So many people, so many sites say this same phrase. ”You are not alone,” they emblazon in large letters on their web pages, offering help. They say it in blog posts, they say it in politics. Yet, when it comes down to it, we are alone. Here I sit, alone, in my house. Typing to a world that doesn’t even know that I’m writing this, or, in the greater majority, that I even exist. We are only not alone when we choose to not be alone- when we reach out to someone for companionship, or company, or just a hand to hold. Except that today, we choose to do that over the internet, or through text messaging. We don’t actually reach out and hold someone’s hand through the dark moment, offer a physical shoulder to cry upon. We offer them an instant message window or a HUG on a Facebook comment.
I used to love the internet for the connections that it gave me. Through it I made friends around the world, and learned about how routers and networks worked, about college life, and about the Beatles Yellow Submarine album. Those were the days that you truly did feel connected to those people, because you talked to them every night from 9-12, shared stories and moments, and felt like you were really there with them. Today, I put something up on facebook, and hope that someone likes the post or comments. Surrounded by people in a virtual world, yet completely alone and screaming in real life.
I feel truly alone now. The cars drive by my house and I watch them through the window, everyone scurrying off to whatever destination awaits them. I sit in my pajamas, watching work on another screen while writing this, wondering the same question that I wonder a lot. If I were gone, would anyone notice? Truly, I don’t think anyone but my pets would notice. I mean, how long would it conceivably take for people to notice me missing. And this is what I mean when I say that I am totally alone. I would predict it would take at least 2 weeks, and perhaps, even a month, for someone to notice my abscence. My phone never rings, and I never get personal emails from people. My letterwriting, though I’m trying to improve upon it, is woefully lacking, so that the majority of people who write to me don’t expect a response for months. So then, how do you get over this feeling of aloneness?
Even in a group of people, I feel isolated. I recently went to an evening out with friends, and truly spent the majority of the time wishing I could return to the solitude of my home- the sanctity of my warm bed and comfortable blankets. A place where I didn’t have to smile or be jovial or anything. Yet, what I want, is for someone to reach out and show me that I’m not alone. Even when I want to be. Yet here I sit. Whining about it on a blog.
I’m not saying that I am going to go away. That’s not my goal or my intent. All in all, my life is pretty idyllic for what it is. All I’m saying is that if I were to pull up stakes, sell my house, and move away tomorrow, few people would notice. And fewer still would miss me.
So to all the people (who don’t read this but whatever) who say “you are not alone.” Shut it. I am totally alone. As is everyone else.