How I Cope With Loneliness

Today in her Sunday Poser, Sadje asks us about loneliness. She describes the experience as the feeling she gets when her family or friends can’t celebrate something important (such as the seasonal holidays) with her. This is one aspect of loneliness indeed. I feel lonely, left out even, knowing that my sister will be celebrating St. Nicholas with my parents next week and I haven’t been invited. Okay, she has a child for whom this holiday is more meaningful than it should be for me as an adult. Still, I am reminded of the last year we celebrated St. Nicholas with my family, or rather, the first year we didn’t. That was because of me: I had been admitted to the mental hospital shortly before and my parents didn’t want the hassle of having to watch me while I was on leave, so at first they suggested they celebrate the occasion without me. That year, my sister refused and the celebration didn’t go forward at all. Now that my sister has a child, there’s no way she’s going to care about whether I’ll be included or not. In fact, I’m pretty sure she’d rather have me excluded.

Loneliness, however, can take other forms too. Like I mentioned last month, loneliness comes from within a lot of the time. That’s why you can feel lonely when you’re surrounded by people. I often felt this way in the high school cafeteria.

I find that what helps me cope with loneliness is to surround myself with positive influences, both in the form of people and activities. I mean, I could dwell on my family’s rejection of me, but I do have a loving husband and loving in-laws. I also have caring staff and nice fellow clients, some of whom I consider friends.

It also helps me to engage in fulfilling hobbies, such as writing, reading and crafts. Through my blog and Facebook groups, I feel a genuine sense of connection to the outside world. Reading helps me escape my problems, including my sense of isolation. Crafts distract me and help me feel that I can be productive in a way. All of these help me overcome my sense of loneliness.

How do you deal with loneliness?

16 thoughts on “How I Cope With Loneliness

  1. Loneliness feels awful. To cope I write, I read, I text and email friends, I visit with friends or family if family are available, but the loneliness I mostly suffer is loneliness from within. Especially at night!

    Liked by 1 person

        1. Yes I was indeed. I don’t know why, but when I did go to sleep, I kept waking. Another client was quite unquiet all night and still is. He’s probably in pain but he can’t speak or communicate using alternative augmentative communication, so the staff have trouble figuring it out.

          Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m sorry you’re feeling left out by your family celebrating with you. I think it’s understandable especially given your previous memories around St. Nicholas day and your family. I am pretty good at coping with “normal” loneliness most of the time, that is aloneness when you’d rather not be alone, but what I absolutely hate and still can’t deal with effectively most of the time is loneliness around people, and also what Carol Anne mentioned as the “loneliness from within” where it doesn’t really matter whether you’re alone or with other people, you’re feeling lonely regardless, and I can relate to that it gets worse at night for me as well, it’s a really weird and intense feeling. Distraction is a good thing when loneliness of any kind hits so I’m glad you have this possibility, and that despite your family of origin not being there always for you, you still have supportive people around you who care. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much for your supportive comment. Yes, the rejection from my family of origin is really hard to deal with, but I try to remember I have family of choice (ie. my husband and his family). For me, loneliness that comes from within is also a lot worse at night, as are a lot of other distressing inner experiences. I do agree that distraction helps and am so glad to have my blog and the Internet at large to connect with.

      Liked by 1 person

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