Apr 6, 2020

No Man Is an Island

I know loneliness more than I care to admit. I know the struggle of sitting alone with my thoughts and wondering if it’ll ever end. I know the unfulfilled longing to see people and enjoy their company. I know how tough it is to be with just yourself for so long. It’s hard. I know it is.

Well, it’s been over a year since I’ve posted anything here. Not going to lie, this last year has been the hardest one of my life, which is kind of saying a lot. So many things happened, some of which was my fault while other parts were not. I had to deal with it but I made it through. Even though it was insanely tough, one blessing that came out of it all was having an immense amount of time on my hands. I worked through a lot, and am still doing so. But I was able to focus on knowing myself better, growing in my love for people, as well as growing in my relationship with God. I want to keep boundaries in place here for what I write about because there are things I’d prefer to keep private. With that in mind, however, I will not be sugar-coating anything, but I also don’t want to portray situations as being worse than they were. I say all of this because I can easily turn this platform into a journal, but that’s not its purpose. One of my goals here is to put my thoughts into words on “paper” to remember and work through, but my ultimate goal now is to help others and offer any encouragement I may have. It’s not about me.

One of the biggest struggles I’ve had over the last year was dealing with loneliness. I feel this is relevant considering the global pandemic occurring right now. Many of us are (or should be) isolated and have extremely limited contact with people. That was how I lived for the majority of this last year. So trust me when I say that I understand. I know loneliness more than I care to admit. I know the struggle of sitting alone with my thoughts and wondering if it’ll ever end. I know the unfulfilled longing to see people and enjoy their company. I know how tough it is to be with just yourself for so long. It’s hard. I know it is.

For about a month last year, after drastic changes occurred in my life, I was constantly numb and yet sensitive. I was not functioning and did not take care of myself. I was all I had left, and I realized I wasn’t enough. I couldn’t handle the isolation, let alone all of the emotions that were flooding my mind. I had to deal with it on my own and I was failing. I didn’t know who I was anymore. There was nothing to distract me from my faults and the feelings I constantly tried to ignore. I don’t know what changed, but one day I looked in the mirror and saw myself. It was me. No one else can be me. I felt like myself and knew myself. Every fault was on display. Nothing had changed, but I did. My acne was still inflamed, I needed to tweeze my eyebrows, and my nose was still too big for my face. And that was just on the outside. But it was me. I smiled and saw what was lost for so long. Everything wasn’t perfect right then, but I had so much more confidence in myself and who I was because I knew who I was. I was still lonely. I still struggled with depression and anxiety (and still do!). But I had hope. God was there and everywhere. And where He is, you are not alone. He was there even when I didn’t realize it. Even if you feel alone, He is present and will make Himself known. Acknowledge Him. Pray to Him. Read His Word. Observe His beautiful creation. He is everywhere.

Even when we’re not in this quarantine, I know so many of us still feel that overwhelming loneliness. I’ve made destructive habits in the past where I’ve isolated myself. Sure, I went to social events or joined a group FaceTime, but I would shut myself off and not really be present. But we’re not meant to be alone, so the negative effect that has on us is understandable. Even though this time is scary and makes so many of us feel lonely, don’t let that feeling win. Use this time to work on yourself and grow closer to the people in your life, even if that’s just through FaceTime. Certain aspects of this pandemic could truly be a blessing if we use these opportunities to their fullest ability. Don’t close yourself off. Try to stay productive, even if there’s not much to do. Go on a walk. Heck, just go sit in a different room than you’re used to! Write letters. Set goals for yourself. Have that conversation you’ve been putting off for so long. Don’t shut down. Take care of yourself, but also know that God is taking care of you.