Loneliness is a massive theme in recovery and for people who are trying to self heal. One of the things I think is really important to identify when we are thinking about loneliness is what we are lonely about and why are we lonely.
If we are lonely because we are really craving contact with people then that’s something we need to pin-point and begin to tackle. Whether that’s reaching out in our community for different types of support or looking to online groups on social media to connect with like-minded people, particularly when we are going through something difficult like a mental illness. I know that online forums often get a lot of negative press but they can also be wonderful communities for people to share support and to feel understood by people who are going through similar experiences.
If the loneliness isn’t necessarily about physical isolation, maybe it’s about something else.
Maybe you’ve got family members or friends around you but you feel overwhelmingly lonely. In my experience that’s the most common form of loneliness and that is really borne out of, I feel, abandoning ourselves. I have never felt more lonely than I have when I haven’t been meeting my own needs and taking care of myself. When we live a life that’s very much about meeting up to society’s standards and norms or trying to meet everybody else’s needs, we can start to feel bereaved and alone in life because we’re not taking stock of what it is that we need or thinking about how we can keep ourselves happy and meet our own needs.
If you feel that you’ve not had those experiences of having your needs met as you were growing up or you didn’t feel seen or heard, now is the time for you to remedy that.
Quite often, if we have grown up with people who haven’t seen or heard us, then it maybe that they will change and start to see us differently but the chances are, they may not and in that case, the most important thing is for you to begin to recognise yourself; to own your own truth; and to think about how you can develop a relationship with yourself where you are seeing yourself, listening to your own intuition and thinking about what it is that you want. When you start to meet your own needs it gives us power, it feels empowering and we start to feel that we have some control over what is happening tous and that we can take action in our lives.
So often when the world exists around us and we just seem to be on the outside of everything, when nothing is really connecting to us or we are not connecting to anybody else and we feel very isolated, that’s when the loneliness really sets in.
When we start to become empowered and when we start reaching out to other people, to other experiences and being brave, that’s when we start to feel that connection. That connection is what brings us peace and contentment.
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