The loneliness is real

Today I woke up feeling…anxious, maybe. Lost, and lonely. The voices in my head weren’t enough to soothe me, and I longed for a person to make my coffee, or to make coffee for, so we could sit together and I could hear their real human words come from their real human mouth, with the resonance of their real human voice, just feet – or better, inches – away from me. I longed for the implicit reassurance that we were together, and so we were okay. Warm human skin, gentle human touch, simple human intimacy.

It’s been quite a long time since I felt this way. This was certainly the first time during lockdown. So I suppose that’s pretty good going.

I used to feel it a lot. Maybe even constantly. The closest I ever got to someone wasn’t close enough to cure it, and the closest I ever felt was probably the farthest I’ve ever been.

So I empathise with the people feeling lonely right now. The people exhausted by the chronic strain of longing. The people with the incessant niggle in their heart, pulling them to somewhere they cannot go.

For me, this morning, it only lasted an hour, and I’m grateful for that. But it took me so many years of longing to figure out how to let it go. How to be okay with just myself. How to be okay with myself. How to be with myself.

I’m not sure I have anything useful to offer those lonely in lockdown. The path I took was, I hope, considerably longer than any lockdown will last. But I can say this, at least: I know, more or less, how you feel. And, when you make your way through this, you’ll be better on the other side.

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