Loneliness vs Solitude

Sometimes I feel lonely – I get the need for company. Other times I find other people hard to handle and need some time alone. This time of year – the holiday season – is making me unusually aware of this.

It has been a strange few days. I’ve spent a lot of time amongst friends, enjoying myself, and yet felt the need to take a break every now and again to be alone. I could feel myself becoming overwhelmed and needing just five or ten minutes of peace to recover. I don’t generally explain or even describe how I’m feeling – I just walk away for a spell, and come back afterwards feeling calmer and more at ease.

And now, in the small hours of the morning, I am sat at home. My wife is asleep in bed. For some reason I feel alone, even though I know she is only a few yards away – I can even hear her snoring gently. The feeling’s like an emptiness inside, different from sadness in that there is no pain. It’s almost an absence of feeling.

I want to share with somebody what the past few days have been like. The dislocation caused by a week’s forced vacation as work shut down for the holidays. The exhilaration of working the bar during a record-breaking day. The physical tiredness from successive late nights. The comfort I felt holding my wife on the dance-floor. Other events, other feelings, good and bad.

Writing this, sharing it here, has helped me. I have regained my balance, and now I shall retire to bed at ease.

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