Loneliness is a vicious cycle. It happens when we feel like we can’t express our truth.
Whenever I find myself out of a situation where I was constantly critiqued (in a destructive way) and consistently seeking validation, there is a part of me that feels such relief – even if I’m heartbroken over the ending.
It’s just like stretching an inflexible body. Of course, it’s going to feel uncomfortable to stretch at first (it may even feel painful at times). But as you are stretching, there are certain muscles that finally, get to relax amidst the ones that are causing temporary discomfort from being stretched.
When it comes to your emotional muscles, unplugging from chaos is the ultimate exhale, however, the surrounding muscles (your triggers) will get tested and cause pain.
And if you don’t know how to give that pain a purpose, you’ll start feeling lonely and depressed; like you are socially isolated even when surrounded by talkative people.
This quarantine has literally unplugged you from life as you knew it.
It has removed much of the chaos of our daily lives and replaced it with the kind of uncertainty that would make anyone miss even the most dysfunctional aspects of an existence that temporarily, does not exist.
Yet, somewhere, deep down… there is a relief to be found, a certainty to implement, and peace to be experienced. There is a light within that no matter how much your fear, other people’s bullsh*t, and your insecurities try to dim, it can never be fully extinguished.
The purpose of this post is to get you to amplify that light. I can’t do it for you. Neither can your friends and family, a course, a seminar, or a TED Talk.
Only you can do this.
I am not into sensationalizing, fear-mongering or theatrics but I am into acknowledging that an unprecedented time like this will present you with *exactly* what other people (yourself included) are made of. And that reality can be extremely shocking and heartbreaking. It can also cause shame and anger.
How can your best friend be so needy right now?
How could you be so needy; so angry and reactionary?
How the hell could that family member blow up on you like that for no reason?
Why is your toxic ex now realizing what really matters? And how are you supposed to trust him/her?
You’re so lonely.
And whenever you’ve felt alone like this in the past, at least, you’ve been able to go out; to do everything that you temporarily cannot.
When it comes to dealing with loneliness, Mother Teresa once said:
“The greatest disease in the West today is not TB or leprosy; it is being unwanted, unloved, and uncared for. We can cure physical diseases with medicine, but the only cure for loneliness, despair, and hopelessness is love…”
I totally agree with this quote, but if you’re struggling in the love department, it makes having an absence of love (both self-love and love from others) seem like loneliness will kill you. This creates fear and before we know it…
We’re giving second chances that were never earned, benefits of the doubt that aren’t necessary, and allowing our loneliness to not only lower our standards but endanger our health – both mentally and physically.
Loneliness is an extremely common emotion. However, because the root cause of it varies, it’s unique to each individual. There is no “common cause of loneliness.” This makes the road to getting over it, uncommon (and different) for everyone.
As much as the cause has varied throughout my life, when it comes to loneliness, these reminders have helped me keep my light amplified…
How to deal with loneliness and isolation
- We are taking precautions like never before when it comes to our health. Let this time be a reminder that we are just as susceptible and fragile with our mental health. We need to be just as cautious and just as quick to act on the smoke (red flags) that always leads to fire, as we are quick to act on someone sneezing in our direction.
- During times of distress, it’s perfectly normal to think about the people we could never get more than a crumb from. We know that the current state of affairs will work to our advantage in getting another crumb (maybe two?) of the attention, empathy, validation, response, and concern that we could never consistently get in a relationship with them. Emotional nostalgia sets in and we become vulnerable. And when we become vulnerable, we forget that crumbs are ALL these people will ever have to offer. Our thirst for the connection that we know they are not capable of, translates to them that we are more comfortable being their option than we are being the only option to ourselves. This is a time to band together, to have your own back, and to value the good – not dumb yourself down and wonder if the current circumstances can turn a weed into a rose.
- Don’t start thinking, “I feel so alone; I’m so lonely and life is short! He/she can change; I know it. In The Notebook, Alli came back to Noah. This is a sign to give him/her another chance.” NEWSFLASH: Life was just as short 2 months ago, it should not take a worldwide pandemic for someone to realize your worth, and Alli came back to Noah because he was someone who had proved that he was worth coming back to. He never dishonored her.
