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Mastering the Art of Feeling Alone
One of the biggest challenges to endure, is desperately wanting someone to talk to when you’re feeling down in the dumps, and try as you may, no one is there. You reach out to your people, but for whatever reason on their end, no one is able to get back to you at that moment. It can feel incredibly isolating and the feelings of loneliness are intense and depressing. Our minds can say such nasty things to us in those moments, and our desperation can propel us to say or do things that we later regret and feel shame over. Ugh! What an ugly place to be in. I have been there and know it well. I want you to know, you’re not alone, and here are a couple things I have learned along the way.
I’ve always been a kind of existential person and think about how and why things are going on the way that they are. So here’s a question: Have you ever considered the larger picture behind why the universe has conspired to have you left alone? If not, maybe it’s time to give it some thought. As I reflect back on all of those times I so badly wanted company, a friend to share my pain with, or someone to make me feel better, I can’t help but think of my headspace in those moments. It makes sense that we want to escape feeling alone, and to quote one of my favourite literary characters, Anne Shirley, the pain of being in the “depths of despair”. As much as it sucks, sometimes the only thing to do is to feel your pain.
What if the key to healing and moving beyond current circumstances is to have a bawl-fest alone, in your car, or shower, or laying on the floor in all your hot-mess glory? Maybe you need to spend some time crying? Being able to spew out whatever is on your mind is what the bigger point is. As much as really feeling your feelings is excruciating in the moment, it’s therapeutic as hell. An essential component of healing and moving past things is getting it out of your body. Being able to get out what has been stored in your mind, heart, and energy, creates the space for better feelings and thoughts to come in. Which also leads to being able to reflect on and then take action and make changes in your life. As much as I wished for others to distract me or make me feel better, I’m thankful for those times when that wasn’t the case.
You know what else came out of being forced to deal with my own self? It allowed for me to experience my own strength to endure those times and come out the other side. Not only that, I also learned the most important person who can be there for me, is myself. Feeling my feelings and being alone with them, brought up a lot of shame I had about expressing myself in the first place. I learned that I needed to be there for me and hear myself out, as there are times when others are not available to do that. It’s my responsibility to care for myself first because this shows other people how to treat me. And it also has grown my compassion for others who have felt safe enough to express their own feelings of sadness to me. Sometimes we need to take a metaphorical journey into the abyss and come through the other side with more developed sense of self and some healing of our hurt.
When the time comes, and one of your people have responded, share with them! Communication with others is still important, and perhaps professional support may be something you consider. I’ve been to counselling at different times in my life to move through my own obstacles. Remember!!! The time will come when you feel those uncomfortable feelings bubbling to the surface. When no one is available, consider expressing your feelings anyways. Take the time to let out what has been circling your mind and heart. Release and let go, even a little. Sing it out. Write it out. Scream it out. Dance it out. Open the space for healing to take place; just you.
Carolyn is a passionate advocate for self awareness and personal growth and is loving her role as curriculum developer at mindyourmind! She is originally a child and youth care practitioner who has worked front line with children, youth, and their families. Carolyn is enjoying where life is taking her and cannot wait to see what happens next!
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