Both physical and emotional isolation contribute to loneliness.
Dr. Les Carter says, "People often think of a lonely person as someone in a dark room staring off into the corner somewhere. Sure enough, that would represent loneliness, but it's much more than that. The easiest way to identify a person who is struggling with loneliness is to listen for that one phrase, 'Nobody seems to understand.' When a person is feeling that emotion of loneliness, there is a feeling of isolation and a sense of separateness in his or her relationships. It's as though there is a huge gap between that person and others, and they can't seem to find a way to cross it."
Marie shares, "I shut myself off from people. I stopped answering my phone. I created my loneliness. It wasn't that I didn't have friends but that I didn't want people around. I didn't know how to be a friend at that moment because I just couldn't handle other human beings; I didn't want them around. I needed them, though—finally figured that out."
Your physical isolation may be by choice, but it is contributing to deeper problems of loneliness. In order to fill the gap you feel between you and other people, you have to get out and interact with them. You will still feel lonely, and you will be tempted to stay at home and not bother, but that gap will eventually close if you persevere.
"I am like an owl in the desert, like a lonely owl in a far-off wilderness. I lie awake, lonely as a solitary bird on the roof" (Psalm 102:6-7 NLT).