It’s been a while since reading a post which at the time represented an epitome of honesty, from a world unknown, foreign and distant for the vast majority, the universe of those for whom solitude may be exactly on the opposite of unwantedness…
The author’s plea was powerful and simple: “Embrace Solitude”.
Now I know how strange and “abnormal” may this sound for some of my readers, bordering a world ostracised by the “media” onto shores of mental pathology, from where “loners” emerge to disrupt the (un)desirable illusion of what’s been arbitrarily decided to be known as “society”, with it’s virtual book of “faces”, where “likes” have “value” and “friendships” oftentimes last less than a tweet’s ephemeral life.
Decades ago, while ignorant of my true self, I was still chasing a place in this world, I visited a small northern Transylvanian village, home to the family of a former acquaintance of mine, a typical rural, long house, with a long porch, offering wool covered benches to rest at the end of a day, shelter from heat or rain. And while we, the “civilised” city dwellers were exchanging the usual nonsensical rubbish called small talk, disturbing the background, quiet saintly symphony of crickets and corn brushing winds, this old man, in his late eighties, dressed in his traditional, soap smelling clothes, sat there, at the far end of our uselessness, quietly smoking, absorbed by something I came to value lately, by his own solitude. Oblivious we thought him to be, distant and obnoxious, even though as he sometimes turned his eyes on our little group, he seemed to smile, but looking back, I’m sure he may have just seemed to…
I guess he just felt sorry, or maybe pitied us for wasting the time so scarcely measured onto each of us on nonsense, as from his point of no return, the biological and psychological life of an individual was understood to be centred around the individual himself, detangled from anything and anyone else beyond the unavoidable biopsychosocial reciprocities of life.
Now the image of that solitary old man, absolutely at peace with his quiet remoteness, has been ever since the daydream of a man who has come to understand not only the altruistic friendliness of solitude, but also its desirability. And if “altruistic” friendliness may confuse you, please consider solitude as the uniquely delimited space, shaped after all your unadulterated characteristics, something like an amniotic liquid filling all spaces between the protective walls of a womb and yourself.
Would this be the perfect scenario for all? No, absolutely not, unfortunately…
Is this the perfect scenario for all of us, neurodivergents? I wouldn’t venture guessing beyond my own perfect amniotic sac…
Why am I asking these, probably uncomfortable questions?
Because reading the so many times frustrated pages of my neurodivergent “tribe” I sense from one end the neurotypical world’s bullying attitude of rejecting solitude in an attempt to forcibly categorize it as “antisocial”, and from the other, the neurodivergent fear of understanding and embracing it, with too many carrying the unjust guilt of secretly loving it and desiring it, sadly in a world of maladaptive values and counterfeit societal conjunctures.
If your question has become now, “Is solitude for Me?”, ask yourself why are you asking this?
Is it because each time you’ve chosen it, you ceased being and feeling alone?
Is it because each time you’ve filled it, you ceased being and feeling lonely?
Well, I won’t give you an answer only yourself can give…
But I shall venture saying this: when I understood my neurodivergence and understood how solitude and me were chasing each other since we’ve parted ways over half a century ago, I became myself.
Unashamed of my own self, of my own silence, of my own thoughts, of my own magnificent inner world with all its patterns and choreographies of rhymes and rhythms, I’ve ceased being lonely, I ceased being alone.
In my newly re-discovered world, solitude has become the perfect and desirable replacement for loneliness, anxiety and depression, where my ephemeral life’s batteries are recharged.
Isn’t this some sort of escapism, you may ask?
Oh, but it is, the perfect place to escape a world I haven’t been there in its beginnings to shape, onto a world I’ve been carrying with me ever since, just seconds and inches away, beyond thin, but nevertheless easy to close behind, doors…
And if that door is a real door somewhere I feel safe, or between my headphones or ear-defenders, or on a bench in a quiet park or backyard, I could care less.
Once within, I’m with me in; there my “awkwardness” becomes my “greatness” , my “weirdness” becomes my “uniqueness” and my “impossibleness” becomes my “endless potential”.
What about You?