The loneliness of not being alone

Some people believe that you can only be lonely when you are alone. I totally disagree. Some of my most profound loneliness has been when I have been surrounded by people, or even with someone right next to me. I lived alone for many years and spent a rather isolated life (by choice). I loved my own company and almost never felt lonely.

Two of my favourite quotes are:

  • My solitude doesn’t depend on the presence or absence of people; on the contrary, I hate who steals my solitude without, in exchange, offering me true company Friedrich Nietzsche (Thus Spoke Zarathustra)
  • Before I met you, I was not lonely, but now I’m so lonely I talk to the walls and sing to the ceiling (Tayari Jones, An American Marriage)

In my previous marriage, I have never felt such yawning loneliness. With my now-husband, he gives me both solitude and company. He makes me a better person.


Author: Janet Carr

Fashion, beauty and animal loving language consultant from South Africa living in Stockholm, Sweden.

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