- Feeling lonely is normal – even more so when emotional isolation is matched with the kind of physical isolation that we are currently experiencing. Isolation is scary, but it was through the isolation that I was able to completely change my mindset and my life years ago. Isolation and loneliness have a lot of firepower to them. Instead of allowing them to emotionally paralyze you and keep you mediocre and desperate, use them to sharpen your focus and gain the kind of self-respect that only discipline (keeping promises to yourself) can provide. I had to isolate myself years ago to change – to change my beliefs, to silence the outside noise that was robbing me of a life, and to gain the perspective I needed in order to evolve past everyone who doubted my ability to.
- When you feel like everything is out of your control, focus on the things that you will always have control over: whether or not you choose to react or respond, what you put in your mouth, your belief system, and how much you move your body. You have a choice, right now, to take complete ownership of these things or, give into your triggers and lose even more respect for yourself.
- You will overcome loneliness by making others feel less alone. I am living proof of this. I connect with people all around the world, every day. Connect with and help as many people as you can.
And remember, everything comes to an end… Everything.
Make sure that when this ends, you come out of it a survivor instead of a victim; self-validated instead of validation-dependent, and with an allergy to toxicity instead of an attraction to it.
The New Year may be another eight months away, but the time to make these resolutions is now.
We have each other and you are never, ever alone.
+ If you need further and more personalized help with your relationship, please look into working with me here.
Dear Natasha; thank you for having the exact words to echo my heart, it seems like you have a gift for telling life’s truth about challenges (On this case coping with loneliness in a healthy way), … as they say: this too shall pass … and hopefully we’ll come through this better and stronger ….mentally, emotionally and spiritually ; your kind words do help a lot ??
Thank you very very much… Take grate care of yourself
So happy that the post was helpful ? Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
Sending you and your family love. I hope that you/everyone on your end is safe, healthy, and secure. xo
A more realistic thing is when mr big had a heart attach, carrie nursed him and he became cold again as soon as he was better.
I find it amazing how many people are reaching out to exes (I thought about it too, but love me now), or better yet online dating. Talk about potential for projection, fantasy relationships and over investment without being able to test real compatibility (did not say chemistry). No thank you.
I am not bored and like my own company. Focusing on me and proven friends is way better self romancing :)!
Yes! Agreed 🙂
Hope that you and your family/friends are safe and healthy. xo
Fantastic ans timely post! Decided to reach out to friends from all times of life but not to toxic people. Self love is even more important now than every. It is from that core we are truly able to love others. God loves us so how can we not love us?
Good for you Tiffany! You are doing the right thing. Thank you for being here and for being YOU.
I hope that this finds you, your family, and loved ones healthy and safe. xo
I am truly blown away by this post. ? It always seems like each new post comes exactly at the right time that I so desperately need and for that I am incredibly grateful. I am so blessed to be apart of this community and so grateful to have found this blog two years ago.
From the bottom of my heart, thank you. I am continuing to pray that we will all get through this together! ??
I am so happy that the post served you ? Thank you for being with me, with *us* for these two years and for your love, contributions, and support.
I hope that you, your family, and loved ones are healthy during this unprecedented time. Thank you for being here. Love you sister. xox
Natasha. Well done. I must add this to educate y’all. Have y’all thought how lonely DeafBlind individuals are? Majority of them are left out. In my world there’s not lot of people at my type and I do have few friends but they live out of town. It don’t bother eat lunch myself at restaurant. Peace. Enjoy the scenery. Day dream. Other subject. When I was with ex gf/friendship she devalue me “you enjoy having me because you are lonely”. WTF!?! I told her no one tell me like that but her! What she don’t get it that I enjoy affections and silence being with her but her doubts/excess text smothered me! She betrayed/cheated me to someone else. I get it BECAUSE SHE FEAR TO BE LONELY AND NEEDY!!! SHE FOUND WHICH IS MORE CONVENIENT TO HER NEEDS! Not care my needs! Now heed this warning should your SO (out of blue) tell you like that and repeat often. EVEN y’all had that conversation and ask her/him to stop say like that! Take it serious. Red flag. In my opinion. That feeding negative and devalue into you. Possible trying to gaslight and blame on you for discard which she/he had someone lined up already. Toxic!!!
