Coping with Loneliness
The loneliness is suffocating, isn't it? I can see the sadness in your eyes and the darkness you feel. The trauma and loss you experienced and the pain you feel has left you with scars that are still healing. One of the consequences is insufferable loneliness.
I have written about shame before and how it thrives off secrecy. Loneliness is very similar. The more you safeguard your loneliness, the lonelier you feel.
But trust me, you aren't alone. At the very least, there is me. Another person in this world who has suffered from, and continues to have, episodes of crippling loneliness. I know this does not make your suffering less, but for me, suffering appreciates company. I hope there is a small comfort for you knowing that I am over here, a fellow soul who has been victimized by loneliness.
Some of my best tips during periods of loneliness:
1. Journaling - This has helped me tremendously. Just the act of putting my thoughts and feelings to paper has helped me release some of my loneliness. Do I feel totally healed and not lonely after? No. But I always do feel somewhat better. And that's enough in that moment.
2. Get Active - When I am feeling particularly alone, I get active. I go to the gym or take a yoga class. Both of these activities help get my mind off the lonely thoughts. They also force me to surround myself with others. Automatically, I feel a little bit less lonely.
3. Get Outside - Nature has tremendous natural healing powers. When I get outside and consider how truly insignificant I am, compared to everything else, the sting of loneliness diminishes for me. There is this huge world outside of myself and my feelings start to become a little less heavy.
4. Therapy - I can not emphasize enough how much therapy has truly impacted my life. It is an amazing gift I gave myself, and continue to give myself, when need be. Therapy provides a safe space to talk about any lonely feelings I am encountering. Any dark thought that is inside my mind is released to a caring professional who listens and helps guide me to healing and peace. I feel heard and regarded. Therapy helps to validate my thoughts, feelings and experiences. Therapy helps to validate my feelings of loneliness, while also showing me a way to conquer them.
5. Turning to my Tribe - This is my last piece of advice, and frankly, the most important and significant thing that you can do to help yourself out of the lonely pit. I have written about shame before and how it thrives off secrecy. Loneliness is very similar. The more you isolate yourself and safeguard your loneliness from others, the lonelier you become. However, when I go through episodes of loneliness, the last thing I want to do is invite anyone into my dark reality. I feel embarrassed that I feel so lonely, especially when I have a loving family and supportive friends. But still, I can feel so totally alone.
Sometimes I feel isolated because I feel like no one truly understands what I am going through and what I have experienced. I believe my friends and family don't have a full understanding of what I went through. That's when loneliness strikes; when I feel like others just don't understand my experience. I feel like the loneliest person on the planet during these times.
Realistically, no one will ever truly, 100% understand where you have been through and what you have experienced. People can empathize, but no one truly knows and comprehends your entire story. No one is inside your head, thinking what you think and feeling what you feel. Loneliness will continue to come and will continue to haunt; however, if you allow people in, there may be those that surprise you in their degree of support and understanding. You may even find you are not as alone as you assumed you were.
Even if there is no one in your life that helps you feel less lonely, I am here. I blog so that you don't feel so alone. The words I type exist to hopefully destroy the loneliness that haunts you.
I cannot take away your pain and loneliness, but I am here.
You are not alone.