(The challenge for the daily prompt was to write about being truly lonely.)
The definition of lonely is not something one can pull out of a dictionary. Being alone is something experienced intimately. Being alone is not the same as feeling lonely. Feeling lonely, while associated with depression, is more than depressed feelings.
Loneliness is an isolation, a state of being disconnected. One can feel lonely in a city as largely populated as New York City, especially in New York City where millions of people move about their day without connecting to the world around them. The movie “Crash“ was based on the concept of feeling disconnected amongst a vast population. It is possible to live alone and still be connected to the world outside your individual life. It is also possible to feel lonely in a crowded room. However, being connected physically isn’t enough. It is my belief that networks like Facebook and Twitter are made popular by people reaching out to connect with others. But connecting to other people through electronic media isn’t enough either. The connection must be intimate, not sexual, a connection much more intimate than sexual. We need to connect on physical, mental, and emotional levels at the same time. We command a bilateral connection with other humans.
These connections are not restricted to the positive. As children we learned that acting-out awarded us the attention we wanted, the connection we desired. We carry that into adulthood. Bullies and mean people are generally disconnected at one or all levels. If you ignore these obnoxious souls, the bad behavior becomes more aggressive because you are denying them the connection they hunger for. The human connection. Imagine being in such an extreme state of loneliness that you go out into the world and bully a complete stranger in order to make a connection with the world. It happens…often.