And even when you’re ready to let go. When you’re ready to break free. When you’re ready to be brand-new. Loneliness is an old friend standing beside you in the mirror, looking you in the eye, challenging you to live your life without it. You can’t find the words to fight yourself, to fight the words screaming that you’re not enough, never enough, never ever enough. Loneliness is a bitter, wretched companion. Sometimes it just won’t let go.
— Tahereh Mafi, Unravel Me
Loneliness is a strange sort of thing. It creeps up on you, quiet and still, sits by your side in the dark, strokes your hair as you sleep. It wraps itself around your bones, squeezing so tight you almost can’t breathe. It leaves lies in your heart, lies next to you at night, leeches the light out from every corner. It’s a constant companion, clasping your hand only to yank you down when your struggling to stand up.
— Tahereh Mafi, Unravel Me
In this passionately social world, loneliness dogged the spirit. People were constantly “getting together”, but they never really got there. Everyone was terrified of being alone with himself; yet in company, in spite of the universal assumption of comradeship, these strange beings remained as remote from one another as the stars. For everyone searched his neighbor’s eyes for the image of himself, and never saw anything else. Or if he did, he was terrified and outraged.
— Olaf Stapledon, Star Maker
Were we born lonely?
Have we always been waiting
to be filled again?
One of my big problems is time sickness. When I feel lonely, I assume that the mood will never pass—that I’ll feel lonely and bad for the rest of my life, which means that I’ve wrecked both the present and the future. And if I look back on my past, I wreck that too, by concentrating on all the things I did wrong. The brutal thing about time sickness is that naming it is no cure.
— Douglas Coupland
The relationship between loneliness and solitude can be hard to delineate: the former is often seen as cancelling out the legitimacy of the latter, as though a lonely adult or child is simply not entitled to want or need time alone. But the feelings of isolation that accompany loneliness are entirely different from the more sated and creative feelings that accompany solitude, and it’s entirely reasonable to feel lonely and yet still feel as though you need some time to yourself.
— Emily White (via moldavia)
It was sadness, lostness, and the worst thing about it was the way it seemed like a default- like it was there all the time, and all her other expressions were just an array of masks she used to cover it up.
— Lani Taylor, Daughter of Smoke and Bon
As if to build a fence around the fatal emptiness inside her, she had to create a sunny person that she became. But if you peeled away the ornamental egos that she had built, there was only an abbys of nothingness and the intense thirst that came with it. Though she tried to forget it, the nothingness would visit her periodically - on a lonely rainy afternoon, or at dawn when she woke up from a nightmare. What she needed at such times was to be held by someone, anyone.
— Haruki Murakami, 1984
Now I know what loneliness is, I think. Momentary loneliness, anyway. It comes from a vague core of the self - like a disease of the blood, dispersed throughout the body so that one cannot locate the matrix, the spot of contagion.There is no living being on earth at this moment, except myself. I could walk down the halls, and empty rooms would yawn at me from every side.
— Sylvia Plath, The Unabridged Journals Of Sylvia Plath (via selfinspiration)
Loneliness as a situation can be corrected, but as a state of mind it is an incurable illness.
— Vladimir Nabokov (via hellanne)
This is the conundrum of the individual confronting masses about which he can’t help knowing more than he’d like to know: I want to be alone, but not too alone. I want to be the same but different.
— Jonathan Franzen, How to Be Alone
Depression presents itself as a realism regarding the rottenness of the world in general and the rottenness of your life in particular. But the realism is merely a mask for depression’s actual essence, which is an overwhelming estrangement from humanity. The more persuaded you are of your unique access to the rottenness, the more afraid you become of engaging with the world; and the less you engage with the world, the more perfidiously happy-faced the rest of humanity seems for continuing to engage with it.
I felt that I was not, never had been and never would be a living part of this overpoweringly solid and deeply meaningful world around me.
— John Knowles, A Separate Peace (via selfinspiration)
I wasn’t lonely.
I experienced no self-pity.
I was just caught up in a
life in which
I could ﬁnd no
— Charles Bukowski (via durianquotes)
For a second, I felt a bottomless sadness. So completely alone. Like one of my stuffed animals at home that I was too old for now, that sat on the shelf in my closet, mashed up against the back wall.
— Augusten Burroughs, Running with Scissors