Lonely, Friendless & Woke: The Silent Epidemic

I was fortunate to experience the COVID lockdowns with my now wife, so I never had to experience the loneliness that many had to endure. The people who found no problem shacking up with loved ones failed to realize how detrimental this could be for people who were already dealing with loneliness in their own homes.

In America, we are trained to become independent at an early age, but with independence comes solitude. At the age of 18, it’s expected that you’re on your path to greatness outside of your parent’s home with the goal of having your own home, but what is a home if you’re all alone?

I’ve been lonely multiple times in my life and it’s a feeling that’s unlike others that I’ve experienced. For anyone that has never experienced chronic loneliness, let me attempt to describe it to you:

There is nothing more certain in life than death. However, we are fortunate to not know when that day will be. Loneliness for me felt like every day I could feel the slow grinding gear of my own mortality towards that final day. It’s a helpless feeling that you can usually avoid by occupying your time with friends and family, but being consistently alone only amplifies the clicking of the gear of your own mortality.

Like how the consistent slow drip from a water faucet might drive you theoretically crazy, hearing the gears of your own mortality makes you question your own sanity.

For someone who has never heard this clicking, they might believe it’s as simple as going outside and meeting new people or reaching out to your family, but it’s not that simple. There are people who lack the skill set to meet people, nevertheless make a new trustworthy friend. Some of us live hours away from our closest family members, presenting another unlikely path to silencing the sound of the gear clicks.

The internet has become a new way to become noticed in a world that chosen social isolation as a social solution. The people who were socially awkward have always found comfort by expressing themselves with a technological buffer, but it’s a temporary fix to a potential permanent problem if unresolved. They hide behind avatars and pseudonyms because they are fearful people who would rather you reject their alter-ego than their true selves.

Becoming chronically lonely can also make that person utterly desperate to find something to identify with and accept unhealthy group ideologies. The cults of the past sought out men and women who fit this criteria because they would be less reluctant to challenge the group due to the alternative being a return to isolation. Today, some of these people are gravitating towards the ‘woke’ ideological framework because it is ever accepting of people who are different and it provides them a way to not appear alone anymore.

The people who seem the most fervent about their ideology are often times people who are struggling with physical or emotional isolation. As someone who has been there, I can spot them in a matter of seconds and the biggest giveaway is the state of their eyes. They have a stare that portrays consistent sadness even though they are attempting to brand themselves as being fulfilled & enlightened.

Their desperation to be accepted has led them down the path of behaving in a manner that is unusual, yet it yields them the attention that allows for them to temporarily silence the gear clicks. And because they are chronically alone, they lack the honesty they would receive from having genuine friends in their corner. Instead, they have ideological parasites who take what they can from lonely, vulnerable people.

As someone who is highly interested in psychology, I can’t help but to see that there are multiple silent epidemics happening in plain sight, but we refuse to acknowledge them. We are far too focused on their actions instead of the root cause that leads to their actions. Many of the ‘woke’ people are simply lonely people who are looking for acceptance and they have found a popular alternative that puts them in the position to be embraced. Because of their desperation, they are highly impressionable people and will always go along with the newest trend, even if it is a contradiction to reality or violates their moral principles.

It is possible that the nationwide protests and riots were solely motivated by outrage and the need for social change but it’s also possible that for many of these people, being locked away for months put them in a position to grab ahold to a social movement that appears to embrace anyone willing to sacrifice for the greater collective. It was a social movement that appeared to give you purpose, moral superiority and, most importantly, a method for gaining human connection.

Fearful. Desperate. Lonely. Friendless. Many cannot handle one of these situations for an extended period of time, never the less all four, and unfortunately many choose a very permanent method of silencing the sound of the gears by determining the day their mortality shall come to an end.

I was fortunate to escape the void of loneliness and no longer consider these ill-thoughts as being a viable solution for my momentary suffering. The question is, are we willing to notice the people who feel unnoticed to prevent them from making the decision that I chose to decline?

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