Let’s talk about loneliness

Moving to Edinburgh has been one of the scariest, most exciting and most terrifying things I’ve ever done in my life. Not only have I uprooted myself from my lovely family in Surrey but I’ve also left behind a really big support network of friends and colleagues. More than that, I’ve left behind the familiarity of places- the places I feel safe, secure and loved. I’ve lived in Surrey for my entire life, I learned how to ride my bike there, had my first kiss there and grew from a toddler to a teenager to an adult there. Surrey has been my home since as long as I remember so moving not only counties, but actual countries has been a massive move for me.

It’s been just over a month since I moved and already I feel like I’ve learned some new things about myself and have coped surprisingly better than I thought I would. Apart from the cold, the hardest thing I’ve found is learning to live by myself, in my own space and dealing with loneliness. It’s amazing how you can live in a bustling city with so many people around you all the time and still feel alone and by yourself. I am so much better with being alone than I have been in the past, but it’s still something that scares me and loneliness is definitely something that’s been affecting me of late. I like people, I love being around people and socializing even though I’m quite an introverted person.  It’s easy to put a front on and pretend that everything is fine, to button down how you are feeling, which is probably what I have been doing for the last month. Sometimes if you put a front on and pretend everything is fine, than eventually for me things usually do turn out just fine. With loneliness though, I’m not convinced this really works and I’m not sure if it’s something that goes away by itself. It has a habit of getting me down when I least expect it and I think it is probably something I need to tackle heads on rather than just ignore.

Loneliness is something that’s quite difficult to admit and I think a degree of it has to do with the time we live in when everything is documented on social media and you can’t sometimes help but compare yourself to other people. In reality, you don’t really know what’s going on behind the picture. The weekends are the toughest for me, Sundays particularly are a time I have most to myself. 24 hours by yourself is actually quite a long time, there’s a lot of time to think and often feelings of doubt and worry can set in, which for me only adds to a sense of loneliness. I think as a concept loneliness is interesting, it’s the feeling of being alone but I suspect the feeling of loneliness is not that uncommon. In a way it’s comforting that I’m not alone in my feelings of loneliness but also sad that so many people do experience loneliness, especially the elderly. I imagine everyone at some point experiences loneliness, whether that be in a relationship, spatially or in themselves and doing things like keeping busy, making friends can definitely help. Most of all though, admitting how you are feeling and communicating that feeling with others is possibly the best remedy. It’s not something that I’ve completely got through yet but in writing this post and raising this with other people I hope this will make the world of difference, not only for me but also for somebody else.

 

 

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