Being lonely is something that, while not the best feeling, is one that we are all acquainted with. I would even go as far to say that it is a feeling that is necessary to experience at some point in our lives, and I think we all have. My own familiarity with loneliness has been a battle at times, an irritant at other times and quite discouraging in many instances. It can bleed us dry, but can also be a motivator to something better and hopefully healthier.
In recovery and in mental health treatment, we discuss loneliness regularly because it is such a pervasive issue in what we all go through. Those who have been in treatment and recovery for consistently longer and successful periods may not have as much of an issue with it as those who are more recent to the process, but it is still there. Personally it tends to anger me more than anything else because I feel like it makes me weak, which of course is ridiculous. I’ve been scolded many times for being harder on myself than I am on others, and feeling weak due to loneliness is one of those times. When people come to me to share their problems with loneliness or depression I absolutely never judge them or consider them weak, but I can’t seem to give myself that same consideration. (I’m getting better at it!)
The thing is, having a lonely day does not a lonely life make! Loneliness is there for many reasons and everyone must deal with it in their own way, but it certainly does not have to define who we are or how we live! Something that I have finally put into practice for myself is just taking the time to stop and think about the reasons for my loneliness, and while I know those reasons are relevant and are there, I have so many reasons to not feel that way. My life is quite good. I have a great family, great friends, great doctors and great shrinks! I am reasonably happy! I have people who love me and would help me if I ever needed them to and I have a nice home, nice neighbors and a nice dog! That being said, yes, there are still some painful and lonely moments, especially for those who suffer from depression and anxiety. My point here is that no matter how we perceive others’ situations, we don’t really know or understand what lies beneath. Many of us hide things rather than having to talk about them, explain them or deal with them at all. It is easy to do that at times.
God has given me many gifts to be extremely grateful for, and I certainly am! One of the ways that I’ve gotten away from self pity and self absorption is becoming very comfortable with sharing what and who I am in an effort to help others. This too is one of His gifts to me, and it is an awesome way for me to be able to “pay it forward”. My story isn’t one of great importance or relevance in the overall scheme of things, but I believe that by sharing it with others, it may provide some insight for them to not do as I have done. Having a better future by fearing a past such as mine is a gift that I very much wish to share, and I honestly believe that it is part of my calling to do so. I try not to be too overzealous about it, although I do realize I may tend towards the “preachy” side at times! That’s just how things go when God is your boss!
What I’m really trying to convey here is that what we perceive to be a bad and/or lonely time does not mean that we have a bad and/or lonely life! In recovery or not, it is hard to imagine anything ever getting better when we feel this way. We must remember that these things are temporary! We must believe that no matter what transpires, that things happen for a reason! And we must have faith in God and truly believe with all that we are that His timing and guidance are perfect!
Pray my friends! Let Him into your heart with no expectations!
He’ll take the brunt of your pain if you let Him!
It is very difficult to be lonely with support like that!!
Love and blessings to ALL!! +Joe