Coping with loneliness

The room was full of people laughing and smiling. I nodded my head and answered, yes, it was good to see everyone. I looked across the room and saw two ladies leaning in closely, sharing a sister secret, which their bond would keep. As I averted my eyes to look outside, I felt the overwhelming sensation of loneliness it swept in flooded my body, and my eyes started leaking.

Have you ever been there, scrambling to pull yourself together before anyone realized what was happening? It's not an easy place to be in; it can catch you at the strangest and most inconvenient times. But there are ways to help you get through this stage of life. These tools are not for everyone, but they worked for me, and I share them with you to use as you chose.

I began writing again. As a teenager, I loved to write, so I picked up a journal and a pen and started writing. In the beginning, I wrote about what I was feeling inside. Eventually, I began to add stories about what was happening around me, and finally, I concluded with what happened to me, what changes took place along the journey.

Serving others helped me to alleviate some of my feelings of being alone. The more that I gave of myself, the less time I had to focus on what I thought I was missing. I loved helping the elderly, and I enjoyed serving in my local church. 

Gardening became a passion, and I still love to work in the yard. The garden becomes a healing place as you pour energy into nurturing the soil and the plants. It takes time for things to germinate and grow, and at some point, you can divide and share the plants with others. 

Exercise may be the last thing you think of when it comes to coping with loneliness, but getting outside and take deep filling breaths of air is so enriching. Letting go of the stress of the day and focusing on your breathing, and your steps and looking at the beauty surrounding you increases your energy and makes you feel better. 

I tried things that were different, and I took myself out to dinner, and I went to movies alone. I started painting and looking at work from home opportunities. I went back to school and obtained my degree in religious studies. I began to immerse myself in finding out who I was in this new phase of life. 

Finally, I shared what I was feeling with my close friend. I let her know that there were days when I was sad and felt alone in this great big world. Sharing what I was feeling was the best thing that I could have done because it opened up a discussion of what was happening inside me. By talking, I gave someone permission to come beside me and help me through the tough days. I realized that I didn't have to do this alone.

Loneliness is not something that you have to go through alone. Reach out to a friend, counselor, or therapist for help. Support is essential to help you navigate this stage of life. I believe that you have read this for a reason. If you need help, you can contact the resource listed below for help.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

 Phone: (800) 273-TALK (8255)