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January 4th, 2009

I’ve been trying really hard to hold on to something positive from the nervousness and restlessness I’ve been feeling lately.  The fact is no matter how much I go out and interact with my surroundings, I come home feeling empty.  I don’t know why I think I can reverse the path that I’ve been on all my life, which is a constant state of alienation.

I hate being by myself, but it’s usually better than trying to be someone I’m not, which is what I feel would have to happen for me to have a normal social life.  I like making music, and making art, but there comes a point where the solitude is too much and you have to stop.  People don’t understand that.  The fact is, if I have people close to me in my life, than I can be productive while I’m alone.  But if I’m alone all the time, I lose myself.

I read Wikipedia’s article on loneliness again.  I wonder if what I keep referring to as depression is really just social isolation.  I go to a bar and I see a crowd of people who can communicate with one another.  Sure it’s not on a deep level, but they’re all keeping themselves and each other sane by doing so.  Meanwhile I’m in the corner with an art magazine drawing snake tongues coming out of everybody’s mouths, and I’m the only person in the place who’s by himself.  And although I look around at the couples, and the friends laughing with each other, and I despise the whole thing, I really just wish somebody would say something to me without it being their job.

The more alone I feel, the less motivated I am to be creative and the more motivated I am to try and go out and have fun.  So I go out to be around people, who paradoxically make me feel more alone, and then I get depressed.

I think maybe I was on to something last year at this time when I was just drinking beer at home and drawing circuit diagrams.

5 Responses to “Loneliness”

  1. Will Conley Says:

    Hey man, I know I haven’t been the best of friends to you in the distant past, but just know I hear ya loud and clear over here and if you want a friend, even it’s one that made some big mistakes that caused you pain years ago, I’m around, at least virtually.

    You make some good points about loneliness despite being “around people”. I compare it to eating junk food. You get full for a minute but it leaves you ever hungrier for something that’s good for you. Is it, then, just a matter of finding the right people to hang with? I dunno.

    You meet deep people, they tend to bring the drama. You meet non-dramatic people, they tend to be like the aforementioned junk food. I have one real friend, and I live with her. But I’ll be moving out soon, and then what? Who knows how I’ll be tomorrow. WTF.

    I think risk is a good thing. Maybe meditate on risk and see how it applies to loneliness.

  2. Will Conley Says:

    By the way, just the very act of admitting loneliness, I’m going to go ahead and bet, is good medicine. You think?

  3. admin Says:

    Yeah. Openness and honesty are my new things. I’m sick of wondering when is the best time to speak up, or that I should pretend everything is fine until it actually is. Which never happens.

    I think risk is the real spice of life. You can definitely have too much of it though. That’s why I found it impossible to have a social life while I was broke, out of work and going bankrupt. I didn’t have it in me.

  4. Sarah Says:

    The eternal conundrum of an artist’s life–trying to balance money-work (and its attendant soul-crushing boredom) with artist-work. On one hand, you shouldn’t have to have money-work in order to have a social life. On the other hand–and I have been there–you don’t want to always be the one getting treated by someone else.

    Having been the one “borrowing” money a lot in the distant past, I opted for the money-work in order to not always depend on others…and then suddenly I wasn’t an artist anymore. And I’ve been trying in my non-work hours to revive that part of me…and it isn’t easy. I know you have struggled financially over the years since Afunctionul…but you have also been consistently growing and developing as an artist. I wish there was some way this whole “daily life” part of our existence could be easier for all of us who have been struggling to do something other than schlep and reproduce. But until our country realizes that starving artists isn’t a great way to get them to produce work, and that suddenly life gets a lot more boring without artists around (think of how much fun the Puritans had), and that if they want to be surrounded by art they have to pay for it (hint: federal funding is a great way to support the arts by supporting artists), we have to struggle with this horrible eternal balancing act.

    Even so, your friends love and support you, cash or no. Don’t deny yourself that emotional support, especially in the depths of a Minnesota winter.

  5. admin Says:

    I think federal funding is a desperate band aid, a way of institutionalizing what should be a natural outgrowth of human existence. That said, so are a lot of things. Take “dating.” My “problem” is that I can’t make myself play a game.

    I do horrible with job interviews for the same reason I can’t attract another person with my small talk.

    Humans are too smart to realize that no matter how smart we are, we’re always going to be too stupid about the things we don’t realize.

    I think I just confused myself…

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