Memba Ben By Memba Ben, 27th May 2016 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Writing>Society & Issues

I speak of loneliness, its effects, and how we can best combat it.

" Loneliness and the feeling of being unwanted is the most terrible poverty." Mother Teresa

Humans in general are a sociable species, we are dependent on each other and our communities as it gives us a sense of belonging, that we really are loved by others that are not of a direct bloodline, and that is generally good as it is that exact sense of community that keeps us from looking at our existence from a depressing and melancholic view. However, despite our general nature to want to be sociable, some people are held back from being sociable due to what we can call personality defects like an inability to communicate with other people in an efficient manner, or an inability to read and understand how social interactions and settings are normally played out. In some situations, it can be such a simple thing as the person just not having an interest to meet out these social desires. What happens to such people when they have no support structure or social group to motivate them to become better versions of themselves or to reach their life goals? What happens when these people do not have anyone to just talk to, or relate to? Surely, tis not a good feeling to not belong within any social group and become an outcast. I would even go as far as to say that it is not ideal from a physical and mental sense.

Loneliness can be triggered by a lot of reasons like living alone, a break-up with a loved one, when we move to a new place and know no one or simply when we are just by ourselves or not around people. And while this can be a normal emotional response that we all feel from time to time, allowing it to develop into a chronic condition is not a good thing.

I have personally been in such situations for practically the entirety of my existence and
I will be the first to admit that loneliness can be a pain in the neck. Because I had practically a non-existent social life, my best friend was my mind and while it is good to have time to yourself so that you can put things into perspective, no amount of time on yourself can replace the need for social interaction with other people. As it happened with me, I was frustrated with my inability to interact socially with people as much as I needed to, and as a result, my mood was of a darker nature. See, when you spend so much time with your thoughts, those thoughts eventually take a turn towards a darker nature such as the regrets you have with your life and because of that sort of negativity, a person will eventually get to a point where they either have a low sense of self-worth, or it could go even further and turn into a hopelessness where life is of no purpose. This also takes a toll on a person’s personal health as because they are not in the best of mental frames, they will not feel the need to take care of their bodies, which will add even further to their woes, and feelings of self-worth.

Loneliness makes us feel isolated, sad, and distant because we seek social contact from people. This is dangerous as it leads us to find unhealthy coping mechanisms to deal with the empty void within. However good these coping mechanisms feel, it is but a temporary reprieve from the reality we face. Come to think of it, these coping mechanisms work in a similar fashion to a bank loan. You may get the cash you need but you will have to pay it back with interest.

Being alone might be one of the main reasons why we can experience loneliness, but from my personal experience, our thoughts are just as big a reason. So, in my efforts to fight loneliness, I did EVERYTHING I could think of. Eventually I just got so tired of being afraid of social rejection that I just didn’t care anymore what people thought of me, and once I made peace with myself, I was ready to face the world with all its beauty.

This taught me a valuable lesson in that in order for me to enjoy other peoples company; I need to begin by enjoying and being comfortable with my own. This meant forgiving me for hating me and my life so much. I know it might sound impractical to do so, but once you start a clean slate, forgive yourself and learn to be comfortable with your own company, this will gradually or immediately (depending on how fast you can learn to accept yourself for who you are) improve your mood and outlook on life.

Once you have begun the road to recovery by learning to be comfortable in your own skin, try to find activities that you enjoy doing by yourself. I happen to be passionate about writing (despite how bad I am) and found that doing such soothes my mind and invigorates my soul. I tell you now that there is no better drug than the sense of accomplishment. Set goals and try to reach them, they do not have to be major goals, so as long as they give you a sense of happiness that you have completed what you have set out to do.

Once you have found activities that you enjoy, find others that share the same interests as you. As mentioned before, baby steps are the key. If you are still uncomfortable with meeting others, start off by connecting with people via the internet. The great and sad thing about the internet is the anonymity it offers. Forming friendships with people online is a great tutorial to forming real relationships in the world. For instance, when I started posting my things online and people started responding positively (and negatively), I was happy that I found my place. This gave me the confidence required to push forward and make new friends in real life. And while I might not have a high count of friends, rest assured that I am fulfilled with having found friends who understand and support me.

Finally, what I feel is of utmost importance is that you should never feel pressured to compare yourself to other people as we all grow in different rates. Focus on making you a better person and healing yourself. It doesn’t matter what other people are doing, what is most important is to focus on yourself.

Loneliness is hard but it can be broken through. I myself am still prone to bouts of loneliness but I believe that I will make it in the end. Take the leap of faith by breaking through your mental barriers, and you will find your effort will be rewarded with you eventually living a fulfilling life!

Hope you enjoyed and I thank you for reading…


Loneliest, Loneliness, Lonely

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author avatar Memba Ben
A fan's view on the business of football.

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