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Disclaimer: this entry is based off a piece of unpublished writing I started in October 2021.
I promise you, it gets better.
It just takes time.
The feeling of isolation won’t be so intense. It won’t be so constant and then it will become less frequent and when it does happen it won’t last as long as the last time.
You will pick up skills along the way. You will learn what to do and what not to do when you feel this way. You will work out what makes you feel better and you will stop filling up your time just to escape the feeling.
You will check yourself more. You will stop acting on the impulse to seek comfort in people you shouldn’t or those who don’t deserve your attention and you won’t engage in behaviours driven by your loneliness either (like going on dates and spending time with people you don’t actually enjoy the company of).
It will be gradual, but you will stop thinking about how much better activities would be with someone else. You will start enjoying them even when it’s just you. You will stop delaying things till you have someone to share them with and you will go where and when the whim takes you. You will start to enjoy the views. You will relish the moments. You will feel whole and complete and satisfied all by yourself. And you will start to enjoy sleeping alone, and have less nights where you wish for a bed mate.
What I don’t really cover here is the work it will take. The time. The effort. The clear intentions.
What I don’t really cover here is the inner healing required. To address where those root feelings of loneliness stem from and why you feel the need to change it. That it is okay to be alone, that it is okay to feel lonely, and that it is also okay to wish for someone sometimes too. That the key is more about how we act on those feelings and thoughts.
What I don’t really cover here is how invalidating and confusing experiences alongside the classical tropes around friendship and love through media, and through cultural and religious expectations, meant that I was constantly seeking validation and worthiness in men around me.
What I don’t really cover here is how loneliness reminded me of my childhood experiences and therefore was something to be avoided at all costs.
What I don’t really cover here is how I overcame thoughts of an empty house or an open weekend by reminding myself that even though I was alone, I was always loved, that even if I didn’t have people with me physically, I had many supporting me.
What I don’t really cover here is how the solution is not just to “talk to a friend”. It’s feeling sad and learning to accept that. It’s listening to podcasts to make you feel heard and understood. It’s planning what to watch on TV and what to have/cook for dinner to get you excited for your evening. It’s creating a bedtime routine to bring you peace. It’s manipulating your environment (think candles, blankets, plants, heat pump, pyjamas, soft toys etc.) to make you feel safe and bring you comfort. It’s journalling regularly to document and validate your feelings.
It takes time.
I promise you, it gets better.