I frequently get so wrapped up in my life—in chores, work, reading, my dogs, surfing online—that I don’t pay much attention to the fact that I am single. Other times, the perpetual loneliness of my situation seems like it will choke the life out of me.

I don’t feel bad or guilty about feeling lonely—after all, loneliness is nothing more than acknowledging that we want more from life, that we want someone to pay attention to us, that we need and desire companionship, affection, and love—and that we not only want to receive them, but that we want to give those things in return, too. It is good to want these things, and it is human to want these things.

Usually, my feelings of loneliness are accompanied by a sense of hopelessness, but sometimes there is the feeling of hopefulness. Often, there is a profound sense of resignation, and other times there are energetic feelings of defiance and determination to change my situation.

One thing I can always count on though is a feeling of self-pity, which I have come to absolutely loathe. Self-pity and I have a long and contentious history together, but it is one of the most emasculating and immobilizing feelings in the world. Nothing beats me up and drags me down like self-pity.

But I find myself wondering: Is it possible to feel loneliness without feeling self-pity at the same time?

Certainly it is possible to feel self-pity without being lonely, as that particular emotion can arise in us for multiple reasons. But can loneliness be separated from self-pity? Is it just childish to pity yourself? Are there ways around it? What do you think, and what are your experiences or opinions on this? How do you deal with feelings of loneliness?

Tags: affection, companionship, desire, despair, emotions, isolation, loneliness, love, negative emotions, self-pity, More…sexuality, singles

Views: 1049

Replies to This Discussion

Jaume, most psychiatrists specialize in administering medication rather than psychotherapy; they're medical doctors first. Rather than assuming you'll never be able to date, please consider looking for second opinions from people who are up to date about treating anxiety disorders and who have expertise in providing *psychotherapy* for people with anxiety disorders. Psychologists with Ph.D's generally have the most training in psychotherapy of all the professions, not psychiatrists, although social workers and MFCCs also have a great deal of training as well.

Probably no one person has all the answers, and it's really important to keep an open mind. More is getting understood about the different psychiatric conditions all the time. You might actually feel less stressed thinking you'll never have relationships outside of your relatives, but if you decide you want to have such relationships in the future, I think a knowledgeable and good psychotherapist will be able to help.
Thanks for your time and advice, but it's not really fresh news to me ;-)
...rather than finding actual experts to help you?

Sorry, should have been more specific: I *already* have psychotherapy.
"Well, like you, sometimes I'm just too busy to think about it, and I certainly don't try to stew in my own juices."

I too don't stew in my own juices when I'm lonely. I have, however, been known to shoot them out of me on occasion.
I get lonely sometimes, but I don't feel pity until I decide to go out and meet someone or ask someone out that I already know. It's not hard for me to get a date at all, but it's hard for me to find someone I would like to go on that date with for reasons other than sexual ones. If I am lucky the girl may just be looking for some good 'ole Sonny Dee lovin' but more often than not I meet girls who are looking for a permanent lover but have nothing in common with me - and once I know that I can't continue with it. Luckily I have really close friends that MOSTLY make up for my lack of emotional/intellectual intimacy with women. My roommate is my second oldest friend and probably the only friend I have other than my boy Roger that sort of understands me.
I'm getting lazy just now, so I'm all "tl;dr"--in case this is just way off base and topic...

When I get a slew of disconcerting thoughts that bring back heavy, heavy feelings of shame from whatever I did, I summon up the "haha fuck you" machine and pulse out a good "I wasn't thinking about this yesterday and I felt just fine then. I had still done this embarrassing thing then. Since the meaningful conditions have not changed since then, I should not feel bad about this." And then I don't feel bad about it, just as I should (not). It's a bit of 1984 mindfuckery but it works. Critical thinking must not be applied to it for it to work. It can work if you want it to, as it is 100% placeboic in its method of achieving its effect. I just don't have any sugar pills handy, nor do I have the ability to forget that I'm taking a goddamn sugar pill.

It's not about being right; it's about getting what you want out of yourself. In doing something like this, one is running a program in one's brain. Basically, it's opening up the Task Manager and clicking End Process Tree on a program that's taking up all your bloody RAM. There's no morality in it whereever. If you live your life in depression or not you're just as moral. Might as well go how you want to. It's a little program that tests whether you were fine at X time and if you were NOT thinking at X time about what's got you in a funk just now and if any relevant variables are different between then and now.

I was not thinking about Z troubling thing at X time: True
#retrieve X from list
I was fine at X time: True
(a,b,c,d,...) for X time == (a,b,c,d,...) for now: True
Terminate process Z

No "Right"; just "Might".
Sorry it took me so long to reply to your comment.

...mainly I feel real angst.

Yeah, same here.

Is everyone faking it

Yes.

I find that casual sex helps a lot.

I don't.

In an odd way, the concept of positive thinking can promote self-blame when thing don't go well.

Wow, I think you are correct about that. Of course, we blame ourselves for so much.

I'd venture that the operative consideration is whether one feels guilty for being alone.  "Have I done some foolish or dastardly thing, that's caused me to lose companionship?  Or is it merely the case that my various efforts to socialize haven't yet borne fruit".  If the former, the guilt leads to self-pity.  If the latter, there is no cause to feel guilty, and arguably therefore no cause to pity oneself. 

Our society is too quick to remark that "attitude is everything" and that "attitude is what we make it".  False on both!  First, there are numerous factors beyond our control, and even for those within our purview, even a good attitude does not guarantee wise choices.  Second, to what extent is our attitude really within our control?  How many of those swirling brain-chemicals can really self-regulate? 

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