Loneliness

This is written in response to the BBC focus on Loneliness, as part of their Faith in the World Week.  This is not to denigrate the experience of those who live alone, but to explore a different aspect of loneliness – that of the chronically ill.

Loneliness, Hans Thoma

You go out.
I stay home.

You go to exciting places,
and meet interesting people.
I go for medical appointments.

You make spontaneous trips,
meet up for lunch,
go for drinks.
I’m home alone
with the tv and books for company.

You do the things I love,
the things I was actually quite good at,
I’m glad for you,
but also a bit jealous.
I used to do that,
that was my life.
And now I sit and watch.

You have every right to your life,
to enjoy the pleasures,
to do what you are good at,
what you are called to.
But sitting and watching
others live their life
is a lonely place to be.

There is no option to “get yourself out there”,
to decide to go and see
what is happening in the world,
to go and find other people.
Caught in a world of frustration,
of isolation,
of broken dreams
– trying not to become bitter
angry
and resentful.

It’s a lonely world
when you’re not really in it.
To not be able to take part,
or join in,
to have to watch from the sidelines,
or hear about it second-hand.
Longing,
desperately longing
to be a part.
When everyone else has somewhere else to be,
and you don’t have the strength
or energy.
Trying to take interest,
trying not to wallow in self-pity,
trying to make the best..

…but lonely,
so lonely.

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4 thoughts on “Loneliness

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