Do you know the kind of loneliness that hits you in the middle of the day? Not the one you occasionally feel at night when you’re home alone, but the one that strikes in the middle of an activity? No? Lucky you! In that case, like many of the things I write, the following may not even make sense to you.
Loneliness is a b*tch, no matter when it pays you a visit. The other day I found myself sitting at work, minding my own business and suddenly, bam! − loneliness hit me hard. It was the kind of loneliness that made me feel like reaching out, but there was no one to reach out to. I had nothing to say in particular and yet, I was craving the connection to another human being. It’s the kind of feeling that makes me yearn for something outside of me, making it uncomfortable to sit with myself. It screams at me to do something but it doesn’t tell me what exactly.
So I was just sitting there, contemplating my options. I knew that I had to get rid of the nervous energy that was slowly but surely building up inside me and threatening to consume me. My number one remedy is to grab a pen and start scribbling it all down, which is what I chose to do. That way, each of my confusing and entangled thoughts usually finds its way onto a piece of paper and I calm down along the way. Eventually, some of the thoughts (not the overly crazy ones, obviously) turn into blog posts, as you may have noticed.
As I was writing it all down, I realised that loneliness is the culprit of many of my actions. It’s what makes me throw some of my core principles and values out the window every now and then. It’s what makes me go YOLO* and say yes to all kinds of commitments down the road, which I might end up regretting later on, once the loneliness has vanished and I’m back to my “normal”, more rational self. Wanting to keep loneliness at bay is what has made me say yes to a lot of things that were so not me, thus making me even lonelier in the long run since having to put on a mask to get through an activity that’s very unlike me is also a very lonely experience, and an exhausting one on top of that.
Loneliness is what occasionally makes me miss exes, former friends and experiences that were quite far from being ideal fits for me. I suddenly find myself wondering whether moving on was a mistake because I feel miserable and hopeless and defeated and oh so tired. I start questioning my life choices while browsing Facebook, Instagram and all other kinds of platforms in a frantic and slightly obsessive search for a sense of completion, for the missing piece that makes me feel broken. I can’t help but wonder if I’m on the right path. If I’ll ever stop feeling this way. If I’ll ever get rid of the restlessness that makes me strive for the one thing I can never quite put a finger on.
And the worst part is, I’m fully aware that asking all those questions is getting me nowhere. It doesn’t make me feel less lonely or less anxious and yet, I allow those thoughts to linger for too long.
Being a worrier, it’s what I do. I’ve learned that loneliness usually passes, so I just have to ride it out.
Write it all down.
Go for a run (which allows me to literally run from my problems, which is kinda awesome).
Distract myself by watching a movie or listening to music and dancing along to it around the apartment (instant mood booster, in case you wanna give it a try).
Go to sleep. Apart from some weird dreams, I’m usually not lonely while I’m asleep.
While everyone experiences loneliness in a different way, I’m quite sure that loneliness is a part of the human experience. I don’t think anyone has ever managed to not be lonely one hundred percent of the time. As usual, I guess acceptance is key − acknowledging that we’re going to be lonely every now and then and that it’s a part of life should take some of the stress out of the experience**.
Do you ever get lonely? If so, what’s your remedy? Feel free to share your thoughts.
* An overused acronym for “You only live once.” (Source)
** I’m talking about temporary loneliness here. I’m aware that loneliness doesn’t always pass. If you’ve been feeling lonely for a prolonged period of time and feel like there’s no way out, I want you to try to reach out to someone. Tell someone how you feel − you’re not alone.