DISCLAIMER: I’m not a medical nor mental health professional. The statements below are based on personal experience and opinion. In the event you feel you’re suffering from a mental disorder, please contact a doctor or mental health professional.
I recently read a blog post that I wrote not too long ago. The topic: Loneliness.
Until recently, depression was lurking, tears were flowing, and anxiety was up. Then I realized, depression was a symptom…not the disease. Loneliness was the culprit. And I knew something had to change. And that birthed the idea for this post.
If you’re suffering from loneliness, here are some things that have helped me. If you want to stop here though, the bottom line is I stopped being alone.
- I started going back into the office. Unlike some of my friends, I’m an extrovert.While working from home is nice, the reality is that I wasn’t only working alone, but I was taking lunch and breaks along alone , and I was alone in one room for a REALLY long time. And since I didn’t have many plans after work, home was where I spent my time after work. I was spending entirely too much time alone. But going back to the office has put me around kindred spirits and this has helped me light up from the inside out.
- My brother started coming over my house. He would come during the daytime hours on some days when I was working from home, and he also would come some evenings. Even though I was in my office most of the time when I was working, it was nice to simply have someone around. And the good thing about my brother is that he respected the fact that I was working. He didn’t interrupt often. And when I came out of the office, we may chat for a quick minute or less or more and then I would get back to it.
- I started going to my parents house more often. This may sound lame to some, but I really enjoy being around my family. We have a grand, old time. So why not be around the people you love and enjoy? Be positive about it. Don’t think “this sucks…I have to hang out with my family because I don’t have any friends or a man/woman.” Think about how amazing it is that you have a family you really get along with and accept you unconditionally. And if you don’t enjoy being around, try a friend. I
- I hosted a gathering at my house. I pulled out the good old Facebook events app, created the event and invited people. The truth is that I know a ton of amazing people, but I get caught up in both social anxiety and negative self-talk. “Maybe I’m not cool enough.” Sound familiar. And even if a ton of people didn’t or don’t come (in the future), at least I got to develop deeper relationships with those who do attend…and maybe meet some new people along the way.
This final statement is one that will help squash the mental nonsense.
Stop creating negative stories and don’t linger on negative self-talk. Maybe it’s not the fact that you’re not cool enough at all. Maybe you just haven’t created a bond because you don’t share a common ground. I’m coming to this realization right now. And frankly, this isn’t my season for certain groups. I know that God has a special assignment for me. I don’t know what it is or exactly when it will come, but I know it’s on its way. And while it’s hard to stay focused on that at times, I know that obedience is better than sacrifice (1 Samuel 15:22), and frankly I don’t think I’m giving up much because I see a big reward on the way.I knows the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you… (Jer 29:11)