Thursday, July 21, 2011

Confessions of a Monophobe

I have a confession: I'm a bit of a monophobe. Or perhaps you might call me a bit isolaphobic or say that I have symptoms of autophobia.

However you put it, I have issues with loneliness.

(Didn't I tell you these blogs would get a little more interesting in the future?)

This is by no means an easy admission for me to declare publicly. Reaching the point to feel comfortable writing and talking about it is just a part of a continued journey. It sounds so trite when written down so nicely and neatly but it does not reflect the severity of the struggle or it's manifestations.

I'm no medical expert but I would say when a stray thought on a lonely night can induce involuntary hyperventilation, it's a sign that something's not quite right.

Other times the trigger might be an unanswered text message or phone call. Or it's a long, deep look into a distant future might bring along a feeling of despair. Even being a stranger among a crowd can feel lonely. Some days it feels like it doesn't take anything at all.

Maybe you can relate. Maybe you know what loneliness feel like when that sinking feeling sets in deep. I remember feeling this when I was just a kid in elementary, middle and all through high school. I struggled to make or maintain friends and spent a lot of time dwelling on these feelings to the point that it has left an unmistakable and indelible mark on my life to this day. But in recognizing those marks I've also been able to see when and how being alone can be a gift at times. It helps me hold a better perspective on friendships which allows me to have a healthier attitude toward relationships which offsets my naturally dependent personality. It's been a long, difficult journey of self-discovery that has finally reached a breaking point of sorts.

Now, this is absolutely not an invitation for a pity party. I'm not putting this out there to score everyone's sympathy points. In fact, I'm willing to share now more than ever only because I've got a better grip on my stressors and triggers and have gained a deeper understanding of my fears and anxieties.

It really helps to have understanding friends I can talk to about it. It also helps to have mentors and people whose wisdom I respect and who are willing to share their advice and support.

And of course it helps to have a blog where I can organize my myriad of thoughts and make them presentable for readers.

So I would appreciate your attention when you can spare it and your feedback whenever you have some. I hope it might inspire some thoughtful discussion and I really, truly hope it reaches someone who can relate.

Thanks for reading.


Can you relate to struggling with loneliness? How do you deal with it?

What other phobias might you experience?


Anonymous said...


Mark Keefer said...

Great post. I am the exact opposite. I prefer to be alone. In general, unorganized crowds of people make me nervous. I do not like meeting new people. I do not like anything that is of a social nature. I'm not a recluse, but I'm pretty close. And it's progressive. I was less like this 10 years ago than I am today. It's bizarre.

Kayla Joy Smith said...

Loneliness can be so beneficial and at the same time, consuming to your well-being. People can only choose how they react to it. I appreciate my time alone but there are of course times I want to be around people or feel whole by simply being with someone else or being acknowledged. It's always nice to know that you're a priority to someone.. I've had a hard time the past few years trying to understand this weakness. I think that it's hard to conquer when all your (someone's) life you've had this desire and dependency. I still struggle, too. And the only ways I personally have to come to deal with them is definitely keeping myself busy, staying productive, always continuing to work on something that is contributing to a life goal, etc. This helps me ignore the fact that I'm alone.. Keeps my mind off of it. Learning to be lonely is one of my philosophies, I guess. Once I have that, it won't distract me from my duty as a human being. But like I said, still working on it. I may never grow out of it!

ibmelodious said...

This is a really sincere and interesting post. I, like Mr. Keefer am more on the opposite pole. I enjoy people, but find that spending too much time with people and not enough alone time makes me irritable. I start to feel like I'm a prisoner, and I need to find myself again. I actually want to be "Home Alone." (I feel a future blog coming on.)

In answer to your question, though...I think my biggest fear has always been summed up with just one word: FAILURE.