Monday, August 13, 2007


Ah, I get it.

I'm not lonely. But I am cold and distant and mostly shrunk in on myself.

That's the thing. Loneliness is not something I feel very often - I generally only feel it in the context of failing or recently failed coupledom. Like those times when one is supposed to feel so very connected and so the absence of that connection stands out in relief.

I am not part of a failing couple (though R and I still haven't figured out our future). So what results from being mostly quite alone alone here in City with Potential is not loneliness, not by any means, but a quite profound feeling of disconnection from people. I go for days without seeing people, sometimes - like right now. I went 30 hours without even talking to someone, until this afternoon. And when the phone did ring, ripping me away from many hours of intense work at my computer, it was hard to find myself to have a conversation (with my mother).

So that's what happens to me when I am alone. Because I have introverted tendencies, it is not much of a stretch for me to just burrow away inside myself like this. I don't like what accompanies it, though - a nearly complete lack of emotion. Except for the ever-present anxiety - ha. But that's not at all a people-oriented emotion, anyway, in this instance. I feel like some sort of cardboard cutout of myself, as if the affective dimensions of my personality have been erased. It's not a nice feeling, especially because I am usually quite a sensitive person. To be honest, I feel inhuman - and it's not a nice feeling, not at all.

I recognize that though I have introverted tendencies and am quite happy on my own, I also have been, at least since adulthood, kind of quietly social. Very much so. I have lots of people in my life, and have always felt full of connection and feeling.

So I look forward to making more of a social network here not as an antidote to loneliness, but as an antidote to feeling like a kind of drone or robot, which is precisely how I am feeling today.

(Tomorrow morning I have a visitor coming for tea, though - someone I haven't met yet. So I'm getting up early to make banana bread, and the whole event feels as if it will put me back in touch with myself - as have the intermittent social occasions I've had.)


medieval woman said...

Once again, m'dear, you have described a very personal and difficult emotion with total awesomeness - I think this is an amazing description of that feeling. It makes me wonder how much of what we feel isn't exactly loneliness but disconnection. We should think about emotions on a much more subtle level. I hope you find an even bigger network there soon (although at times it sounds like you're immersed in socializing!) - ah well, it's either feast or famine! :)

me want banana bread too...

Hilaire said...

Oh, thanks, MW. I had a bit of an epiphany about this lately...I'm glad it made sense.

You didn't miss much with the banana bread. I had a bunch of recipes on hand, but I chose my mother' pretty much sucked. Way, way too cheap banana cake (and I say this as someone who loves sugar, and loves me a good cheap cake). I wish I'd had all the ingredients for the classic Moosewood one, which involves mashing bananas with lots of strong coffee! Yum!

Why am I overloading my own comment with a discussion of the finer points of banana bread??