I will be the first one to acknowledge that I know how blessed and fortunate I am for the life I have. I have great health. Moreover, I have a tight group of family and friends who love and value me. I have a career I’m proud of. I have character traits most would wish they could have. And I know I’m loved. But having all of these things doesn’t stop me from feeling alone.
I can’t always describe why I feel alone or what causes this sudden wave to crash over me. I could be having the best day ever, full of laughter and fulfillment, and then the moment I crawl into my dark bedroom, I feel instantly depressed and can’t control the weird feeling inside my chest.
What’s more, I’ve learned that I need to leave my house at least once a day just so I don’t feel depressed.
Even when my anxiety has me confined to my bedroom, I know I have to break free for a while just to avoid spiraling into darkness. When circumstances start to dictate when I can and can’t leave my house, that loss of control causes loneliness I’m not prepared for.
The safety of my home suffocates me and catapults me to insanity. It makes me comfortable most times, reminding me I have a place I can feel safe and welcome without any judgement. But that doesn’t change the damage it can cause me when I’m alone for too long.
I wouldn’t say I prefer to be alone. Truthfully, I enjoy maintaining a healthy balance of socializing and needing my alone time.
I’ve learned through self-reflection that I need to have at least some time for myself throughout the week so I don’t go crazy. But at the same time, I need socialization to feel normal and fulfilled. That balance nourishes me.
I feel most alone on the days when I reach out to my friends asking for help and they don’t understand what I need. Sometimes I want to talk about serious things just to get them off my chest, and other times, I just want to check in with them to see if they’re okay. But they get so absorbed in their own lives that they fail to realize they’re neglecting friendships. It’s hurtful. I know they may not realize they’re doing it, but at times it makes me feel our friendship is one-sided; like they don’t value us or me as I thought they did.
I’ll admit that sometimes social media plays tricks on me — even though I know it’s not reality. It has a way of convincing me I’m not popular enough because of my low like count or that I’m boring because of the content I post. However, even though I know none of that matters, it still makes me feel sometimes like I’m not enough.
Furthermore, I think about the future far more than I think about the present. It’s important to have an idea of your goals and where you envision yourself. But that makes me realize how much further I have to go. My career could be better, I still don’t have a serious relationship and I’ll never move out of my parents’ place simply because I’ll never be able to afford it. It makes me spiral into panic, uncertainty, and slight failure — even though I know I’m successful in my craft for someone my age.
Maybe I feel alone because I recognize that no one understands what I’m going through.
It’s as though I’m the only one in my circle of people who is at this particular stage. So when I talk about it, they look at me like I’m crazy — they simply can’t relate. They look at me and smile sympathetically yet offer no help, guidance or comfort. I know we all go through these waves, but it’s extremely frustrating to never receive the pity or comfort I may need at times.
No matter what I’m going through or what demons I’m combatting, some days I just wish someone reached out and genuinely asked how I was doing. I don’t think I’ve had that in at least five years. I also can’t remember the last time someone left me a random message to make me feel better.
Some can call me needy or an attention seeker for how I feel. But I’m just being honest with who I am or what I need. It’s natural to crave these things sometimes, and I’m unapologetic about that. I don’t mind being alone, but I hate feeling alone. And that’s the difference people need to realize because it is the worst feeling in the world.