The most intense loneliness is the kind that happens when you're surrounded by joy, sunshine and positivity. Dark days, pouring rain, seriously stressed neighbours/colleagues/friends sort of give us a licence to feel lonely - we feel it already but now we have a logical excuse for feeling it. The inner despair is perfectly in synch with the outer grimness.
Throughout July we had a heatwave here - so unusual for Ireland. So for about 3 to 4 weeks there was a holiday vibe - barbeques, beach trips, ice creams, daddys and daughters, daddys and sons, husbands and wives............. and I have never ever felt such black loneliness in my entire life. My Lonely Licence expired, the rules changed, I was now supposed to join in the banter about late night barbeques, last minute hotel deals, sun lotion and how we're finally getting to use it, the "it's like being abroad" comments, the hysteria, the fun.
Surely only a surly, mad, grouchy fool would feel anything but elation when the sun shines for 16 hours and the whole country grinds to a halt to enjoy the summer we waited for for years? Well I guess that's me then - a grouchy ol' biddy, 44 but old before my time, a negative moaning Minnie. Pffft. Summer Scrooge (but without the redemption).
To be fair, for the most part, I played along - 'played' being the operative word. I kept my mask on, agreed that it was great - yes the sunshine's fabulous; yep, nothing like it; enjoying it? Of course. Happy? Jeez, why wouldn't I be? I smiled, faked it. But inside I was dying. I felt completely dissociated from society. Just as our inner despair is perfectly in synch with those lonely winter rainy days, my inner turmoil could not have been more out of synch with the 'shiny happy people' all around me throughout July.
Roll on winter time - it suits me better. Bah humbug.