How do you deal with loneliness?

Loneliness.

A feeling that has been a companion since so long now, I could very well put it up on a pedestal and bestow on it the title of ‘Best friend for life’!

Why? Why not? Don’t we all know that not a single soul in our life is ours forever? None, except us, can make ourselves a priority – a fact we often discover quite late in life.

We keep pursuing people, hoping they put us before themselves, are considerate towards our feelings, and make us their centre of attention, for life. How often we return disappointed!

The problem with us is we fail to remember that life changes, so do people and their priorities. Be they our friends, our partners, our children. Each of them have a life they would want to explore, try new garbs, shed the old ones.

Okay, our partners may not forsake us for greener pastures, but once the novelty in the relationship fades away, the equation begins to undergo changes that often leave us feeling ignored, lonely, and frustrated.

Work, friends, hobbies become the focal point of either of the partners, making the other feel left out. The realisation, that you come after the others, their friends, especially, can leave one feeling miserable. It may not be a conscious move, but that’s how life functions. And, the resultant heartbreak can be quite difficult to bear.

Looking after MIL and our pet Chikoo, and the absence of any friends to talk to had left me with no adult human interaction on a daily basis. Believe me, that can cause havoc on your psyche. I mean, how much could I converse with my MIL – a patient of a mental illness, who was fighting her own demons? Or with Chikoo – a canine?

The loneliness that arose, drove me over the edge. I couldn’t be drawing, or writing, or reading or watching TV all day long, could I?

I needed someone to talk to, spend time with.

It was with time that I realised, that expecting anything from anybody, even from my partner, would only lead to disappointment and heartache. No person would be there for me, or with me, always.

Except myself.

That’s when I decided to befriend myself. Become my favourite companion. So much so, that people become redundant…for me! Sounds weird? Trust me, there is nothing as liberating, as joyful as spending time with yourself, with nary a need for another soul.

I also found the joys in going out on dates – with myself!

Believe me, these are the best dates you will ever go on! Refreshing, exciting and so calming.

Have you tried it? I urge you to do it, if you haven’t.

Leave the kids with hubby for a day, or a few hours, and just go. Go wherever you wish to go, do whatever you wish to do, and then see for yourself how thrilling the experience can be!

There are some exciting things you could indulge in to deal with your loneliness once you are done brooding, because, honey, accept it – your guy/girl will have better things to do than be by your side when you want them to. Why burden them with your expectations and why torture yourself with all the resulting bitterness? Learn to take care of yourself now, and you will never need another person during your low moments, aka ‘loneliness’.

So, here goes-

If you feel like crying your heart out, just go ahead and CRY. Throw yourself a pity party.. But, a word of caution here – DO NOT extend the party after an hour. You don’t need to empty your lachrymal glands! Save some for the future.

Call up your closest friends, or call them over for a heart-to-heart. Friends, who know you inside out, know the magic words that will drive away your blues!

If you are into it, or would like to give it a try, pour yourself a glass of wine, sit back and let it work its wonders on you. Put on some music (peppy numbers) at full volume and sing along at the top of your lungs! (I have been doing it for so long now..believe me this is the best one on the list!).

Do not go overboard with the Wine. Stay within limits. And, if there’s no wine at home, reach for a fizzy drink!

Workout/go for a brisk walk, or a power walk for 45 minutes. The activity will not only help you sweat it out, but leave you feeling rejuvenated, and on top of the world! (This is the second best).

Read a good book, or watch a good film. But, I would advice you to stay away from romantic films, precisely for the reason that these will make you feel worse!

Get into your cleaning gear – gloves, aprons etc – and clean the house! Nothing like scrubbing the bathroom! The sparkling room at the end of it all will leave you with a sense of achievement like nothing else!

Cook your favourite recipe/bake a cake or cookies – only for yourself! Enjoy a good, hearty meal, with music, candles, what-have-you!

Or, go eat out. All by yourself. Just do it and see for yourself! Let hubby/wifey babysit for a change!

Paint/draw/write…indulge in your favourite hobby. If the kids are at home, then play some kiddie music and join them for a dance. Dance like no one’s watching – the kids will love it and so will you!

