Alone does not equal lonely and lonely does not equal alone. Lonely means that you are emotionally homeless. You have no one with whom you can share your heart, feelings and baggage with. You have no one with whom you can unpack them all in a safe and non-judgmental manner. You have no one who you trust with your emotions.
Some people try to unpack their emotions on Facebook, but Facebook is too shallow to hold our deeper emotions. And the more people you share your emotions with, the less valuable they become. If you share $50 with one person, you both appreciate the specialness of the share. But if you give $50 to everyone you know, then no one or the gift is special.
And not everyone is worthy of trusting with your emotions. Some people are not able to be trusted to keep them confidential. Some cannot be non-judgmental. Some just can’t handle what you have packed and it is too much for them to fathom and accept.
When you’re emotionally homeless, you have to carry everything you have with you. There is no place to lay your things so you can rest. You must carry them with you always. You may have some friends with whom you can share and lay down some things. But it can be hard to remember who you left what with. Or be able to share enough stuff with them before you receive more stuff, to make your load light enough to manage. Being lonely is hard.
You also can’t just move everything in all at once. People need time to accept your emotions. They need time to make room for all of it. You need to share it a little at a time. Give them the opportunity to take your emotion and put it in a safe place. It takes time for someone to become a best friend; it takes time for someone to be ready to accept you as you are.
It’s been 2 years since I lost my best friend. Although we communicate occasionally now, we probably will never be best friends again. At first I was ok; it was only a temporary thing. But as time moved on, it wasn’t ok. I have no one person to safely vent my deepest frustrations, no one person to help celebrate great news, no one person to talk to all hours of the night to, no one person who really understands my life and struggle. I couldn’t just dump all that I had shared with her onto someone else. They wouldn’t be ready for it all, and would be angry that I had cluttered up their life.
Until then, I share bits and pieces of myself with people who are ready for those pieces. Until then, I am homeless.