I am lonely.
Okay, not all the time. I do have good friends, and a loving family. Heck, I even have a puppy. But I’m divorced, and several close friends — including a beloved ex — have died in recent years, and I’m feeling those losses deeply these days. And Zoom connections, still a part of my life, are just not as soul-filling as face-to-face ones.
To be honest, it makes me feel vulnerable, or that something is wrong with me, to acknowledge this loneliness. There’s a stigma, like, “What’s the matter with him?” or as a physician wrote earlier this year, “Culturally loneliness can be seen as a sign of weakness or self-pity.”
But am I alone in feeling this way? Hardly.
“Covid made more people lonely and made lonely people lonelier,” Harvard psychologist Richard Weissbourd says. He blames increased social isolation and pandemic-related anxiety, grief and depression, which often fuel each other.