I try pretty hard to keep this site upbeat and fun while sharing my personal take on food, fitness and frugality, but if you’ve been with me a while, I also like to inject some mental health stuff here, because let’s face it, mental health and physical health go hand in hand.
It’s no secret that I occasionally suffer from anxiety and depression. To quote one of my idols, the amazing Jenny Lawson, aka The Bloggess, DEPRESSION LIES.
This week has been a real tough one. February usually is a pretty rough time of year for me. (Remember to use your HappyLight, Andrea!) For some reason I got walloped with a crazy dose of loneliness, and my brain was telling me all sorts of awful things.
“No one’s talking to you because you’re not important.”
“No one wants to hear about your stupid first world problems, you’ll just annoy and alienate all your friends.”
“You may finish that project you’re working on but when you do, no one will care, so what’s the point?”
“I wish I had someone to talk to but I’m no fun to be around right now and I don’t want to be a burden.”
Notice a theme here?
Is that not the most self-centered crap you’ve ever heard? In hindsight, I’m like that college professor you always complain about because the volume of homework they give you implies that they have no clue you’re taking other classes.
Part of the problem of living in the First World is that I don’t have to worry about where my next meal is going to come from, or if a wild animal will try to eat me in my sleep. I’m not remotely wealthy but my basic needs are met, with a little left over for a little fun. For a long time I had to scrimp and save every penny just to pay the bills, but now The Hubs and I have finally crawled far enough out of the pit of debt we were in (due to both being unfortunately unemployed at the same time) so that money, while still relatively snug, is not DIRE. This, of course, is good. But my brain has decided that it will just switch to something else to worry about.
So I was lonely. For hours I dwelled on it and sank deeper and deeper into that melancholy. I refused to reach out to friends because I felt desperate and needy and that’s a part of me I’ve never liked. Finally I’d had enough, and I posted a status on a social media site I’m on. I simply wrote “feeling lonely today”.
What occurred after that both surprised me and cheered me. Few people actually gave me advice on the topic: most simply just offered virtual hugs or told me that they, too, felt lonely just then. And in those moments when I received notifications that someone ELSE was lonely, my spirit was lifted. I was not alone in my loneliness.
Did that fix my loneliness? No. But it helped. At any moment in time on this planet I am not the only person feeling some emotion, despite what my brain may tell me. We are alone together at times, and that’s okay.
So, if you’re feeling lonely but are afraid to reach out, do it. Because you are NOT alone in your loneliness. I’m sure you can find someone else you know who is feeling the exact same way. You can comfort each other and maybe even score a hug, even if it’s virtual.
So reach out, people! Comment here if you like. I’m right here with you. 🙂