Health Magazine

You Are Not Alone in Feeling Alone

By Healthhungry @Healthhungry

In a world full of people, in a city that’s bustling, among family, friends, and coworkers – why do so many of us feel alone?

I am not talking about the physical experience of alone, but rather the feelings of being unique, odd, misunderstood, damaged, broken, unloved, disliked, and lonely.  So many of us spend our days putting on a happy face when we are crying inside to feel “normal” (whatever the hell that is) and accepted.

As a plus-size child, young woman, and woman in my early 20′s – I was often told that I would be alone and that no one would love me.  I had many instances of people in my life loving me conditionally – relationships that remained behind closed doors because the other person was uncomfortable claiming their feelings for a fat person.  Family members who said they were ashamed of me.  “Friends” who didn’t accept me or who actually chose to keep me close because I was safe(no threat of your partner cheating with the big girl).

All I wanted was to fit in, to be accepted for who I was, and to feel “normal” (whatever the hell that is).

I loved my early 30′s because it was when I really started to come into myself.  My sadness turned to anger.  My low-self esteem began to morph into empowerment – I started to feel grateful for the people and the things that I did have – rather than endlessly pining over what I wished I could have.

It was also in my early 30′s that I realized that my size had been a gift in many ways.  I was(still can’t) not able to just “rest” on how I looked.  I had to work really fucking hard to be liked, accepted, noticed, and appreciated.  Which used to piss me off(and some days still does) but where would I be if my physical experience was the base of who I was?  If me being a “hottie” by American societal standards was my life experience, how would I feel at 38 when the loss of that reality would be looming in the face of age or (god forbid) extra pounds?

I’ll tell you where: I’d feel alone.  I’d be questioning if people loved me conditionally.  I’d wonder if they every cared about who I was – or if it was all about how I looked on their arm, or at their parties.  I’d wonder if there was more to life than botox, never ending calorie counting, and obsessive workouts.

I’m pretty sure that neither of these realities is better than the other, though you may have your opinion about that… the point here is that we are not so alone in feeling alone.

You Are Not Alone in Feeling Alone

Part of the human experience is feeling alone.

Whether you are an introvert or an extrovert – people are still social beings.  We need human interaction through conversation, touch, eye contact and socialization.  It is who we are.

If you find yourself feeling alone, especially in this season where so many are triggered by the holidaze trifecta – plan to have a plan.  Don’t wait until the feelings of desperation arrive – head them off now and remember that you are not alone.

Top Tips for Stomping out Loneliness:

1) First and foremost – I highly recommend understanding the difference between introversion and extroversion.

For example, I am incredibly outgoing, talkative and vivacious in a crowd – people always assume that means I am an extrovert.  But I am not.  I am drained by interaction with people – I enjoy it, but the way I feel re-energized is by being alone, quiet, with nature, my dog, etc.  There are some really extensive studies on this, but for a very basic understanding you can take this simple quiz, or find another one if you’d like.  The point is understanding who you are, and honoring that.

2) Once you understand what fills you up; find your balance.

So for me(as an introvert) and most clients I work with – it becomes very easy to isolate.  The solitude turns into something that drains you if you are avoiding human interaction.  Taking a step to just get out of the house and go to a coffee shop, or library can be good.  If you are an extrovert – recognizing that too much work and alone time MUST be balanced by social activities in order to feel your best.

3) Keep a gratitude journal.

It can be life changing.  It doesn’t have to be fancy – just commit to writing down 5 things you are grateful for every day, it’s a mind shifter I promise!  I recently blogged about how positive self-reflection made a difference for me.

4) Be of service to others.

Get out of your head, get out of your house, and give back to people who have less.  Adopt grandparents, help a neighbor, volunteer at an animal shelter, volunteer to read books at a library.  Whatever floats your boat.  I’m not talking money here, I’m talking human to human interaction where you give of your time and energy and what you get in return, is priceless!

5) One of the simplest things which can be challenging to do is; find compassion for people, INCLUDING YOURSELF!

So many times we feel alone because we are locked into criticizing others to feel better about ourselves, or feeling so bad about who we are that we don’t want to be around anyone.  If you need a reminder, post one of my favorite quotes somewhere you see it often:

“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a great battle.” ~Plato

Some days, we feel alone – it’s part of the human condition.  Just remember, that no one is ever really alone in feeling alone.

You Are Not Alone in Feeling Alone

Trust that…

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