"In solitude I get rid of my scaffolding: no friends to talk with, no telephone calls to make, no meetings to attend, no music to entertain, no books to distract, just me - naked, vulnerable, weak, sinful, deprived, broken - nothing.
It is this nothingness that I have to face in my solitude, a nothingness so dreadful that everything in me wants to run to my friends, my work, and my distractions so that I can forget my nothingness and make myself believe that I am worth something.
But that is not all.
As soon as I decide to stay in my solitude, confusing ideas, disturbing images, wild fantasies, and weird associations jump about in my mind like monkeys in a banana tree.
Anger and greed begin to show their ugly faces.
I give long, hostile speeches to my enemies and dream lustful dreams in which I am wealthy, influential, and very attractive - or poor, ugly, and in need of immediate consolation.
Thus I try again to run from the dark abyss of my nothingness and restore my false self in all its vainglory."
(Henri Nouwen, The Way of the Heart)