a-z challenge: s

S is for solitude and of course, solitude is very different to loneliness; even the word is prettier.

Loneliness is marked by a sense of isolation. Solitude, on the other hand, is a state of being alone without being lonely and can lead to self-awareness. (Psychology Today, 2003)

Self awareness huh? That shit is tricky … it’s packaged and marketed well, but potentially leads to discontent. I recommend a blend of solitude and distraction to anaesthetise the mind. Well hell, if I was going down the enlightened route I’d have said S is for Simeon Stylites. Solitude is a state of being alone without being lonely and can lead to neurotic obsessive over sensitivity.

Simeon Stylites - 37 years of solitude.
Simeon Stylites – 37 years of solitude. In an eggcup.

What is necessary, after all, is only this: solitude, vast inner solitude. To walk inside yourself and meet no one for hours — that is what you must be able to attain. Rainer Maria Rilke – Letters to a Young Poet

i-came-to-a-point-where-i-needed-solitude-and-just-stop-the-machine-jack-kerouacInner solitude is good, yes, but I’d forego it for the outer kind. I’m an introvert with c-ptsd, if I didn’t get peace and quiet, I’d land up in foetal position, sobbing piteously. Sigh … it has happened. For me, solitude is far more tangible than it is spiritual. Too many people, too much noise, bright lights, these are things that blunt some of my senses and intensify others to the point of that thing where people break glass with their voices. Not. Pleasant. Anyone who’s ever had a proper panic attack knows exactly what I mean (poor sods).

I like being solitary for long enough to start really wanting to see my friends, or to head somewhere for a lovely coffee made my anybody who isn’t me. Loneliness really is shit. I only really, truly started to understand it and feel it once my mother had died and nextofkin had flown home. It didn’t just feel lonely, it felt desolate. Even that didn’t turn me into a sociable little sunbeam, however. I didn’t just want random people for the sake of it, I wanted people who, as Synapse would say, I can be alone with. And if the people you can be alone together with are fsr away, what then? Well, the blahpolar recipe for enjoying solitude while not going round the bend with isolation is as follows …

No, not that, this …

one-can-be-instructed-in-society-one-is-inspired-only-in-solitude-quote-1Rage, rail, weep, bitch, moan and whine about it. Shaking your fist at the sky and challenging the universe to bring it on is highly recommended.
The universe will indeed bring it; at this juncture, you should repeat step one for as long as it takes to break you.
Whenever people make constructive suggestions, you should snarl and emanate as much bitterness as you can. Thought you were already lonesome? Not till you’ve alienated your remaining friends, family, the woman at the post office etc etc.
That’s more like it, son. No more shaking of fists and beating of breasts (that just hurts anyway), no more sound and certainly no more fury. You’ve been hurled on to the tarmac of reality like Chris Rock when he was flung out of heaven in Dogma.

Now you need to sit in a corner, arms shielding your head, rocking gently and crying under your breath. Today’s word is pitiful.
Pull routine back into your life quietly and gradually. On no account should you admit this to anyone, because they will throw their hands up in the air and doing the hallelujah chorus. It’ll make you want to 1812 ’em.
Ffs have a shower.
Gently stick a toe outside – repeat until your entire body is out there and you are more or less ambulatory.
Walk. Walk every fucking day. A dog makes it a gazillion times easier. Go as slow as you want, just do six stepsmif that’s all you can handle, but do it.
Lather, rinse, repeat until you’re still incredibly unhappy, but rather enjoying the wistful sadness.
Reward yourself with chocolate or an orgasm or something.

love minimalistic solitude 1920x1080 wallpaper_www.wallpapermay.com_61

Oh look, you’re getting up in the morning for a regular walk, sunshine no longer makes you weep, the world is peaceful, your home is quiet and your dog loves you. That’s quality solitude, that is. But don’t go looking for meaning without a canary and a hard hat.

Roll credits. Roll cigarettes.

Cos that’s how we roll.



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battlescarred, bright, bewildered, bent, blue & bipolar

56 thoughts on “a-z challenge: s”

    1. Great post. I think I needed this one.
      It is hard to do anything else when you really want to curl up and become invisible, so the world will leave you alone.
      But it can get to be a problem with too much isolation.

      Liked by 1 person

        1. The more weeks I have been independent, the more I have realized that it is not a horrible thing.
          I have been able to take care of myself better, in spite if being depressed.
          I have been able to do things that I want to do with my time and decide just to do Nothing when I want to do Nothing.
          There is a freedom in that I had been missing. It is exhausting to have to be doing something all the time, until late into the night.
          Now I Rest.


  1. I remember when I was in highschool and my mother’s childhood friend passed away from a brain tumor. A few months down the line – Christmas time – she said she wasn’t going to send her widower a Christmas card (for whatever weird reason/logic). Being the supersensitive creature that I am, I told her he’s probably dying of loneliness right now and should be the first damn person on the list to give a Christmas card to.

