A recent pre-pandemic survey found that 61% of Americans reported feeling lonely. The epidemic of loneliness is painful in its own right, plus, it leads to destructive attempts to escape the pain of feeling isolated and eternally alone in the universe.
Lonely people look for community on-line and find “social media” groups where their worst suspicions are confirmed in sickening detail: fucking Tom Hanks drinks the blood of children he has kidnapped, after doing sexually perverse things to them!
Words on a page, even those written by our most skilled users of language, almost never contain the nuance conveyed by a wry twinkle in the eye, a shrug, a sarcastic body movement in concert with the words spoken — a pregnant pause.
Lonely people staring at screens take the words they read, words they hope will somehow bind them to others, at face value. Of course George Soros, Barbara Streisand and fucking George Clooney had something to do with those vile accusations against innocent, humble, nonpartisan, never a black out drunk, Brett Kavanaugh!
Aside from an epidemic of suicide caused by loneliness and despair, aside from the political chaos, the literal madness, it has unleashed among desperate people looking for simple answers to complicated, vexing issues, aside from the outward rippling misery loneliness causes, loneliness is, at its heart, a very painful condition.
A writer named Steven Petrow published a thoughtful essay called I’m not alone in feeling lonely. There are ways to fight loneliness. It appeared in today’s Washington Post and has been generously “gifted” to you by a supremely generous man of the people, the illegally anti-unionist Jeff Bezos.
A thoughtful essay by Mr. Petrow, I thought. When a painful condition is stigmatized, and those who talk about it are treated as pathetic losers, the pain of that condition is greatly compounded. The first step to dealing with anything painful is to acknowledge that it hurts and talk to others about it, tough guy.
It helps nobody you care about, and yourself least of all, to pretend you’re fine when you have the cold arrow of loneliness stuck in your chest.
If you feel lonely, or know lonely people, this article is worth a read, especially during this time of year, the “holiday season” when the days grower shorter, expectations for merriness soar and suicides spike.