A Paucity of Words – Loneliness

I’m lonely. I don’t know how much of it is depression, how much is the divorce and how much is actually being alone (although I rarely seem to be alone, so my guess is it’s the first two), but I suppose it doesn’t really matter. Whatever the cause, I am lonely. It feels different from other times I’ve been lonely, though. It’s hard to explain, but lonely doesn’t feel like quite the right word.

This feeling does have all the elements of traditional loneliness.  There’s the disruption of plans and routines.  There’s the lack of company and companionship.  There’s the stifling of expectations.  But there’s a whole other element that’s just different. This bout of loneliness seems to get more intense when I’m around other people.

One word that keeps coming to mind is bereft. It’s not quite right, though. It does capture the disconnected feeling, but it just seems so tied to death that it doesn’t feel right.  I suppose a divorce can be looked at as a kind of death, but that seems too much of a stretch.

Forsaken is another possibility, but that doesn’t cut it either.  Forsaken implies the feeling is caused by someone else.  I guess I could forsake myself, but that was a bigger problem during the marriage.

I kind of like disconsolate as a word when discussing depression.  It fits really well.  But it doesn’t capture the feeling of isolation.  It’s a factor, but it isn’t complete.

Speaking of, isolated is a word that comes easily to mind.  It seems close to what I’m going for.  Though, at the same time, it feels wrong.  I may feel isolated, but I’m not really isolated.  The word captures a situation more than a feeling.

It seems that leaves me stuck with lonely.  It’s too bad there isn’t a better word for it.  Disconisolate could work.  It can capture the disconsolate nature of isolation.  That makes a mockery of English prefix use, though.  Or maybe bersaken or forreft, although those are just plain ugly.  I guess it is sort of fitting that lonely is a lonely word.

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