Chances are, if you looked up the meaning of “alone” and “lonely”, there would be many very similar and interchangeable adjectives used to describe these two similar, yet TOTALLY different, emotions.
To feel ”lonely” is to feel isolated, friendless and solitary. Some people prefer to live like that, and they do this by choice. Others do not, and have feelings of being unloved, rejected and abandoned. Of course it is possible for people to be surrounded by friends and family, yet they can still feel lonely.
Now, to feel ”alone” is to feel unassisted, unaided and burdened with responsibility. It is less about being sad and depressed, and more about being anxious and fearful. To feel alone is to feel like you have a lack of support, like you are completely on your own with every decision you make, be it relating to money, business decisions, jobs, important decisions and choices you need to make regarding your children’s lives….anything and everything! So, as you would imagine…….not feeling like a member of the Kardashian family!!
I use this odd analogy as this is a dream I had a few nights ago. There I was in the Kardashian home…surrounded by my people….. all of whom totally related to every decision I had to make, and considered and answered questions as if they needed to make these very important decisions for themselves. This newfound family of mine knew EXACTLY what needed to be considered for each and every decision. They were not just there to give an opinion, judge me, or give their advice. No, they were there to make my decisions for me…and the cherry on the top was that if their decisions were incorrect, they were there to catch me as a fell!! I felt so at peace…..a feeling that I have not felt for fifteen years. It was as if this heavy weight had been lifted off my shoulders. Aaaaaah…such warmth and fuzziness!!
There have been one or two times when I had the luxury of briefly encountering that feeling, but they were very fleeting, and made it harder to go back to feeling alone!!
So there I was, the very next morning, trying to imagine me as a Kardashian sister……you know what they say….manifest it….attract it! Maybe I still had a chance of infiltrating this new family!!
First off, I thought, I would have to change my name to Kranky Karegiver….sorry, best I could do under the circumstances. Well I say “first off”, but to be honest, my lack of K.K initials would be the least of my problems. I have the wrong hair….wrong clothes….wrong body to wear these clothes….wrong attitude…..oh…..wrong bloodline…. what the hell….not gonna happen.
Bottom line, when you are alone, you are alone…despite all and sundry insisting that you are not alone, they are there for you, blah blah….no toots, you are alone.
Now this feeling of being alone is not a by-product of circumstances that decided to enter my life. We are all alone actually. Naïve and ignorant people (also known as ”pleasant”, ”trusting” and ”likeable” people) will surrender themselves to those in their lives. They believe that people are there for them, can lessen any burden for them, have their best interests at heart, will make the right decisions for them…yadda, yadda, yadda.
Well I, (also known as ”unpleasant”, ”cynical” and ”unlikeable”), am here to tell you that actually, no one truly cares about your life, your worries or your successes and joys…. other than perhaps your spouse, your parents and your children (and even then…this is sadly not the case for everyone).
The rest of the people in your lives might appear to be feeling your stress, your pain and your joy, but nope…nope…they are worried about their spouses, parents and children (as they should be). Others will appear to have your back unconditionally, but they are concerned about showing everyone how wonderful they are because they have your back. Alternatively, they will just be working towards paving the way for your everlasting gratitude and indebtedness to them. That’s just life. It does not make them bad people. It just is what it is.….….TRUTH!!
Now therein lies my problem. Unlike the naïve and ignorant people, I am (most unfortunately) perceptive and enlightened….oh and not to forget CYNICAL. So I am not really more alone than anyone else, I am just more aware of it….and that TRULY is a heavy load to carry.
So since being widowed 15 years ago, so many people have asked if I was going to look for a “companion” at any point. Now, I really understand the lack of comprehension on the part of people to appreciate that finding a “companion” is not going to make me feel less alone. This is because they automatically assume that, having been on my own for the last 15 years I am ‘’lonely’’. If I was lonely, a companion might surely assist. However, at this point, I have my two beautiful spices, Salt and Pepper, and a handful of very special friends and family. So, lonely I am not. But, all these people that I am fortunate to be surrounded by, cannot help me feel less alone.
Naturally, when my husband was still alive, I never felt alone. I always felt protected, warm and fuzzy…..like with my newfound Kardashian family! Now this might make me sound like I was one of those mothers or wives whose husbands controlled everything in their lives, and suddenly they are left to fend for themselves for the first time. Well that couldn’t have been further from the truth. I was not doing anything less before I was widowed than after. Of course financially there were huge changes, which surely have led to this permanent feeling of anxiety and weight. But you would be surprised how many other things contributed to suddenly doing it ALONE.
There is no one to bounce concerns, questions or decisions off. This is especially frightening when it comes to your children. No voice of reason when we become irrational (not me…I never become irrational…..but others going through the same thing might). There is just a feeling of being totally alone.
Now of course, if I was a different personality type….like say perhaps I had a fraction of confidence in every decision I have been required to make, and ….um….perhaps a bit of self worth thrown in there for good measure….I might have had a different experience. But nope…not this here Grumpy Mummy…..not an ounce of confidence or self worth here!!
So to the naked eye, I might have appeared to have effortlessly got through the last 15 years. Yes, of course people tell me all the time how well I have done, and how proud I should be of myself etc, etc. But had I not questioned (and continue to question) each and every decision I have made over the past 15 years, or had amazing children, who just somehow turned out okay (ish), or faked it until I made it…..I would graciously accept these praises. But I do feel a bit like a fraud for accepting these praises when I know that it was far from effortless. And the ‘’strength’’ that people always wish to assign to me…..forget about it….
So, unless any of the people in my life have the initials “K.K”….step aside, as me, Kranky Karegiver, my two sons, Kumin and Kardamom are off to become Kardashians.
2 thoughts on “The Difference Between Lonely And Alone.”
Love this! Often thought on this subject! One can be alone but not lonely and one can be lonely while not being alone. In my experience it often comes down to how connected I feel!
Agree, and so often people confuse the two. Of course, we alone are the reason for the way we feel 😪.