The Fine Line Between Freedom and Loneliness

Everyone wants to be free.


To wake up in the morning in a life untouched by societal demands where endless possibilities lie at your fingertips, and you finally have the autonomy to do whatever you like however you like. 


For some this is a luxury, and for others it’s isolation. 


In the modern world, advanced technology, easy access to information, and the infinite amount of opportunities at the click of a button make it enticing to run away from the shackles of daily life. However, people seem to forget that you not only run away from problems but also your loved ones. Achieving absolute freedom requires you to let go of all ties you have with any other being. While the idea might seem liberating at first to a few, the question lingers: how long can someone truly thrive without genuine connections—without caring for or being cared about by another? The answer is, not for very long. 


Studies have found that social isolation is associated with increased risk of cardiovascular disease, immune system dysfunction, and other chronic health conditions. The stress associated with social isolation and lack of social support can lead to elevated levels of stress hormones, which have negative effects on overall health. Although there is no specific "magic number" of days or weeks that definitively determines how long someone can go without caring for or being cared about, it's generally accepted that maintaining meaningful social connections is vital for overall well-being. Now when you start caring for someone, you must also realize that there will be times where you will put their needs before yours or go an extra step to ensure their safety and/or happiness, it’s human nature. However, this also means that you do not have absolute freedom because now you have intertwined your existence with theirs, creating a web of interdependence that influences your choices and actions. 


Your decisions are no longer exclusively yours to make. 


However, caring for someone and being cared for is, in essence, a form of freedom. Waking up and having ultimate independence will feel like a breath of fresh air, but, at maximum, only for a few months. The initial allure of autonomy will gradually fade, and one will begin to yearn for companionship because life starts to seem incomplete without having relationships woven into our lives. At times, they undoubtedly get burdensome, but what’s life without having shared laughter, nonsensically hilarious inside jokes, support during challenging times, and most of all the simple joy of being understood. You alone cannot give yourself this happiness. 


By living a life of absolute freedom, a certain emptiness will settle in you overtime. And that’s when you realize that true freedom isn’t about complete detachment, but rather the coexistence of being true to yourself and forming meaningful connections with others.


Everyone wants to be free, but no one asks: How free?

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