Everyone is alone at some point in their lives. We can be alone by choice as we try to find ourselves. We can have loneliness thrusted upon us and feel the empty space most in the evening. We can be alone in a crowd of strangers. We can be alone as the last of our friends to move forward, or perhaps you are the first. But being alone doesn’t mean that you are lonely. Moments of loneliness and self doubt may cloud our thoughts and make us forget how to be alone in those darker days.
I’ve been in a relationship where I have never felt lonelier as I felt him drift away, and I am in a relationship where I have never felt closer yet sometimes days trying to find myself again after we’ve parted. When you spend so many hours with another soul, it becomes hard to define who you are without them. It is important to remember ourselves – remember to love ourselves.
You’re only lonely if you’re not there for you – Phil McGraw
Friendship are constantly evolving. As individuals we grow, sometimes secrets can help a friendship, sometimes honesty can destroy another. We must accept we can not control anyone but ourselves, and know that the one friend we will have in our lives forever is ourselves. I am my own best friend. I am also my biggest critic, my thoughts can be my worst nightmare and my choices can make or break me. Taking control of who you are is incredibly scary. I’ve spent today wandering aimlessly in my apartment, having lost myself this morning after my partner went back home after our longest visit seeing each other since Christmas. I’m sick, sad and alone. But I am choosing to not be lonely.
I think it’s very healthy to spend time alone. You need to know how to be alone and not be defined by another person. – Oscar Wilde
When you are, like me, at times catching yourself feeling lonely – remember being alone is not loneliness.
Tell yourself the following:
- You are good enough by yourself. You do not need anyone else’s approval or validation. You are you, and you are unique. You choose to be that way, and if people don’t make you feel loved you are spending time with the wrong kinds of people. No one can make you feel inferior without your consent so simply do not give it to them.
- Place yourself first. Your needs are most important. Do you need a mental health day? Take it. Do you need to stop eating garbage and take care of yourself? Do it. Are you unsure of where you want to be? Take the time to discover what you need and what you want. Value to opinions of others, but value your own opinion more.
- Cherish the people you care about. Hold your interactions with these people highly and you will feel full of joy and valued yourself. We know that life is short. When tragedy strikes we feel the burden of time and wish we had more of it. Start making the most of that time, and you can celebrate what you had instead of grieve for what could have been.
- Work towards something. Make plans for your future and pursue them. Don’t just go through the daily grind because you think that is what society tells you to do. Explore, create, learn. Whatever your heart desires, chase after it. Pursuing something gives you your own personal goals and meaning for existence. You may even accomplish things you’ve never dreamed of if you just go out and do it.
To end, my favourite poem to go back and listen too whenever I feel afraid when I’m alone.
If you can’t stand being alone at all, don’t worry. I am only an internet connection away – I’m happy to talk if you need it.