There are 2 kinds of loneliness out in the wild.
- Self directed loneliness where a man chooses it under the belief that the current situation is not ideal and removing the distractions from life will lead to better concentration of the task at hand and that becomes a way of life with time so as to get things done.
- The second most pernicious type of loneliness and the one that I am talking about is something that has been inflicted on us with no one to blame.
The latter is a state where the mind is unable to find commonality with the fellow human and a state where the mind is continuously assaulted by waves of terror as we come to the realization that the values we cherish and hold dear, values that gives meaning to our life, values that define us are not appreciated nor respected by the people who surround us. This state comes to be not because of a choice made consciously but rather a place where one is pushed to because of societal rules, family pressure, duty to one’s family, unacceptable compromises that forces us to renounce our values for some principle that has no meaning to us.
As years pass by, there develops a chasm in the mind because of all these compromises and living becomes an eternal sorrow. The mind slowly creaks under this pressure and gradually we lose the ability to empathize and become cynical. Somewhere when we stop to take stock of our life, we suddenly gain realization of what was lost and we start crying because that is the only way to manage the suffering.
We realize to our horror that we have lost the ability to articulate that which is broken in such a way that others will stop, take heart of what is happening and help us to stand up and hold us. We are told to concentrate on other things, forget about that which is happening and move on because it is very convenient and easy for them ignore or misconstrue the fact that we simply don’t know how to move on. The pain is an anchor that keeps us there and we can’t cut the strings. They can never understand this and we will be judged for their fear. Slowly we lose hope which leads to despair, despair leads to a cynical state of mind and finally we develop a shell to protect ourselves and do the absolute minimum necessary to go through life while we learn to act happy to escape scrutiny. We don’t realize this nor do we have someone close enough to observe this.
Sometimes people don’t want to hear the truth because they don’t want their illusions destroyed.
We don’t need or want what the world has to offer because we find no meaning in what they say and what they actually do and we slowly comprehend the futility of it all while we realize there isn’t any more reason left to stay and yet we do. You see, there is a small part of us that keeps flickering inspite of all the cynicism and keeps repeating that there is still hope and holds our hand so that we don’t make any permanent decisions. We even endure the bullying and the insults that we receive for our tears. We search for an escape from the pain and we get addicted to tv/food/pills/liquor/drugs as we believe and hope that any one of them will help us forget our current predicament but we do not know that it is just a stop gag which simply postpones the inevitable crash.
Unable to express myself in a world that demanded that I present myself in a way that conforms to the notions of what makes a human being, constraining me at every turn, frustrating me because I could not just be who I want to be. In this eternal struggle, I keenly felt the individuality of who I am and what is that which makes me tick slip through my fingers while I could do nothing to stem the flow but rather watch helplessly.
Words I speak, dresses I wear, expressions on my face, the way I walk and talk are all censored time and time again for society to accept me which takes a heavy toll on my self to such an extent that I don’t remember the real me. Whenever I think about the price that this society has extracted from me with no meaningful returns, it fills me with a rage that threatens to boil over and consume me. If the pain is in the hand, I can punch a wall to replace it with a different pain. But here, the torture is in the brain and at most all that I can do is to be a mute spectator and bear witness to the horror that is unfolding.
Gradually I became robotic, experiencing life in an auto-pilot mode, putting up more walls to prevent others from hurting me further, letting no one see my true self and life became one long movie where there is no respite from the acting. I dedicate so much of my energy to this facade that I do not have reserve for any thing else. Life ultimately became a hideous cycle of cynicism and exhaustion.
At this juncture, love takes on a special meaning. For someone who is completely broken, the only hope left is the yearning for a partner who holds the promise of fixing that is shattered, someone who understands me, consoles me that its alright to be myself, understand my insecurities, help me up when I fall down, support me, encourage me to experience new things, be there with me in pain or pleasure, encourage me to show my quirks and give me confidence by the way of love that there is one soul who will not judge me.
Not everyone falls in love with the same person because the characteristics one looks for in our partner is different for each individual. We look for characteristics that we have great respect for but that has been lost to us forever. Some look for a partner who takes life as it comes, feather on a wind so to say. Some look for a confident person because we are acutely aware of our insecurities and lack of confidence, or we may be attracted to a person who looks at the funny side of life because we are conscious of our own propensity for despair and cynicism or we are drawn towards a thoughtful person who gives great weight to each word spoken because this is a relief from the superficial existence where we are just honey bees that visit a new flower each day. This goes beyond psychological and applies to physical attributes also.
The cliché that one does not fall is love with someone who is similar to us is so true because even though outward appearance may lead one to believe that the partners are similar enough, the vigor that sustains the relationship is not visible to others because if it was, they would already be aware of our partner’s impact on our self.
I got married in 2014 and when I came to understand that I have found one such person, the confidence that exuded out of me was intoxicating. I was at peace and believed I could face this world now that I had someone who was strong, charming, funny and more importantly someone who was very much interested in getting to know the real me by my side. I felt refreshed and found reserves of confidence that I did not know I had and every experience from then on was exhilarating to say the least. In short, there was a big storm raging inside me that I welcomed with both arms, clapping joyously at the wind that held the promise of uprooting me from my despair, welcoming the rain that drenched me thoroughly unearthing a forgotten memory of a fresh rose filled with dews in the morning. My outward appearance was the same since some walls cannot be broken down in a hurry but I knew with time and patience, I could be whole. I knew exactly where I was, where I want to go and all was right with the world.
And then it wasn’t. I lost her for reasons that don’t matter and I lost her and with her I lost everything.
The worst feeling is not being lonely …
Its being forgotten by someone whom you can never forget …
Everyone advices me to forgive whatever happened and move on acting as though it was that easy while they move on with their life. They don’t have the time or patience to listen to me and try to understand why it is that I can’t move on and why I can’t just shrug it off. I want to scream at the top of my lungs - You don’t know jack shit about what happened to me.
Not everyone can understand the fuss I make unless they themselves have experienced that empty void where there is no meaning. I don’t know if this void is depression.
I am not a painter but there is an image that I sometimes visualize in my mind. I am at the top of the mountain filled with hunger and thirst. There is a dark storm surrounding me, blinding me, freezing me. I can’t see the way and I am afraid to take another step for the fear of falling down. The wind threatens to uproot me, strip me of my dignity, fling me into the dark void which is blacker than black, which assimilates everything that falls into it, which has no end and that which entices us with the promise of no more pain. I am terrified because I am the only one fighting the fight with no support and no clear purpose of why I am continuing the fight. I hold on to the rock with such pressure that my hands start to bleed and I come to the realization that this is a fight I cannot continue for long. At that particular time when I lose hope and start to release the pressure of my hands while fully aware of the implications, the clouds part to let the sun rays in, showing me the path to redemption, removing that which held me prisoner to fulfill the purpose of my life, filling me with so much happiness that I can’t contain them in me and they overflow as tears while I run, I feel the ground for what it is, marvel at the grass that protect the soles of my feet, appreciate the beauty around me and welcome the new sensations that wash over me and look forward towards that meaning which has eluded me for so long… and then I fell down because in my happiness, I did not notice where I was going and hurt myself.
When I don’t understand myself, how can you promise me something and give false hope as though you get me? Please hold me if you can without judging me and try to understand what I am going through. My life is a struggle and don’t add any more weight to it.
Don’t walk in front of me, I may not follow. Don’t walk behind me, I may not lead. Walk beside me and be my friend.
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