The Reality of Loneliness

You’re sitting alone in a coffee shop surrounded by tables filled with families and friends. You stare out the window and watch the pouring rain slap against the roof of your parked car. Through the familiar chatter and distant taste of bitter coffee on your tongue, you notice the puddles forming on the long pale walkway along the street. Recognizing the chirp of a text message, you glance down at your phone and feel immeasurably hollow by the overwhelming text notifications from various friends.

What does it mean to be lonely? To feel immensely empty and deeply isolated when surrounded by so many people. Isolation can hit you in waves. It detaches you from friends and family and leaves a void in your mind, body and spirit. It goes unnoticed, undetected and is impacted by your mental health and wellbeing. It’s strange to think about people all around the world that feel this vicious emptiness and crazed loneliness. Being alone differs from feeling lonely while surrounded by a group of loving people. Though some people long for companionship and intimacy to rid themselves of the feeling of being alone, many people who are surrounded by various loved ones still have feelings of separation and detachment. Although it is natural for us to be sociable beings, feelings of grief, distress and anxiety often cloud our minds, causing anguish and despair.

We cover feelings of loneliness and categorize them as unimportant and unnatural. We shield ourselves from these emotions and avoid thinking about self-reflection and self-analysis because we are scared to think about our feelings. The mere idea of taking a moment to understand the cause of our anxiety is immensely overpowering, so we quickly categorize it as insignificant and trivial. Forcing ourselves to dive into a hectic lifestyle in order to protect ourselves from unwanted thoughts leads to suffocation and fear. It is incredibly important to speak our minds, express our feelings and allow ourselves the chance to focus on our wellbeing.

Throughout history, depression and anxiety have always been treated as taboo topics, and as such, we decide that it is more reasonable to push away our feelings then reveal the cause of our loneliness. We are so accustomed to the fast-paced life we live that when these thoughts hit us, we are unaware of how to deal with them, who to talk to and how to reflect and acknowledge them. The result is: we are unable to speak our minds and gain inciteful understanding of our mental wellness.

It is vital that we take the time to help ourselves gain self-awareness through reflection. It is absolutely normal to have irrational and devastating feelings about loneliness when surrounded by people, but the crucial part is recognising it and finding ways to make yourself feel better. It is not always about communicating with someone; sometimes, we need to connect with ourselves in order to get rid of feelings of defeat and loneliness. Our mental and emotional state has a severe impact on our thoughts and feelings, so we need to understand, accept and reinvent them.

Thanks for reading! Hopefully, you’ve gained some insight on loneliness and its impact on your mental health. Take the time to learn ways to express your thoughts and recognise that you are not the only one with these feelings.