Loneliness is an internally painful sigh. It’s strange how we can be in crowds and still feel lonely. Even social networking sites are nothing more than sugar-coated promises. ‘If you are not on any social networking site, during this time when you can’t meet anyone, people don’t even care about your existence,’ said a teen. It’s as if you are new to school and if you stay absent, no one even notices because they never bothered to know you. The difference here is that people are aware that there is someone who is not part of the social world, but they do not go out of their way to find them.
Almost 80% of teens below 18 years and 40% above 65 years are in the trap of loneliness. The BBC Loneliness Experiment had taken out a survey on 50,000 people to see the rates of loneliness and they were amazed to know that most of the people who were surveyed and answered that they were lonely, were actually teenagers. In the Cigna Survey in 2019, almost half of Americans felt left out or alone. Loneliness is said to affect 46% of British people.
This is the gruesome power of loneliness.
Standing in the midst of your running thoughts, or a numb mind, or physical pain or some sickness, becomes more unbearable when it has to be done while you stay in loneliness. The problem may be pea-sized, but the power of a lonely chain around the person, makes the problem seem like seven oceans filled with sharks and poisonous waters.
So here is a story about loneliness that helps you know what it is to be lonely.
She had PCOS, or Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, which causes ovarian enlargement and the formation of small pouches called cysts. It causes weight gain which has to be at any cost reduced, irregular periods, changes in diets.
But being lonely, all that pain from losing weight and drastically changing her diet, was seen only by the walls, by nature, and by listening. She wanted someone who could speak! Not just watch!
Because of her immaturity, she had no friends. She was screechy, loud, back talker, with not very elegant speech and hence Friends started moving away and her PCOS started coming closer, carrying along with it bags of loneliness, so close it felt like some different reality, something that hurts even if being talked of.
PCOS asked her to lose weight, eat a certain diet and that came as a difficult call. I think it is only on those lonely days when we realise that close people are not just merely humans but also someone who can hold hands and say, ‘You will be alright’. It is when the rain is gone, we miss its presence. Only when the phone and the house are silent can we truly appreciate how itchy and loud silence can be.
She tried to make new friends, but no one trusted her anymore, and even if they did, someone else might tell him or her that this girl isn’t someone you should talk to. And then eyes didn’t meet with anyone and relatives and cousins don’t meet everyday right? Even if they did, they never asked, ‘How are you?’ Instead went for, ‘Why are you so grumpy?’
The only way out of this sticky loneliness, which was only partially curable, was to imagine what caused happiness. So she began fictitious conversations with people she had never met and befriended them, answering their questions that she wished someone in real life could ask her. Imagination frequently fractures and creates her in a lonely reality. But aren’t we all living in a different world, while we already exist here on Earth?
It didn’t take away her loneliness, and she learned to make decisions, go for walks, listen to music and watch videos on her own. All sinked in loneliness.
And all of this didn’t make things better, but atleast she was away from unnecessary ignorance in the eyes of her old friends.