I believe that it is about time people realize the stark difference between being alone, enjoying one’s solitude, and being lonely. Both these terms, ‘Solitude” and “Loneliness” are often used interchangeably, but the true meaning and feeling are far from being similar.
From afar, solitude and loneliness look a lot alike. Both are characterized by solitariness. But all resemblance ends at the surface.
Being alone, one can feel peaceful, enjoying the quietness and solitude, and can also feel refreshed. It is an opportunity to renew ourselves. In other words, it replenishes us. Solitude is something is adopted.
Loneliness, on the other hand, is harsh, punishment, a deficiency state, a state of discontent marked by a sense of estrangement, an awareness of being extremely alone.
Solitude is something you choose. Loneliness is imposed on you by others.
Solitude reinstates body and mind. Loneliness diminishes them.
IRIANS – The Neuroscience Institute