It was only fairly recently I came to the realisation that I was chronically lonely. Granted, there are a few of you out there that I do consider friends that I have met online, but I’ve never had many real life friends. Those that I organically picked up through school or college now have lives of their own and drifted away.
As a defence mechanism for more than a decade I convinced myself I didn’t need people anyway. Built a persona of some kind of tough guy loner and even convinced myself for a bit. I had a sales job where I spoke to loads of people daily, but it was all an act to fill a role that I enjoyed quite a bit. It allowed me to be the person that I used to be in school and forget myself for a while.
Today is my birthday, and I’ve spent it alone with my dog. Exercising, reading and waiting for my family to finish school and work. Today has been a bit like bunking off school, you get the day off but everyone else is doing other things anyway, so you just hang around. I honestly have nothing to do and no one to see, and that’s a tiny bit sad to say out loud.
There’s no cry for help here, but more of a public display that it’s OK to be lonely. Especially as a man, it’s really difficult to express those feelings. You don’t have to hide it away, it’s OK to need and want other people around you. As great as my dog is, he’s not enough to make me feel good on my birthday, and that’s ok for me to feel. I am thankful for the few messages that I have received and realise that I am still an amazingly lucky guy to be where I am.
I’m just lonely, and an introvert. Is that even possible?