Loneliness is potentially one of the most painful feelings for many reasons. First of all, we feel all alone (duhhhhh!) but second of all, we refuse to fully express how lonely we feel. Feeling this way is not unique to you or me. Feeling this way is not "wrong" because we aren't experiencing "real tragedy." Feeling this way is not an insult to people who actually care about us. We feel this way for many different reasons and in many different situations. Many of us have these "scary" thoughts when we feel this way but we never want to talk about it. So I am here to acknowledge these feelings so that all of us understand that our feelings are valid, sometimes these thoughts cross our minds, and you are not alone in feeling alone.
1. "Why am I sad?"
Sometimes, loneliness is a subconscious feeling. We feel this certain way, this certain sad way and we don't know why. We have a roof over our heads. Our classes are fine. We ate today. We didn't lose anyone or anything today. It sometimes takes a tragically long time for it to click: we're just lonely. Our thoughts are running wild, we have experiences, we have new opinions, we have ideas, and yet all of these thoughts will remain trapped in our mind.
2. "I must be invisible."
Feeling invisible is horrible. We are all precious and unique additions to a world of over 7 billion, yet sometimes nobody acknowledges us. We question if we are even here at all. If we were anything, we wouldn't feel so isolated even when there are many people passing by. Yet a simple hello would cause this feeling to suddenly stop.
3. "If I was gone, would anybody notice?"
This thought is an idea that so many of us experience but so few of us want to discuss. We're afraid that people will panic and think that we want to be gone when we very much want to be here. We just wish that people cared a little bit more and worry that we will fade away one day. This idea does not represent our hopes but rather a crippling fear--the fear that nobody will ever care.
4. "There must be something wrong with me."
This thought is debilitating but does run through a lonely person's mind far too often. We pick ourselves apart and think that we have a flaw that is making us feel this way. It has taken a lot of convincing for me to stop letting this feeling consume me. It is tempting to think this way sometimes, but we have to remind ourselves that loneliness is a feeling and not necessarily a reflection of who we are.
5. "I just want to talk to somebody."
A sense of helplessness accompanies feeling lonely. We cry for help, but nobody seems to listen to our screams. I have times where I just want someone to listen to me, but it feels like there's nobody there. From loneliness comes this feeling of desperation, of needing somebody when it seems like there's nobody around.
6. "Do I even have a purpose?"
Once again, we are all much too afraid to talk about feeling this way. In the times when it feels like nobody understands and nobody cares, we question why we're here. Because if we had any type of meaning, somebody would care, right? Wrong. We can't give one feeling the power to determine our worth. We all have a purpose; we have to remind ourselves of that sometimes.
7. "I'm not allowed to feel like this."
The biggest problem is that we are. Feeling this way is valid, and we all have lonely periods in our lives. Sometimes there are people out there who very much care about us but we are still very lonely. Loneliness is a complicated feeling, but it is often temporary. So we can all fight through this and know that even if we feel alone, we are not alone in feeling this way.