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When I Was Going Through A Phase Of Loneliness…I Started Each Day With A Feeling Of Dread!

Loneliness in itself is not that bad. It's the self-pity and the perfect lives splashed across social media that makes the feeling worse!

This is me and try as I might, I have always liked company that came with a good amount of distance. My personal space matters to me a lot and given that I work as a writer for a living, I am often quite lost in worlds that people do not have access to – books, philosophy, emotions and mostly being an empath.

I am turned off by loud music, loud people, crowd and wild parties. Given this, I am a perfect combination for loneliness. I have been lonely. There have been times when I have been lonely for a good duration of six months. Thanks to the pandemic and the general mode of existence in the past few years.

Didn’t I go mad you might ask? Of course, yes.

I was almost on the verge of losing myself

Loneliness is a very subtle feeling and it is very difficult to sometimes realize that one is lonely. When I was going through that phase of loneliness, I started each day with a feeling of dread and depression. I had everything I wanted but there was this spark missing. I had my chores, work, food on the table, etc., but it seemed like that happiness was missing. I did not understand why?

And given that I was feeling so low for no reason, I concluded that maybe I am depressed. Thoughts of depression has a dark world of its own that includes constant fear, hypochondriac thoughts and general feelings of unworthiness. I felt trapped in it. The constant pressures of running a family, work, general chores and dealing with people who take the energy out of me seemed little to help me.

Then all of a sudden, I came across a friend who was on a break at my place for three weeks. That duration of three weeks helped me to put a finger on why I was feeling what I was feeling. The fact that I spent three weeks with my friend shopping, eating out, or being just plain crazy aka ourselves made me realize that all the while that I had been thinking I was depressed, I was actually lonely. It sounds like a cliché but it’s not. One might be in the midst of a crowd, family, work and can still feel very lonely.

While fighting my loneliness I realized that I had made a few mistakes

  1. Trying to fit in clearly where I do not
    People usually advice that if you feel down you need to connect with people near you. So, I did. I connected with people who clearly had nothing to do with me. Neighbours, colleagues, acquaintances. Everyone had their own lives and priorities. The fact that I tried to fit myself into a circle where I was not wanted ( clearly for reasons that I did not fit in) made me feel worse.
    For example, I would call up asking these so called people for a plan as it’s the weekend and they would be like, ‘I would love to, but I am meeting with some friends.’ Then there were those who were forever busy, or forever had obligations with their family. The well meaning gestures and the constant rejections often led me to question myself. Was there anything wrong with me? No. I was just desperate and lonely.
    Would I have even tried to befriend an acquaintance who I had nothing in common with had I not been lonely? No, I would not have.
  2. Forgetting to Priorities myself
    I was so desperate to escape my mind and feelings that I forgot to priorities myself. Just so I could stay around people. For example, I am an early sleeper. Anytime beyond 10, you would generally see me looking droopy eyed if I am not in bed already. But what happens when a person like me tries to socialize with people who start their parties at 9? Exactly, disaster strikes. I had stayed put in parties that started late and seemed like it would never end. It gave me that momentary high about being around people, but gradually I fell out of it.
  3. Doing nothing in the weekend and having nothing to do does not make you a loser:
    ‘What plans for the weekend?’
    This question has become something of a ‘how are you?’ It gets worse if there is a long weekend. The ones who have grand plans always seem to lead the conversation while the ones without plans seem to be meek observers. But the fact is one might have plans only to grab a late brunch both days of the weekend and still not necessarily be a loser. I for example, always have a list of grocery shopping to complete every weekend that takes up most of my time. The list is so long that I plan my weekends around the list of grocery shopping and diaper buying. Of course, the fact that I cannot upload my chores on Instagram as doing something cool, makes me one of those people who are not cool during ‘What plans for the weekend conversations?’ But the fact remains that I am who I am irrespective of what I do. Have you ever wondered if there was no social media ( with all due respect to the perks of social media) would people be even interested to know what you do on your weekends? Point to ponder.

Loneliness is not that bad…it’s the self-pity and perfect lives on social media that makes it worse!

So, after those three weeks spent with my friend, I came back to routine. Albeit a little stronger. I realized that not being around people you like, being away from home and long working hours with no time in between for oneself does make people lonely and depressed. But if you ask me, the solution to this problem is not hanging out with anyone and everyone. As I have experienced, it’s a recipe for an emotional disaster. But if people do not ward off loneliness what does?

The solution is self care and self investment. If you are lonely, go out and spend some time in nature. Just sit and listen to the birds. Watch the sunset or sunrise. Take up a hobby. Pursue your passion. You would definitely come across people you can gel with rather than compromise yourself by seeking random acquaintances.

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Most importantly, loneliness in itself is not that bad. Its the self pity and the perfect lives splashed across social media that makes the feeling worse. On a lighter note, not all random acquaintances are bad. During my phase of loneliness I made such a strong friendship with the old security guard of our building that I am now often treated as an extended family with random mithais and gifts from his family during their personal celebrations. Smiley face? Yes!

Image Source: Still from the Movie Pink

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About the Author

Priyanka Kotoky

A Social Media Content Writer by profession. A writer by heart. A genuine foodie. Simple by nature. Love to read, create paintings and cook. Have impossible dreams. At the moment, engaged in making those dreams read more...

63 Posts | 121,717 Views

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