness? I have considered every possible remedy that has come to my mind, and short of a significant other/wishing my mother was still alive, I have no answer. Again, I cannot stand how weak I am in this area of my life. I never asked to struggle in this way. No one consulted me before I was born and said:
“Hey, do you want to come into this world? You’re going to be a black man in America meaning society is going to hate and ignore you. You will have no support from the men in your life. Your mother will die shortly after your birth so you will have no idea what it means to have a woman in your life that loves and cares for you. you will constantly feel dejected and rejected. And your life will feel like a constant treadmill; no matter how long or how fast you run, you will still end up going nowhere. No one will understand you, and worse, no one will try to understand you. But hey, at least you will be alive… Oh, wait I forgot to mention you will also struggle with mental health issues and constantly wish for your own death”.
Not to be mellow dramatic, but rather to display my own humanity. This is what I go through. I dedicated this website to my authenticity, and it would be a gross negligence if I were not authentic with my audience throughout all my content. Yes, I am still hopeful for my future but every day I wake up, I live in my present. I must process through the challenges that each individual day brings.
The moral of the story is that feeling lonely sucks. You can ask for help, hyper extend yourself and reach out to other people, even go see a therapist. And while those things may help in the moment I cannot say that they alleviate the root of the problem. Loneliness stems from a desire to be desired and giving someone something they do not want will not make them want you. Paying for attention is sadistic in its own way. And being around people will not always make you feel less lonely.
The feeling of loneliness is an intentional flaw. A gift that came with life. I cannot say if it something that everyone goes through but it more common than not. In some cases, our growth predicates itself on who we do and do not have attached to us.
Loneliness is oxymoronic in its nature. It is selfish to ask someone to be part of your life. Yet people want to be apart of something existential. The grand design of life is a grand joke. We ponder this stuff as if we are the cause; we are only experiencing the symptoms.
Originally Published October 14, 2020