A reader asks, "How can we be close to people or things if we can't feel?" My response:
It's a good question. I don't think we can do it in normal ways, we just have to figure out what works for us. Have you ever read the Helen Keller story? Very fascinating. I remember being amazed when I first read it, just thinking about this girl who had no frame of reference for anything that we consider part of the "real world" other than touch. I found it so curious that she was smart, was able to spell words, but was just unable to understand that the words applied to different objects, that there was such thing as a word. I had first heard the story when I was young and i remember most of my young colleagues seemed less impressed by her. I felt that they didn't really understand that someone could have an entirely different existence than theirs, even in the same world, the same city, the same family even. I think I had my own Helen Keller epiphany-moment when I read her story. Before, I had thought of everyone as being essentially robots existing in a world solely for my interactions and my benefit. The story was such a detailed account of another person and I remember it making me think: different people exist, just like different animals exist, and people can be as different from each other as a fish from a llama or a cow from a parrot. Of course I still thought that most of the people around me were the same-ish, like dolphins (including me, when really i turned out to be a shark). But I think this was a good way to learn the lesson because when I did discover I was a shark, I wasn't horrified. I just thought i was a natural variant, had an entirely different world view from most, like Helen Keller.
I had already learned not to let who I was interfere with who I wanted to become. I had already made the decision not to be defined by my race or my height or my age or my gender or my intellect or anything else. That may sound funny because I refer to myself as a sociopath and have this blog all about what it is like to be a sociopath. I may use the term sociopath as shorthand for the type of person I am, the particular genus and species of human animal, but I do not let it define me. I do what I want to do. I realize that my world, my experiences, my relationships, my love is not the same as anyone else's love, but I have all of those things. Maybe other people want to say, "poor you" (or "you monster," depending on their inclinations), "you'll never have what I have." I just want to say to those people, "yeah, you're right. Thanks for pointing out the obvious." So let them sit at holiday tables eating roast beef while I am eating tofurkey, let them have their emotional dramas and outpourings while I remain blissfully unaffected. I have no shame in who I am, and frankly I find it offensive when people ask, "do you ever wish you were different?" Can you imagine asking that of someone of a different race? or a different gender? or even someone with a disability? I should answer, "yes I wish I was different, I wish I had the ability to completely ignore inane comments."
But to more specifically answer your earlier question, I don't suffer from depression, and I don't even really suffer from loneliness, thanks to a large circle of family and friends. I actually find some meaning and joy in playing my "part" in society. I just think of it as every day is someone else's birthday, so I have to be on my best behavior and be nice to them. I try to get lost in pleasing other people, making them happy, making their world better. It is actually rewarding, and reinforces and maintains personal ties (which I appreciate), and indulges my desire for power as well. I have tried living a lot of different ways, but I have been happiest and most stable when I have been trying to have an others-centered life rather than a self-centered life. I'm not saying that the latter is any sort of "wrong" or a "bad choice," that is just what has worked for me.