The pain of loneliness has been a part of the human journey since the first primordial man walked out of the muck. There have also been viruses and bugs that we have had to adapt to as we developed into the current model of human being that exists today. And every season there is something new that we have to develop an immunity against for future generations. Throughout history, epidemics and pandemics have driven people into their homes to quarantine themselves to be safe. What’s different about this? Two things. It’s our turn and we are more interconnected at this time than any other point in history and we can more easily share what we’re going through.
while being so interconnected has many benefits, it does make it more difficult to find time, space, or even the desire to disconnect from each other. We all carry devices that make it possible for anyone to reach us any time and any place. Spending time disconnected is the luxury that we all believe we cannot afford as doing so would cause untold calamity in our lives. If we’re honest, I’ll bet many of us thought first about how we were going to stay connected to work before thinking about how we were going to stay connected to our family.
In a recent study of 20,000 people conducted by Cigna, 47% of respondents reported feeling alone or left out. 13% reported feeling that there was no one, 0%, who knew them well. This pain of loneliness has now followed them into the quarantine and it is where many of us have been introduced to it in a sustained way for perhaps the first time in our lives.
Melissa Watson-Clark has been practicing as a psychotherapist since 2010. Working primarily with clients suffering with anxiety and depression she focuses on the power of nature to bring healing and restoration to her clients.