This was written in a period of coming to terms with loneliness and what it meant to me, and in response to a questionnaire asking "What does loneliness mean to you?"
Loneliness is knowing that if you really needed someone to talk to, in person, in that moment, there isn't anyone you can think of who you could call to be there for you. With you.
It's a yearning to feel like you have something in common with someone and whose company you can enjoy but, for some reason or no reason, they just don't seem to exist for you.
It's staring at strangers who are sitting together in coffee-shops, or laughing as they walk down the street, and trying to figure out - how does THAT happen for me?
Loneliness is worst when you become so comfortable with not being able to make or find friends who can be in your life on a regular basis that, inside your mind, you need to re-frame it. You say to yourself, "no, you're not actually lonely. You're just a loner. Independent. You like your own space and your own company."
I realised recently that I was incredibly lonely, when I saw that my "independent and introverted loner" status wasn't really a choice I actively made. It was something I had to accept in the current situation, because it is exhausting to feel all those lonely feelings on the surface, every day. I'm not receiving phone-calls and messages that are asking if I want to hang out and turning them down in favour of being by myself. Instead, it often feels like no-one is asking to be my friend. I used to try so desperately hard to be a "friend" or "acquaintance" to so many people, for years and years and years. Maybe too much. Sometimes it was successful, but then I would have to deal with the creeping poisonous insecurities that would also lead me to end friendships and burn bridges. So, I will still make an effort if I can, but I still feel the hopelessness inside of me, that any new opportunity for friendship likely won't amount to anything. The one-time meetups never develop into true friendships. At least not yet. I will keep trying, as well as analysing what I actually seek in such a concept and what I mean by the phrase "true friendship". Maybe it is just a fairy-tale, an unrealistic ideal that fades further away the older you get. We will see.