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Loneliness is a stealthy bastard. It can settle in on your soul without you even noticing, until the texture of the words appear on your tongue one day: “I’m lonely.” It’s a hollow melancholy that wraps itself around your heart and stays there, whispering fear of social rejection in your ear and growing stronger, feeding on your insecurities.
As much as we may like to think it is a symptom of old age – the kind of thing that only happens when everyone you loved is laying supine six feet under – it can touch anyone from any age or demographic. Loneliness does not discriminate; it is so prolific that you could say it is an inevitable quirk of human existence. In loneliness, my friend, you are not alone: a Red Cross study revealed that 9 million people in the UK are always or often lonely.
Perhaps the cruellest thing about loneliness is that it can exist in the company of others