27 Jul Why Am I So Lonely?
“Laura, I don’t understand why I feel so lonely?” the pretty woman shared with me.
“There isn’t anything catastrophic going on,” she continued. “And yet I feel a gloomy emptiness, almost as if I’m mourning. Friends tell me I shouldn’t feel this way because my life is good. However, I can’t seem to overcome it”.
What’s wrong with me?
Nothing. Nothing is wrong with you if this only lasts for a short time.
We all go through seasons where we just feel lonely. And we don’t know why.
However, if it’s a lingering problem, it’s very wise to dig deeper.
Are you depressed?
Here are a few questions to ask yourself that might help:
- Do you feel hopeless?
- Do you struggle to find pleasure in everyday things?
- Has your appetite changed?
- Has your energy level or motivation changed?
- Do you feel heaviness of guilt or shame?
- Do you think about harming yourself or others?
Although this is not an exclusive list, nor am I a therapist, if you answered yes to any of these questions it’s worth visiting you doctor for an evaluation.
Sometimes we can be depressed and lonely. I’ve been there. Here are a few suggestions that can help if you are merely in a “funk”.
- Isolation=Loneliness. Since 2020 most of us have had significantly less in- person contact with humans. And for many the fear of being around people has prevented us from venturing back to the groups, bible studies, church gatherings, clubs, activities, etc. that we used to enjoy. Prolonged seclusion breeds desolation and despondency. Take one step to get back to the life you had before 2020 and begin interacting with people IN PERSON. Even if nothing changes I always feel better after having a cup of coffee and getting a hug, from a good girlfriend.
“We feel hungry when we’re deprived of food, and thirsty when we’re deprived of liquids. The feeling of loneliness is akin to the body telling us we’re deprived of social connection. It’s bad for us. Similar to food and water, when these signals go unheeded, there can be deleterious health effects.”
- Life Changes. Moving, job change, death, loss of relationships, are just a few of the things that cause stress and potential loneliness. Even if the change was a good thing (better job) it doesn’t mean the loneliness isn’t valid.
- Past pain. When I begin to feel lonely, I need to check my childhood triggers. I was depressed, distressed, and filled with heartache and shame as a child. That didn’t magically disappear when I became an adult or a Christian. God has revealed to me how to trace a current emotion back to something I felt as a kid that I haven’t taken to Him for healing—Yet.
- Get quiet. Sometimes the root reason isn’t obvious. I often need to get very quiet with Jesus and ask Him, “Lord, why am I lonely? What’s wrong? What’s broken?” I have discovered God desires to reveal the root reasons to me more than I want them myself. Sometimes He does that through a friend, sometimes a bible verse, a Bible study, or a sermon, sometimes it’s a whisper to my soul. Stop moving. Unplug. Get silent enough to hear Him.
- Am I minimizing? Has someone hurt or snubbed you recently? Did you assume as a Christian you were supposed to “let it go” and not take offense? Are you attempting to sweep it under the rug? Why?
When we allow unresolved issues or pain to emotionally build, the wound goes to our core and festers, ruminates, infects, and inflames. Is your loneliness a response to a stab? Who convinced you it was wise to ignore and minimize the damage?
- Christianeze. I want to apologize to you on behalf of those who are expressing, “You shouldn’t be lonely” Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon for people, especially Christians, to diminish the pain of others especially if it’s not cancer or the death of a spouse. The “just pray and get over it” mentality can hurt more than the situation itself. When we are hurting, we want someone to understand, not minimize. Therefore we all need at least 1-2 “soul sisters” or “band of brothers” to gather together, have coffee (or ice cream) and hug and walk with us during the hard times. Find your tribe. If you haven’t gotten there yet look at your church or your local activities for a hobby you enjoy and leave your house.
- Just Jesus. I remember one very lonely time in my life where no amount of prayer, people, or bible verses seemed to lift me above my pain. One night I laid in bed and just said, “Jesus, Jesus, Jesus” over and over and over until I finally relaxed and went to sleep. Sometimes the only thing this little girl needs is a nap. Seriously. He comforted me. I cried out to him with ONLY His name, and He embraced me emotionally.
It is my prayer that this has encouraged those who are reading. If you continue to struggle please know there is no shame, including those who are Christians, in reaching out for professional help.