Doll up. Put on your favourite outfit, makeup, the works. And, watch your mood brighten up! Even a bright lipstick should suffice.

Actually, the possibilities are endless. All you need to do, is spot them yourself and go berserk! Your partner isn’t home anyways, so you might as well make hay while the sun shines! What say? It will only help you become emotionally independent, my dear!

How do you drive away your loneliness? Do share with me…I could do with some more tips on my list! I am a work in progress, you see!

Love,

SHILPA…

52 Replies to “How do you deal with loneliness?”

    1. Lata, DO NOT wait for others to come, give you company when you need it. Trust me, no body will bother as they all have things to do, which they will prefer over you. A bitter truth, which hurts bad, but a truth nonetheless. Find things you enjoy doing and you won’t need anybody.
      Hugs, dearie!

      Like

  1. Falling in love with your own company ensures that you’ll have a best friend for life.
    I am glad you wrote this, Shilpa. Reading it is bound to help many ’emotionally-dependants’
    Some helpful pointers as well.
    Kudos to you for writing this.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I suffered for a long time, Mayuri. I know how distressing the situation can become if you keep hoping and depending on others. Therefore I decided to write this post, hoping that it helps someone out there.

      Like

  2. Haha! Make hay while the sun shines πŸ˜€ I so agree with you on this! I felt the same when I was tied to the home in a new city with a baby! I yearned for some adult conversation and it messed with my head. I do most of the things in the list today and I am so happy to do it!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Firstly I’m so happy that you penned these thoughts here. I totally could relate to each and everything you mentioned here. Secondly I also like to add that other than listening to loud music that.lets our thoughts run away for a while I guess speaking out to someone maybe an acquaintance.(as they won’t judge you) and talking to plants if you have a garden would also help you let go. More often blogging or writing a diary helps remove those negativity es and you feel fresh again.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh yes,Sudha. Any activity that takes your mind off the loneliness helps. Developing a hobby helps immensely. Indulging in hobbies makes one independent. I am so glad I blog, else I would have been in trouble for longer! πŸ™‚

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  4. It always helps when one shares such thoughts through a post, as you’ve done because you never know how impactful it might be for someone grappling with loneliness all by herself or himself as the case may be. Even kids can be lonely at times. At any age, I guess, loneliness is difficult and I think I learnt it the hard way very early on in life that I need to be my best friend, my own emotional sustenance should come from within and I cannot tell you the day I was able to come out of the dependance on others, I felt so overjoyed and so liberated and so free! Loved this beautiful post, Shilpa!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. True, Esha. We all are lonely, at least most of us feel that way. And, if we do not come to terms with it, and befriend ourselves, we will be in for life long trouble. Loneliness, as I too have come to realise, is the best thing one can enjoy! πŸ™‚
      Thank you so much, Esha! ❀

      Liked by 1 person

  5. A very good list and good advice. I think at different stages in life we deal with it differently. Right now I am happiest at home but someday when I’m alone, I think I would like to travel.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, Suzy. And, with age, we learn to face such situations better, because of our experiences in life. I too feel great being at home, by myself, but sometimes I too wish I could just go, travel the world, all by myself!

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    1. Vishal, I had to write this post..I wanted to do it since a long time but wasn’t able to muster courage to reveal my soul to the world. Now, I guess, I have reached a stage where I just would like to voice my feelings and not bother much about what others have to think about me. All I do, is enjoy my loneliness….nothing wrong in it, eh? And, I discover how many people out there agree with me on this!

