Anne Frank started her famous diary because she was lonely and needed a friend. Loneliness was a major theme and she wrote: “You can be lonely even when you are loved by many people, since you are still not anybody’s one and only.” Because there’s the belief, shared by many, that we are complete only when we are with another.
One is a lonely number. And static. One is immobile because, alone, there’s no interaction. And without interaction, there’s no life. Interrelating is, therefore, necessary for our survival.
So how can a diary help prevent loneliness? Obviously, a diary cannot substitute interrelating with the rest of the world. But it can help us create a healthier relationship with ourselves thus facilitate creating healthier relationships with others.
For the moment I have no answers, just questions like: Where’s the boundary between solitude and isolation? When does being alone become being lonely? How do we balance the time we spend with ourselves with the time we spend with others?
But I best be careful about all this self interrogation because, as the writer Miriam Toews put it: “Perhaps depression is caused by asking oneself too many unanswerable questions.”