Loneliness is a monster in plain sight, a remorseless leech that feeds upon our feeling of isolation and compresses us with enough force to be a constant pain. Loneliness deliberately kills us, taking what was once our cherished solace of light and replacing it with the darkness that overshadows our every moment. It’s relentless and so in every moment of happiness, we can’t help but anxiously wait for it to pull another string, which will have the ground slipping beneath our feet. Unironically, it also does the honor of fueling our nightmares, the reason we struggle to breathe.
You would be surprised or I hope mildly shocked to hear that this issue is evenly distributed across all ages. A figure I had heard claimed that over one-fourth of the population is isolated and would characterize themselves as lonely.
We can’t survive without food or water. Similarly, we need social bonds to persevere and thrive in our society. We are social animals that were programmed from birth to love and care for one another. Let me lay out some self-evident dangers of being lonely; disconnection from our peers and a nagging feeling of not belonging.
The key to solving the isolation problem, or at least mitigating it, is to develop a community. Your community may consist of just three people or it may be a larger group. It might be your family or anyone else besides your family. Try seeking genuine connections with people of common (or distinctive) experience. Sometimes all we ever want is someone to talk to, someone to listen to, talk about something, talk about nothing, be boring, tell a tall tale – it doesn’t matter… as the long silvery melody of our conversation dances around the room.
When cold numbness keeps mocking and all you feel is a void in your heart as you desperately try to stay afloat even when drowning vows relief, know life gets better. I assure you that a time will come when you will find a safe person to trust (a place of rest) and everything will fall into place. But till then, for my part, I’m sending you my love right now. I hope you feel it. I pour an abundance of it into my writing, hoping you remember you aren’t alone. We all crave a sense of belonging. We all need to know we are deserving of love, and I assure you are, too. You are indeed worth all the spectacular things that the world offers.