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  6. You are so right! We should be our own friend and lover and pamper ourselves!
    We should do everything for our self that we expect someone else to do for us. ❀
    I am sure blogging must have helped you at least a bit, to treat your loneliness, hasn't it?
    As you have mentioned, cleaning house has become one of my past times πŸ™‚
    And I have also started to try to learn to draw. It is something I really want to be good at. And I have literally started from 0. So, thanks to the lone time for that.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh yes, Dhanashree! It’s now my blogging that keeps me occupied to such an extent, I don’t want to socialise! I am happy doing my thing and feel grateful for having chosen to blog, rather than brood!
      Being our own best friends, loving ourselves unconditionally are what will take care of us – nothing else and no one else!
      I am so happy for you for having discovered art and blogging, Dhanashree. These may not bring us any financial satisfaction, as yet, but it’s these that bring us emotional satisfaction, which matters most!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I’ve been there, Shilpa. Only in my case there were two kids who needed my constant attention. Loneliness can be a boon or a bane depending upon how we see it.
    Loved your ideas. Sitting with a good book in hand or dancing away on a peppy song can lift up spirits in no time.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I hear you, Varsha!
      I had my MIL and Chikoo who needed my attention. I would crave for moments with hubby, but he had better things to do! 😦 But, that is what taught me to look after myself. Now, I consider loneliness a boon!

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  8. Couldn’t agree more with you. Loneliness have been my constant companion since childhood..and I learnt pretty early in life that I am my best friend…people get surprised when they see me going for movies or plays all by myself. I love my company so much that now I feel irritating when people are around…there was a time when I needed people around but found none and now I have reached a stage where I am happy being alone..and I strangely feel less lonely now. Lovely post.. straight from the heart..hugs xoxo

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Balaka, you have achieved freedom, as have I. I am in awe of a woman who enjoys going for movies and plays by herself…so I am in awe of you, and so happy for you, too! I, too, feel stifled when in a crowd, and yearn for my own space. It can get embarrassing at times, when the cringing expression on my face can speak volumes about how I feel in people’s company, but I couldn’t care less!
      Hugs to you too, my dear!
      You are such a strong woman! My hero!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I became a hero by chance and not by choice…once you start loving yourself and start enjoying your own company…you will no more feel lonely.
        .I never feel lonely when I am alone but I feel lonely in a crowd..my love to you for praising me so much…we all are strong…we just forget to acknowledge our strength…

        Liked by 1 person

      2. You know I am actually writing a post on loneliness… your post inspired me to do it…i will tag you…and much love and hugs to you..missed you yesterdayπŸ’“πŸ˜˜πŸ’“πŸ˜˜

        Liked by 1 person

  9. All very valid points even for those who are not in a committed relationship, Shilpa. We need to make ourselves our best friend. There is strength in friendship but there is also a certain fortitude in knowing our own abilities and growing from them.

    Stay connected with people, as you say, but don’t place any expectations on anyone, not when it comes to emotional fulfillment. Lovely post!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Loneliness is part and parcel of almost all lives at some stage or the other. But you know Shilpa, if theres one thing from what I have obseved would have strongly helped you overcome it? It is Chikoo and your Zentangle. To the extent, I associate both with you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh yes, Ramya! Had it not been for Chikoo, I would have been completely broken..what with all the stress and fear and anxiety. Chikoo was my saviour- that’s something I have always maintained. And, yes, I am glad I took up writing and drawing. it kept me sane..still does!

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  11. With AG in a boarding school and KG on work trips, I used to feel lonely too. But over the years, I have realized that I love my company and love these periods where I have no one to talk to in person. This Me time is precious for me. Even when I am traveling for work, I dont stay back in the hotel, but go out and explore the city or watch a movie alone. I think it’s good for a person to spend time alone. They should not restrict themselves or wallow in sadness and despair rather take it as an opportunity to discover who they are.
    Great post, Shilpa!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, Shilpa…taking the opportunity to discover themselves and enjoying their own company makes one independent, which so helps in the long run! Why brood over something that’s not in your control when one can enjoy those peaceful moments?
      Thank you for sharing a piece of your life with me, Shilpa!

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  12. Every individual at one point of time in life time, faces such circumstances. I had my share of them too. As you rightly said, I was my best friend, companion on those days! And I loved myself then on….
    Blogging was another companion that gave me rock solid support!
    Very thoughtful post Shilpa.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. You are absolutely right, Shilpa. We can’t look at others for fulfillment. We have to cultivate our own interests and hobbies. Children grow up and go away. Spouses need their space and friends are busy with their lives. I personally enjoy spending time with myself. I like going to the parlor for some pampering. Love the massages most of all. But I do like social contact as well. So I step out every evening and speak to my neighbours discussing the mundane. It feels nice. I also speak to my sister regularly. I think for people like me who work from home this human contact is much desirable and welcome. So let’s make it a balanced of social contact and spending time with oneself.

