Loneliness is my best friend. I recall seeing an anti-depressant commercial where a woman’s depression was depicted as her shadow, which followed her every where she went, it clung to her no matter what, and was always looking over her shoulder. I was amazed when I first saw this commercial because it vividly illustrated how I felt about my loneliness. I have been lonely all my life. I can not remember a phase in my life where loneliness was not a companion. I was lonely in 8th grade, few years later in college, my relationship with loneliness is ever so strong. My social anxiety has always paralyzed me from advancing in my social life. I remember back in junior high when I would hear people complain about someone texting them back too slow, or not texting them back at all – I would curse them, because I couldn’t even think of anyone to text. Don’t get me wrong, there are sometimes when I am at campus, laughing and joking with friends, colleagues, & scholars. Times when I feel loved. Times when I feel “normal”. But soon as they leave, my loneliness is exposed, and my invisible friend makes its presence known. Loneliness is like a black hole that is consistently sucking away your life’s energy. Ultimately, at the end of my day, when I have no one to talk to, loneliness is there. I belief I certainly lack the words to effectively describe the pain loneliness brings. Some internal wounds are more excruciating than physical wounds. Loneliness is not always about obtaining friends, sometimes you just seek understanding. I suppose there are some benefits that come with loneliness. You tend to be more comfortable with yourself. You have time to meditate on who you truly are, and to plan on who you wish to become. But loneliness might be too heavy a price. I imagine one of the most scariest things to a human is being alone with our thoughts. This is why whenever we do find ourselves alone, we have the habit of grabbing our phones, searching through it aimlessly, just to keep our minds busy. No matter what facades we put up, or what substances we use to mask ourselves – the truth is, we all seek companionship. I was once told that nothing limits human potential like rejection. Everyone wishes to be accepted as they truly are. There is a saying that goes “Friendship is essential to the soul”. I believe love is an essential nutrient for the soul. My relationship with loneliness has been interesting, but I am ready to separate from my parasitic friend.
Some ways I’ve been told to deal with loneliness is by talking to more people, putting myself in environments with like-minded individuals, joining a club/organizations , going out more e.t.c. I have also been trying to burst out of my comfort zone, and put myself in not so familiar situations. I just began implementing these solutions so the results are steadily coming, but they are coming nonetheless. I urge anyone who battles loneliness on a daily basis to not succumb to drugs or other substances – using it to mask your loneliness. I urge you to face your loneliness. James Baldwin once declared “Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.”. If you wish to really remove loneliness from your life, take action. I have decided to face my loneliness so I can change it.