On Loneliness.

This is a particularly morose post for which I apologise in advance.

It’s pure stream of consciousness stuff so I apologise if I ramble or “go off on one” for a bit. I just need to get this off my chest, scream into the void so to speak.

it’s dawned on me recently just how mind-numbingly lonely I am. Don’t get me wrong, I’m “happy” enough in my status quo, I’ve a loving and caring wife, many friends online and I quite enjoy my own company. I’ve never been a social animal even as a child (which was before I found out about my Asperger’s of course which, in hindsight, explained a lot of things)

But since I ditched Twitter I feel more alone than I’ve felt in decades. I’m out of touch with everything and everyone at the moment. My life consists of going to work, sitting in my cubicle for 8 hours a day then go home to greet my wife, fuss the cat and watch TV. I have ZERO social contact other than my wife or when my wife and I are invited out to one of her friends for dinner/drinks etc.

Of friends, I have many, I also have none. Let me elucidate on that statement. I have many people I am friendly with online. People I chatted with on Twitter, on Facebook, On Mastodon and via my blog. But how many of these do I call and chat to on a regular basis? How many have I met in person? How many have I gone to the cinema with, shared a coffee, role-played, danced, kissed, punched, cried with or hugged when they needed support? NONE!

They’re two-dimensional screen friends just like I am to them. I doubt many of my friends would even be able to pick me out of a line up of similar build males in a bizarre “usual suspects” situation. However I have my wife and for that I’m truly grateful. However there is a caveat to that. My wife and I are, for want of a better phrase, “Chalk and Cheese” as we share NO (or at least very few) common interests.

I like games, Computer and otherwise whereas my wife doesn’t. She thinks they’re rather pointless.
She likes gardening and tending to her allotment, Me I find it cold, wet and dirty and a chore rather than fun.
I like going to (or at least TRYING to go to) cosplay and comic conventions, my Wife doesn’t
I will talk about 80’s pop culture and TV references that my Wife (who didn’t own a TV during her school and university years) doesn’t remember

It dawned on me recently that I have ABSOLUTELY NO ONE to share my interests with. I was watching a YouTube video of a US cosplay that, I found, really funny. I shared it with my wife who stared at it blankly and considered it a bit childish. I thought about doing something similar but unfortunately it was a cosplay that needed two people. Two like characters that played off each other. Having one by himself wouldn’t work. Most of the humour was the way they spoke back and forth with each other. One setting the other one up for a “punch line” so to speak. One by itself would be a man in a fleece blanket making silly noises by himself. It wouldn’t work.

Once I realised that I also realised that I have no one I could have this sort of fun with. My wife is very sensible and level-headed. I’m flighty and childishly silly. My wife is practical and down to Earth whereas my head is up in the clouds, with fantastical ideas and wild imagination.

My wife and I would never have met if we’d not been on the same website. We met through a mutual hobby I never actually enjoyed. A hobby I only took on after heading the advice of a therapist. A hobby I’ve since not done since before we got married 8 years ago.

My wife is very social. She mingles with ladies from the Woman’s Institute (WI) she goes to craft group, she’s a member of a charity knitting circle, She still does the hobby I dropped (Partner dancing) She has friends she meets regularly, she’s an aromatherapist and has regular clients. She regularly goes out for lunch/coffee with her colleagues. She has a rich social life. I come home, I watch TV. On the rare occasions I go to the cinema I’m Johnny No-Mates sitting by himself.

My only social outlet was Twitter. There I could interact with people, joke, laugh, support, comfort, berate (when they needed it), and be the friend I’d like to be. But the events of late last year which I won’t reiterate again has poisoned that well. I cannot go back to Twitter now. My account (presumably) has now been irrevocably deleted as the month cooling off period has now passed.

I’ve cast myself off from the pier and am now adrift in a vast empty ocean – and I can’t see any way out of the situation.

I’m lonelier now than I’ve ever been despite now living in one of the most populous places in the UK. Constantly surrounded by people yet unable to connect with any of them.

To quote Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner”

“Water, water everywhere, / Nor any drop to drink”