Alone is Alone. Not Alive.


Written by Stephen Sondheim for the Broadway musical "Company". This version of the song performed by the actor Chris Colfer. 

Someone to hold you too close, someone to hurt you too deep,
Someone to sit in your chair, to ruin your sleep.

Someone to need you too much, someone to know you too well,
Someone to pull you up short, to put you through hell.

Someone you have to let in, someone whose feelings you spare,
Someone who, like it or not, will want you to share, a little, a lot.

Someone to crowd you with love, someone to force you to care,
Someone to make you come through, who’ll always be there,
As frightened as you, of being alive, being alive, being alive,
Being alive.

Somebody, hold me too close, somebody, hurt me too deep,
Somebody, sit in my chair, and ruin my sleep
And make me aware, of being alive, being alive.

Somebody, need me too much, somebody, know me too well,
Somebody, pull me up short, and put me through hell
And give me support, for being alive,
Make me alive, make me alive, make me confused,
Mock me with praise, let me be used, vary my days.
But alone is alone, not alive.

Somebody, crowd me with love, somebody, force me to care,
Somebody, let me come through, I’ll always be there,
As frightened as you, to help us survive, being alive, being alive,
Being alive.

Sondheim's song chronicles an individual's gradual awakening and acceptance of what it means to live - in embracing the necessity for human connection in order to enjoy a meaningful existence, the individual accepts that human intimacy is inevitable. People can survive alone - but can they truly live?

Many clients in therapy struggle with solitude - being alone is not the problem; it is the isolation that comes from a lack of connection with others that can feel unbearable.

The holiday season can be far from the most wonderful time of the year - behind the parties and presents, away from the crowds and the enforced good cheer, many people feel lonely and disconnected as they go through the motions of celebration. 

It's the start of a new year, and as the sheen of the celebratory period wears off, what are we left with? As the everyday business of everyday living resumes, what are we gaining, what are we losing, as we face another year?

And, most importantly, how are we being alive?