We’re in the heart of winter now- another storm coming in a few hours, followed by below-zero temps. This is when I go into survival mode. My days consist of outside clean-up at home, and then inside clean-up at work. Day after day. My own personal version of Groundhog Day, only I never seem to wake up next to Andie MacDowell or any reasonable facsimile thereof. The dreariness and messiness add to the loneliness I feel. I tend to be a fan of solitude- as an introvert I do enjoy my alone time very much. But, as was pointed out in an article I read today, there is a difference between solitude and loneliness. Solitude is a choice, loneliness is not. Solitude can recharge and reinvigorate- especially for an introvert such a myself. Loneliness is a psychic vampire. It sucks the life and energy out of you. ” Failure to Thrive” due to social isolation has been a well-known condition for neglected babies and young children for quite some time, as has the same been true for the elderly population as well. We are just recently beginning to get a handle on the epidemic of loneliness that permeates our society at large. Chronic loneliness does as much physical damage as smoking 15 cigarettes a day some researchers say. Some days I really understand that. I feel like most of my life has been a minor version of “Failure to Thrive” syndrome. Or maybe not so minor. My life has felt like an inner Dust Bowl, devoid of meaning and connection and just basic humanness. Not always and not in the sense of utter deprivation. More like a recurring theme, or an underlying musical score of scarcity and thirst. Like the feeling you get watching a movie where the lead character is standing next to the tracks holding his bag as he watches the train that should have been his life diminish into the horizon. That’s how I feel- the train left the station and now what. Looping endlessly for years and decades on end. And never quite figuring out how to get myself together long enough to learn how to actually live. I’m hollow and jagged, and a cold wind howls thru the corridors of my soul.
Last updated January 29, 2019