Have you ever felt stuck in a four-wall room? That is how loneliness feels like. It feels as if your only connection with the outside world is a window with half-opened shutters. Witnessing the world existing, living, and growing outside while you are on your own, unable to reach it. Doesn’t it occur to you that if only you had the courage to leave your familiar zone (your room in this case) you could discover a world that is everything but lonely? However, it is true, convincing yourself out of loneliness is a rather hard thing to do.
Loneliness is being considered as the health epidemic of the last decades with it being of around 30% in the US and about nine million people in the UK. This latter one considered the problem to be so big that it actually appointed Tracey Crouch as Minister of Loneliness. Additionally, it has been proven that the feeling of loneliness is more dangerous than the consuming of 15 cigarettes per day. Considering that this phenomenon is a rather big problem in today’s world, is it even possible to combat it? There some steps to follow in order for a person to feel less lonely:
Distinguish Loneliness from Being Alone
Two words that are very often confused in the English language (and not only considering that this is a very common mistake) are LONELY and ALONE. Lonely shows a feeling of not being with other people, or not having other people around at the moment. Whereas Alone literally means not being with or having other people around you. This is not just a mistake made by non-native speakers of a language but a rather general one because more often than not people convince themselves that they are alone when they are just feeling lonely. In many cases, it is common for a person to start believing that they are completely alone. Such situations include living alone; living far away from your family/friends; being busy yourself and surrounded by busy people. In such scenarios, it is common to be convinced that you have no one to go to in times of need.
I have been one of these people and most of the times, I still am. Often finding myself staring at the screen of my laptop/ mobile phone waiting for a text message/call. Frequently finding myself standing in a room full of people hoping for one to approach me and discuss life. If this happens it feels like a reassurance that I am not indeed alone. However, when it does not happen it feels like a reassurance that I am indeed alone. This feeling affects you tremendously. It shakes your being. Makes you question the credibility of the people that you love the most. Drives you crazy into a world where yourself is not enough all of a sudden.
Reach Out and Grasp What Makes You Less Lonely
This feeling though is one of those “I have never been more wrong in my entire life” moments. Just because of the need to have someone around or someone to talk to at a specific moment does not mean that you are alone. It just means that at the moment you are feeling lonely. Living away from my family and closest friends I found out that as soon as you distinguish Loneliness from Being Alone you can move forward to a very simple step: Reach Out.
It took me a very long time to figure out that I was not alone but I was just feeling lonely. I can’t blame myself for not seeing how many people that cared were part of my life. After all, humans consider themselves as isolated islands. At the same time, I can blame myself for being blind because I was taking them for granted. Every time I needed help there would be at least one person who would be there for me if I only asked. Being alone for a long time allowed me to think things through. I realized that many people around me felt the same. I was not approaching them because I convinced myself that they should know better. They were not approaching me because they believed that it was clear that they needed someone to be there. Now tell me, how can someone be there for you if you do not let them know that loneliness has invaded your life? So I decided to reach out. I decided to let my ego behind and tell people that I miss them. I let people know that I needed them.
Hopefully, I will manage to ensure them they can also count on me.
So, finally, for all of those who are feeling like a part of Shawn Mendes’ In My Blood (I inserted a link to a cover that I found out tonight and I fell in love with) do not give up. You are not alone and if you ask there will be at least one person willing to help you.
Next time you are lonely and are feeling as if there are so many “people trying to kick it but are still alone in your mind” as in Halsey’s Alone try something out. Try to speak to those people, you will be surprised how less lonely you will feel afterward.