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How do I deal with chronic loneliness?


oceandream

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Hi,

i was wondering if anyone can offer me some advice. Basically, I am intensely lonely and don't know how to handle these feelings of loneliness. I don't really have any close friends anymore and haven't been in a relationship in six years. I am starting therapy again soon and a social anxiety group. I think it is a human need to be close to others, and this chronic loneliness has taken its toll on me, I feel stressed and depressed. Sometimes I just cry because I feel so alone and unloved. I feel like Im not my self anymore and haven't been for a number of years. Sometimes I think whats the point anymore because I am so unhappy. i don't really know how to fix this and feel trapped. I have been trying new things, but basically I just seem to make new acquaintances. Im not really asking where to meet new people, Im asking how do I handle these emotions.

Thanks in advance!

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Hey there.. I understand exactly how you feel. I went through these exact emotions for about a year and a bit. It was really hard, and it did take it's toll on me but the worst thing I did was cut contact with most of my friends and became really unsociable and rarely went out which led to these feelings becoming even more powerful and damaging. At times I thought I should go back on my anti-depressants, but I really didn't want to because I had stopped taking them because I didn't like the way they made me feel. So I learned that to start to feel better about myself again, I needed to get back out there and socialize and also took up regular exercise which raises serotonin levels in the brain, which makes you happy and feel good! It really does help, mostly surrounding yourself with positive people and those who make you smile is the key here. When your out and about, say hi and start conversations with shop assistants and then build up to talking to people you may regularly see but never speak too. I'm sure you do have friends around you, everyone has at least one friend. There is a brighter side to life than this for you, you just have to keep that in mind. I know those feelings can be really overwhelming and surely cloud your judgement but things do improve over time I promise. Anxiety is probably one of the hardest things to deal with, I have it also. Whenever I'm around new people, I get pretty damn nervous and used to have panic attacks but lately I've noticed a change and I'm not getting that so often anymore and that's because I have been hanging around my friends a lot more and talking to people I see each day at work that I have never spoken to before. It's building up my self confidence which is also what you need. You can message me whenever your feeling down if you'd like, just remember your not alone and lots of people go through this, but you can come out stronger afterwards!

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My o my can I relate to what you tell! Loneliness is some kind of a concrete mountain crushing down on you, especially at night. There is no advice to be given. I'm volunteering for a cultural institution. That provides me with a sort of social circle. But of course it won't free me from the loneliness you describe for yourself. Well, you know- you are not alone with your loneliness. At least that....

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hi all,

Thanks for all your replies, I appreciate your heart felt responses.

The group starts next week.

I don't know if I can change, Ive been on meds before, had therapy. What if this is just who I am? This is my personality and it cant be changed. I'm tired of trying to change and failing, it makes me feel more worthless than I already do. Im far too old for this anymore and think I have reached my threshold. After years and years of this, I really just want to give up. I dont see things getting better for someone like me.

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I don't see the advantage to giving up. What does that buy you, exactly?

 

I can't think of a better idea than group therapy for someone who's lonely. On the days when you don't feel like going, consider that your willingness to show up might be for the benefit of someone there who could use your supportive energy. Your contribution could be just to get yourself there and train yourself to relax in the company of others.

 

We never know what our presence can offer to someone else, so when I'm in doubt about any given social commitment, I don't back out. I decide that I'm not making this about me, it's about the next person.

 

Practice treating the people who participate in this group as you would wish to be treated. You will thank yourself.

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Thanks for your reply Catfeeder,

I mean I feel like giving up on life, Im tired of struggling. The group starts in a week, so Ill be going to it.

 

Im not sure how much difference I can make to someone to be honest. If I wasn't around their life wouldn't really be any different.

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Thanks for your reply Catfeeder,

I mean I feel like giving up on life, Im tired of struggling. The group starts in a week, so Ill be going to it.

 

Im not sure how much difference I can make to someone to be honest. If I wasn't around their life wouldn't really be any different.

 

That's the mentality that got you into trouble in the first place. We're each in full control of our attitudes and beliefs. Start there. It makes no sense to envision lousy outcomes--it's just a form of negative procrastination that can keep you stagnant.

 

If you want change, you need to move some bricks in the wall. You don't need to envision big outcomes--just take baby steps ~toward~ the direction you want to go, and reward yourself and enjoy a sense of accomplishment for each one.

 

The place to start is the mental tape you run in your head. My biggest change was changing that. I asked myself what would happen if my own critical voice became encouraging and positive rather than judgmental and defeating. We are our own coaches--and if yours speak nothing but downers, then consider where that habit has gotten you and change it.

 

It's a decision.

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