To Be Alone
The truth is, to be alone, is sometimes necessary
But not always, so it would seem, or why would people marry?
A family is a good thing, and friends are always nice,
And having someone else around give life that added spice
And if, sometimes, it seems to you,
That life’s a little bland,
Or that too much is going on, or you can’t keep up with demand
Either way, it’s good to have someone else
With which to have stuff to do
And either way, it’s nice to have
A solid friend or two
I attend a social group lets say, however I feel no connection to the other members, I do not seem to share any common interests with the other members at hand.
When I think of my dear brother, he has helped me a lot. However, there seems to be a quid pro quo. When its gift giving time for the parents, some how he manages to suddenly forget to pay his portion. When I press him on the matter, he delays, hoping I will drop it. And essentially this is what I end up doing.
Looking at prayer, there are times when I am in, oh, the deepest of depressions, and I simply just lose my faith. However, small things manage to renew my faith – just the other day I found a precious picture I had once lost, for what I thought was lost for good.
I know I have a good side which is kind to others. It is also a compassionate one in helping people. I always remeber to give a child, who is short a shekel or two and wants to buy something at the makolet, money, I would give him the money. I am, also, a good listener. I feel that this side of me has disappeared lately. Ill get it back some day soon, I think.
Ghosts, Vampires and Zombies
Why should anyone want to read or write about isolation? It is a dreadful, pathetic state of non-existence relegated to ghosts, vampires and zombies. It is horrible just thinking about what to write when everyone wants to avoid it at all costs.
But what if it is thrust upon you because of some irremediable stain on your soul? What if nobody wants anything to do with you except for the most perfunctory social ritual?
If you are seemingly exculded from intimacy with the good, lofty souls of your times or even from your family and you have no friends in any meaningful sense of the word….You ask yourself why?! Why?! What’s wrong with me? In a world full of people, why can’t I connect?
What am I lacking? Aha, there’s the catch. Probably you’re not lacking anything. You have too much – too much thoughts, emotions, desires, expectations. You can’t just accept things at face value, but you search for hidden meanings, hidden clues to the possibilities lying within relationships.
And so you retreat to your flat, your sanctuary your refuge. Safe at last, no one found you out. And you make yourself a cup of tea and turn on the T.V. or perhaps open a book. At first you feel good – safe, comfortable, relaxed, but soon the hours creep on and the questions begin. Why am I such a nudnick? Why can’t I talk to anyone? Why am I so desperate to hide? From what am I hiding? From questions, from answers, from opinions, from judgments.
And so the cycle continues. I leave the house to be among people and I return to get away from people. Everything is people but I can’t accept the empty rituals, the empty conversations, the prying eyes, the blank expressions. So I end retreating to my cave and lick my wounds. And hope that I can face another day without falling apart.
The word isolation is bleak and presents no exit strategy. With the same blind statistical beast inherent in mental illness, isolation can affect anyone and everyone in its path. But put aside mental illness for a moment and lets try to face the fact that loneliness, self doubt and an inability to connect are common place for many people at one point in their lives. Because I assume that most of us are familiar with the despair and pain which comes part and parcel of being isolated allow me to move away from a lengthy description of such.
From the perspective of a health care provider and an ever inspiring creative social thinker I am always looking for ways to break isolation. Many attempts to create and facilitate social settings which are supportive and inclusive exist in the span of mental health services. These come in the form of social groups, support groups, fitness groups, organized trips or events which typically run on a weekly basis. The plus side of these groups is that they welcome everyone, provide a regular setting with staff facilitation. The aim of these groups are to integrate people who are largely on their own with the hope that the members will succeed to form meaningful connections within the groups and then carry these connections through outside of the group.
Lets be honest, this does not always transpire like we hope it would. Why? Likely because not all participants necessarily connect to the other members, the activities, and the format of the social agenda. The thing is, is that these scenarios are far from perfect indeed. Like anything in life one must find an ‘in’, a thread that connects them to the situation and allows them to feel human, to feel part of the group for just those few hours in which the frame work allows it. To speak from personal experience, moving to a new country, then to another new city, then having the challenge of learning a foreign language and other complex cultural factors which presented themselves made life tough. What ended up happening was that I did join preexisting social groups for Anglos, for people in my age bracket, for ex-pats etc. I went through similar notions of fear of rejection, lack of confidence, struggling to connect to the group and penetrate the members who were previously acquainted. Sometimes I opted out, decidedly gave up, returned again, created my own online social group, recruiting members, taking risks, being disappointed when no one showed up to my event. End result, I made two good friends out of many, and sadly one has already left Jerusalem just when we got into the flow of things.
My point is that we all have to take risks, put ourselves out there with the chance that our expectations might not be reciprocated, then picking ourselves up off the ground for round 2, 3 and 4. At the end of the day we all share a common goal; wanting a connection, wanting to feel a part of something and ultimately not wanting to be alone. So please leave room for possibility that YOU may just able to free someone else of their seemingly unbreakable spell of isolation by being open and vulnerable and true to your very human desire.