By Dave Jackson
Loneliness is created by the lack of social connection and what is actually happening. It is the feeling of sadness when a person feels like no one likes them or wants to be around them. Loneliness can be debilitating and cause unwanted stress and depression.
Loneliness is a haunting feeling that is often hard to deal with. When you have friends that aren’t really friends and only want you to drive them around when they are drunk and borrow money when they have spent all of theirs, it is hard to say no. Why is it that if you don’t drink that getting together at Tim Horton’s for coffee is not an option? Why do people seem to only want to be friends after 10:30 at night?
I have spent many days alone and feeling sad because I do not have social connections. I have learnt to go for walks by myself and appreciate the quiet of the forest. I have learnt that though I am alone I do not need to feel lonely and can enjoy hiking and biking by myself having new adventures within my community.
Sometimes it is reading a book or drawing adventures on a page, creating a world of imagination and writing stories that helps me to cope. Today with social media it makes it easier for people to reach out and express themselves. It is okay to say your lonely and wished you had someone to spend time with. Sometimes it’s a matter of working long days so that you are so tired when you return home you are too tired to feel lonely.
Some people get a dog or other animal to keep them company but for me pet ownership is not an option. Pets need to have someone who can spend time with them and cater to their needs. Too often people get pets and then when they realize how much work pets are, abandon or ignore them. Those cute kittens grow into cats and those cuddly puppies grow into hungry energetic dogs. I have learnt to recognize what I want, where I want to go, and how I can achieve my goals and dreams.
Loneliness can be stressful, but I have learnt who I am and what I need. I remember that it is important to eat well during the day and rest when I am tired. It is like the bike race if you don’t pace yourself you will burn and crash before you reach the finish. It is often when I am on my bike that I feel the best with the wind rushing at me and the stress and loneliness being put into the pedals.
Connecting with others has become an important part of my day. It is how I look at my loneliness and know that it is about how I feel about myself. Sometimes I don’t feel worthy of friends but remind myself that I am worthy and will head out on an adventure exploring new places. There are always people around whether it is in the grocery store, the laundry mat or the local coffee shop.
As humans we are social beings and need contact even for a moment. With the pandemic of 2020 it has been even harder to connect with others but thanks to technology like zoom and video chat connections have been able to occur. Music has been a way that people are still connecting and even though the coffee shops are social distancing it is always possible to be around others.
I love my life and appreciate all the good things that I have. I have posted pictures of joyful times and people I have spent time with on my walls. It is these pictures that can draw me out of my loneliness and get me moving. Do not get caught by the feelings of loneliness and sadness because there is always a possibility of a new adventure, a new social connection and a quiet time to enjoy your own company just around the corner. Each moment is just that a moment unlike any other. Reach out and challenge yourself to make a new connection without setting the outcome.
Loneliness is just a feeling that if allowed will move in and take over. Each day is a time to think about what you want and then the adventure begins to find others who are also lonely. One person at a time, one opportunity, one new challenge and soon loneliness may still exist but not control the amazing person anyone can be. Loneliness is a part of me but can no longer control my emotions.
Each day is a new start, a new moment, and a new chance to connect with others and create amazing social interactions whether in person or through social media. What will your next adventure be?