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    1. True, Rachna. a fine balance between social contact and personal space is a must. However, it is always better to find happiness within oneself than seeking it from others. That is something I have begun to practice. Gives me peace! πŸ™‚

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  14. I came to read this article when I read Balaka’s post on the same. You both make very valid points about being your own company! Its true even with friends and partners – they have their own priorities too and one does tend to feel neglected/rated lower…. Which I think is a very unfair thought to both. We all should try not to be so dependant on someone else to be happy/busy or just to live.
    I had loved the lines from this movie – Dear Zindagi where JAG says why is that the moment we find someone, that person is our go-to for coffee/bookreading/movie watching………….. Why cant we have different people for different things? Why is it that one person gets to be burdened with all of it? So damn true!!!!
    In all of my 20 + years of being away from parental home – I have been miserable about being “lonely” only for a year or so and that was after my divorce as living on my own seemed herculean at that point.
    Now I laugh when people ask me “darr nahin lagta akele rehtey huey?” “How do you spend your time?”
    Yup I am my best friend and most fav person too!!! πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s precisely the reason I say you are my Hero, Shalz!
      You see, I quit my job to look after Chikoo, Although people wondered why I needed to look after a dog, the real reason was also my MIL. I was glad I was home…she being a patient of schizophrenia. I was at home when she had several violent episodes. It was during those days that having left school, I lost my friends, too. It was a lonely life – at home whole day with MIL and Chikoo and no one to talk about my frustration, my stress. Hubby, although would be home in the evenings, most of the times preferred being with his buddies. That is what made me feel lonely and desperate. Thankfully, I had Chikoo, but no human to talk to. After MIL passed away, things changed. Hubby needed his space, time with his friends…that made me furthermore lonely. Those were desperate times for me. But, it was only after Chikoo passed away last year that I decided to not depend on anybody emotionally. I would learn to look after my emotional needs myself. I had my mum and three very close friends, who although they lived far away, would be there to talk to me when I felt low. And, it is in this last year that I became my own best friend, my fav company. It’s only now that I revel in my loneliness, so much so, that my friend pleads with me not to love my solitude so much! πŸ™‚
      Now, the next step I need to take is learn to travel, even watch movies on my own. Why burden others with my needs when I can take care of it on my own?

      Liked by 1 person

  15. It amazes me that how many of us have gone through similar trials of life, the reasons for loneliness may have been, however, different for all of us. When we were there – suffering from loneliness, didn’t we think we were the only ones going through hell and this further made it terribly difficult? And, now that we have overcome (to a great extent) that roller coaster ride with our feet finally firm on the ground, we can be nothing else but grateful to find ourselves over the time. I love it how you have said – “I am my own best friend”. Go out, venture out, be on your own. As Amitabh Bachhan said in English Vinglish, there is always only one first time.
    I am going to tell you what I told Balaka on her post yesterday – You are a brave soul. Your authenticity is your strength which binds us (you and I) together πŸ™‚
    I wrote about my struggles with loneliness a long time ago before I was connected to people I can identify with.

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  16. Very profound thought Shilpa πŸ™‚ we need to be emotionally independent, there comes a certain point in life where we won’t get near and dear ones around us. It’s better to be strong and emotionally independent for feeble days of our lives. On those days none but you can enlighten your path πŸ™‚ we all have that confidence within, all we have to do is gather up mental strength by regular practice. You already have described it in your article. Magnificent piece of writing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s one thing I learnt, Suchetna…to be self-reliant, than expect others to be there for me. Of course, it isn’t as easy as it appears, for there are moments when I wish I could have someone by my side precisely when I need. At times, the loneliness can be stifling and it’s a struggle facing the situation. But, with constant reassurance that I can take care of myself, and that I will be fine, I find my peace.

      Thank you so much for visiting, and for sharing your thoughts! πŸ™‚

      Like

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