Loneliness or Aloneness           by Madeleine Pujals Maya

There is a difference between loneliness and being alone. Loneliness is experienced even in the presence of many.
Aloneness is something we can enjoy and look forward to. Aloneness is a space where one can feel happy in one’s own company.
Loneliness is feeling isolated and detached even when others are there. It is related with feelings of disconnection that may be founded in depression and lack of high self-esteem.
Loneliness may be a symptom of a psychological disorder and a sign of depression. Loneliness is related to lack of self – confidence, self-worth and good self-esteem. Feeling chronically lonely may be a sign of deep depression and other mental health issues that can develop in risks such as suicide, brain dysfunction and substance abuse disorders.
Aloneness, on the other hand, is not dysfunctional. It is space one looks forward to recharge, to enjoy one’s own thoughts and company. It is a place of peaceful retreat.
Let‘s learn to distinguish between the two and not confuse a perfectly healthy state of aloneness with a the signs of a possible mental disorder.
Assess these behaviors as they may look the same, but are motivated by significant differences.
Aloneness is to be encouraged, as it is a space where we can explore our feelings and thoughts. It is a space of self-awareness motivated by a desire to find a place of mindfulness.
Loneliness is motivated by negative feelings associated by negative thoughts. Lack of self-worth and self-confidence are the some of the causes. Loneliness is a health risk and progressively worsens in the person’s quality of life with serious lack of social interaction and impairment of functioning.
Loneliness requires intervention, help and concern for those that are experiencing it. Aloneness, on the other hand is a coping skill that is experienced by those that search for and enjoy self-awareness. Aloneness is a mindful awareness; an awareness to explore and enjoy.
Written by Madeleine Pujals Maya
3/3/2014