“Being alone never felt right. Sometimes it felt good, but it never felt right.” – Charles Bukowski
Everyone feels lonely at one time or another. The feeling of isolation or being alone is common among mankind and if experienced only briefly, should not be too much trouble. Extended or deep loneliness on the other hand, can lead to more serious emotional and behavioural situations.
Loneliness is not the same as being alone. One can be alone and not feel lonely at all. He may be quite content with himself and his quiet surroundings. Loneliness is a more intense feeling of isolation and emptiness. It is a feeling of being separated from everyone and experiencing negative emotions as a result.
Loneliness is a big reason why many end up in toxic relationships. I’m not talking about the occasional, “I feel lonely and want some company”. I’m talking about a deeper loneliness, an ache that won’t go away no matter what you do or what relationship you are in. You can be surrounded by people and still feel that terrible lonely ache.
This is a pervasive problem today. Loneliness or the fear of being alone is ripping people apart. It is leading many to reach for ANYTHING that will maybe make that ache go away or at least dull the pain associated with it. This is one reason many struggle with addictions like alcohol, drugs, food, sex, codependence (relationship addiction), and more. They don’t want to face the pain.
Why the deep ache? Where does the loneliness come from? Why do some struggle and others don’t?
Many experts say that the profound loneliness (or fear of being alone) stems from unmet needs in childhood. It comes from a dysfunctional family life growing up perhaps where parents did not validate their children, they were neglected, abused, and more. For some reason the child did not get what they needed and did not learn adequate coping skills or self-reliant skills.
Another reason for loneliness is the way our society operates these days. Life is so busy with most people on work overload, chores, duties, etc., and even though people are everywhere, there is not a great deal of emotional connection anymore. Facebook is nice, but reading statuses and even posting a status does not satisfy the deep need for authentic “in person” emotional connection.
Many lonely people will admit to their loneliness, but do not know how to deal with it. Some go to therapy and discover some root issues that probably stem from childhood and are able to effectively overcome the feeling and gain a worthy sense of self.
Others get into toxic relationships and knowingly or unknowingly think that their partner will make them feel fulfilled or at least make that annoying loneliness ache go away. Over time though, when the person realises that their partner does not satisfy them, the nagging loneliness will surface again and cause relationship problems.
It is like that deep loneliness is calling the person to take some time to dig deep and deal with some core issues that are holding that person back from experiencing authentic joy. It is deep calling unto deep to sit down for a season, take a deep breath, and listen. Just listen. Embrace the loneliness, face the root problems, and allow healing to begin. In the process of doing this you will begin to find your authentic self under all the layers of guilt, shame, frustrations, disappointments, sadness, anger, fear, etc. It is calling you to go deeper into yourself and find the real you.
It’s not easy, but it’s worth it. Living with the fear or even terror of being alone is horrendous. Take heart in knowing that you can begin your journey of overcoming loneliness at anytime. There is hope! Begin your journey inward to seek insight and healing. Take some time daily to sit down, be quiet, meditate if you like, and get comfortable with being with yourself.
Read and listen to encouraging and motivating audios so that you can be inspired to see life from a different perspective. If you feel like you can’t handle this on your own, see a professional or Life Coach. You are worth it and you can be well on your journey to experience fulfilment and joy.