    Loneliness is a bitch. Solitude is a cool dude.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. my solitude/loneliness is a function of how depressed i am. depressed means i likely alone. out of depression this exists a possibility of reaching solitude which isn’t possible while in depression.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. crap! my racing mind gets impatient with me and my fingers. my mind will race ahead, my hands will drop/change words in an effort to keep up, leading to slightly incoherent thoughts.

        don’t ask me to proofread my own words. my brain tells my eyes what to see, not what my hands typed. the brain is all knowing and unforgiving with the fact that the hands can’t keep up with its lightning like speed. so, screw them damn hands and what they wrote. i know what I told the hands to write, so i’ll tell the eyes what i told the hands to write. the eyes, being slightly dense, go along with what the brain told them to see. sigh.

        so, this is really a long winded way of saying this is really what I meant to say. it might be a little clearer with the right words in there.

        my solitude/loneliness is a function of how depressed i am. depressed means i am likely alone. out of depression there exists a possibility of reaching solitude which isn’t possible while in depression.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Solitude is a luxury of those who have a shortage of quality time to themselves. I used to crave it. Steal pieces of it here and there. Loneliness was never an issue. Now I feel like a vessel that cannot be filled no matter how many people I try to pour into it. Contact that is superficial, no matter how frequent cannot fill the void. I don’t think I have ever felt as lonely as I have since this illness resurfaced. I wonder if the problem with loneliness is that it is filled with the noise of your own echoing thoughts. And if solitude is finding a space to be at peace with yourself in the world.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I understand that. I don’t feel lonely when I am alone, I feel lonely after I have been with other people, or when it looks like other people have *meaningful* relationships to sustain them. I feel weighed down by the relationships/obligations that I have not been able to divorce myself from and lonely when I feel that there is no one to share the burden.

        Choosing to go off somewhere on my own is seeking solitude. I think.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. Yes…that always intensifies it. I guess I am stone alone for so much of the time, that I do have the opportunity for the wondrous experience of loneliness and solitude in all possible ways.

          Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes lonliness is filled with the echo of your own thoughts. That was well worded.
      It is the racing dark, hopeless thoughts that make us feel alone…whether or not people are around…sometimes worse when people are around because it seems wrong that we should feel lonely around others.
      I feel worse around other people when I am depressed, especially groups of people, like at work.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I love that Wilco song.

    You’re right, “solitude” is a much lovelier word than “loneliness”. Loneliness is a difficult and horrible thing to bear. I’ve really enjoyed following your A-Z challenge, sad it’s coming towards its end!!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. umm, mm, hm, the first song there made me feel more mournful, whether that was the song or me IDK. On that note, did I tell you I am having an endoscopy and colonoscopy the 29th? Yeah. I’d rather be alone. Much.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Leonard Cohen made you feel mournful? Quelle not very much surprise at all lol. I suspect sometimes, that me and mine are the only people who hear him in a not-remotely-depressing way.

      Hope tje 29tj goes well.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. When I saw it was “S”, for a split second I thought the topic would be $!!


    Scary thought, eh?
    Although you’d write an intriguing post, to say the very least.

    I am quite glad that you chose solitude!.
    Brilliant post.

    Liked by 1 person

        1. Particulars? Nooo it never became serious and organised enough to get particulars. It has vagaries instead. I may have mentioned my theme … or not. I just don’t know.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. I have nothing exciting to add except I’d like to take a moment to state yet again for the blogosphere/Universe record that I adore you and I love your comments, no matter what you write. I am also SO DANG IMPRESSED with your blog output. You’re doing a great job and stimulating the contents of that noggin’ with every post you write. Lookin’ forward to reading your epistle du jour tonight! Xo

            Liked by 1 person

              1. There are pompoms, and a chant, and even a Blahpolar shrine!!! ;) There is a mascot: “Rah rah – Goooooo Uniporns!”

                I still want to know your writing secret. Are you taking any particular supplements/vitamins? I’m serious. Spill the (espresso, of course) beans. Mad minds want to know.

                Liked by 1 person

                1. p.s. I should add that I just treated myself to two espresso shots as a reward for going to my pdoc appointment (hey, I need incentives! He’s a great pdoc but I still have a MDeity phobia…) but the caffeine energy is fading fast.

                  Liked by 2 people

                  1. An extra coffee is often my reward when I have to leave my very humble abode. I mean HAVE to, ie an appt, etc. Everything in me is digging my heels in. And I lurrrve coffee. Hence, a very appropriate reward.

                    Liked by 1 person

                    1. I wish I could say I came up with it, but I don’t think I did. However, I’m so out of it that I can’t remember.

                      BUT, if for some miraculous reason I did conjure it up, thank you! Off to check Google! :)


                2. You realise that no matter how good you think my writing is, a) you’re a certified nutter and thus liable to be deluded and b) refer to a. That means thanks again. No secret, I’m an idiot savant. What’s the mascot though?

                  Liked by 1 person

                  1. Oh, and another thing. Yes, I’m a total nutter. However, even the normies would agree with me here that you’re a fabuloso, uber-excellente writer. I stand by that belief with more confidence you could shake a stick at – there is no delusion involved when it comes to this assertion. (Huh? Yep, that’s the nutter talkin’!)

                    Liked by 2 people

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