I am writing this particular post after having watched a Lev Yilmaz video on youtube. I wrote about him earlier on this blog and you can find the link to that post here, https://emilymelendez4.wordpress.com/2013/07/18/tales-of-mere-existence/ , and the link to the video here, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y8xF9HhA9hc&list=UUVoCnQ2-CdhVlK8RqEehSKQ ,but if you recall or knew of him outside of this blog then you know he often deals with alienation, loneliness, low self-esteem, paranoia, misanthropy, and just has an all around dark sense of humor in his videos. I started to think about isolation and the various times I have felt isolated and which one of those times sucked the most. I’m not going into too much personal detail here, but generally I felt most isolated when I am around other people. Now I know that sounds backwards and totally doesn’t make any sense, but it actually does and I’ll explain what I mean with this little semi-fabricated example.

Example: So here you are at your friend’s birthday party. You don’t have a whole lot of friends and you feel close to this particular friend so you go and try to have a good time even though you don’t know anyone else there and you are not that good with social situations. You go to the party, you greet your friend, talk for a moment and then your friend gets pulled away by one of his or her many other friends also at the party. You don’t want to be all clingy and bogart your friend’s time because everyone here wants to spend time  with your friend too. So you casually make your way over to the refreshments because if you have something in your mouth then you won’t seem as rude when you don’t talk to anyone. You look around and see the potential people you could go talk too, but haven’t a clue how to break the ice. You think “Maybe I can tell a joke, but I don’t want to offend them by mistake or worse fool them into thinking I’m actually funny and can easily make jokes all the time” or “That girl has a band t-shirt on. I could talk to her about that band but I don’t know a whole lot of their songs so the conversation might end too quickly and things will get really awkward” or “That guy is kinda cute. If I talk to him I might accidentally flirt and make a fool out of myself, plus he seems close to that girl in the band shirt so they might be together and I should probably just leave him alone” You’re still leaning against the refreshments table. You don’t wanna look like “that guy” who eats all the food before others can get to it so you move on to your next tactic of avoidance by taking out your phone and pretending to text someone. You look at the time and it’s only been 10 minutes since you’ve arrived…crap.So you go to the bathroom and hide out for a while, but make sure to not hide for too long because then people will think you have some sort of infection or bladder problem. 25 minutes have passed. You now have a small drink in hand and start to walk to the other side of the room so that it looks like you are actually mingling with these people who have no connection with other than the one mutual friend. You make an attempt of nonchalantly eavesdropping a conversation and jump in when you hear about a familiar topic. You say a few things and they say something to the effect of  “oh yeah, right” and some quick introductions are made, but after that you really can’t think of anything else to say so you say you need a refill and make your way to the refreshment table once more, but then make a hard left to the trash can because you have no intention of getting a refill and throw away your empty cup. You make your way over to your friend say something came up and make your exit. Congrats you lasted an hour, new record.

This type of isolation is known as alienation, where you feel like you should be included in a a group activity of sorts, but for whatever reason whether its self perpetuated or others actively ostracizing you, you are not are not a part if it. There is a song lyric by Andrew MacMahon from the hit Jack’s Mannequin song, Dark Blue, that goes,”have you ever been alone in a crowded room?” and I feel it describes this scenario perfectly.

Another time I felt isolated with people was when I felt really anxious and I tried to talk to a few friends about it, but try as we might our states of mind simply could not match. This struggle seem to repeat itself no matter who I talked too. Most insisted that I talk to a therapist and while my heart and mind know they say this with my best interest in mind, another part of my brain is paranoid that they think I’m crazy or they simply do not want to deal with me anymore which ends up elevating the anxiousness and isolated feelings.

I’m not exactly sure which scenario is worse so I am hoping that any readers of this post who have also felt isolated/alienated will please give their opinion on which is worse or if they have another scenario in mind that tops both of these then they can write about it in the comments. Thanks for taking the time to read this post, I know it’s long one compared to my others.

Advertisements