In a post on his blog, Stephen Fry talks about loneliness and how he feels the contradiction of both feeling alone and wanting to be left alone. That’s a sentiment I share quite often. While he has a different experience of depression than me (I have never felt particularly suicidal except on a few occasions), the feeling of loneliness is something we share – and something he describes better than I can.
In the end loneliness is the most terrible and contradictory of my problems. I hate having only myself to come home to. If I have a book to write, it’s fine. I’m up so early in the morning that even I pop out for an early supper I am happy to go straight to bed, eager to be up and writing at dawn the next day. But otherwise…
It’s not that I want a sexual partner, a long-term partner, someone to share a bed and a snuggle on the sofa with – although perhaps I do and in the past I have had and it has been joyful. But the fact is I value my privacy too. It’s a lose-lose matter. I don’t want to be alone, but I want to be left alone. Perhaps this is just a form of narcissism, vanity, overdemanding entitlement – give it whatever derogatory term you think it deserves. I don’t know the answer.
I too, often feel a lack, an urge to have someone else in my life, but I also don’t want to have someone crowding me – I need my space, my privacy. I don’t know what the answer is, and neither does Mr Fry – someone far more intellectual than I.