Yes with COVID-19 around and lot of us will feel lonely. ?
I am so happy that you addressed it here on the blog (I would never mention anything unless you sis) that you are both deaf and blind.
And yet, you STILL respond to everyone, email me the most thoughtful emails, and comment on every post. I wish that I could put into words what your love and support mean to me.
Thank you for shedding light on this. Thank you for allowing us to get to know you more and for reminding us all that we are not alone.
I will try to write more about this soon 🙂 Thank you for being you. Hope that you and your family are safe and healthy.
Please don’t take my ? offensive. Intend to “lonely” we are facing. Not the COVID.
Stay safe. Y’all.
We understand John <3 Thank you for the clarification!
I caved in and messaged my ex and I knew I should not have done. He was so cold towards me and it just broke my heart again. But now I am refusing to let myself make that mistake again. I needed this post and to be honest further posts. When you feel so alone and reaching out for comfort at a time like this, it takes so much courage to breathe and be strong.
Do not worry, just USE the feelings you are feeling right now to keep you locked into no contact.
You got this.
Do not blame or beat yourself up. Your ex showed you who he is. ACT accordingly and have your own back.
I will write more on this soon 🙂 Happy that this post helped. You are not alone. xox
Please god save the whole world.
I unfortunately used this pandemic as an opportunity to reach out and see how he is feeling, given he’s in NYC. He is out of the city and staying with his parents for the time being. This led to us sleeping together, me falling for his ‘I want to see you as much as I can while I’m here’’ lines and in turn feeling completely degraded when he had an excuse (and lies) as to why I haven’t heard from him. I completely lost my cool last night, called him on his behavior but found myself apologizing first thing this morning. He won’t respond and he’s making me feel like I’m the one who really screwed things up this time. I know that’s not true. Truth is there was nothing significant to screw up but I can’t help but feel so pathetic right now. I don’t know if I can handle any more tears and disappointment in myself today.
So glad we got to connect today Brianne <3 You are not alone. xox
Brianne. Your not alone. Out of boredom and getting tired to remain zombie-free. I googled ex and found her social media. Read quotes/see pix her being happy with whosoever. I read some quotas and my instinct tells me the possibilities she may try to outreach message for me? Who knows maybe other bunches exes? ????? … Being gray when read the line. Some seem to apply me. Resist too hard to abide so I broke no contact and emailed her Thank you and have an everlasting happy life. I felt dumb/stupid because it make me look a sissy-weak! I confided with few friends about this. They assure no not dumb thing. Go back to no contact. Truth be told I feel lot better. Releasing further. Today I been think real hard in Black, White, and Gray then I realized quotes was too subtle, vaguely, and manipulate. For example. “Procrastination” as my competition. In gray. True. Look at Black and white. Depend on how you interpret as of. 1) Would you get married without procrastination? Or would you get back with without proven action that words being said? 2) procrastination (regardless time frame) before whether get married? Or action and words match and proven. What the rush to compete against that!?! Another example. “Make your wants, want you”. Gray yeah true. Black/white. 1) want as of what? Base on? Love? Needs? Possessions? and ok to “play games”? One SO seeking for options once found better option then dump you for upgrade!?! While other SO confided in with her/him! You call that? 2) want as true and honest of friendship/relationships? Another example eating unhealthy foods. WTF? Yes I’m from the South and we are known as BBQ and sweet tea overdose! (No offense) vegan. Healthy? We’d laugh at that. ?. There’s dispute whether it’s bad/good health. ????? Egg bad/good. Crap environment deep in our foods too. Now COVID regardless healthy/unhealthy get it. Virus don’t care you! Come on! Enjoy food/drink life! Geez. List go on. Many concepts/interpret you figure out. That said I, then, realized that she lack gray, black, white concept Her own terms. “I am perfect and nothing wrong with me”. Blame else. Nothing new! The same. It shed us the real/true who they are. No she haven’t replied nor I except such because of no friendship and she knew what she did was wrong! Coward to face me or truth. “Let things be forgettening”. What!?! Is she kidding for what she did!?! Her actions/words DO NOT MATCH! I waited waited for those to be matched before committing. Let her go. That why I bid her “You have an everlasting happy life”. Hope this free her of whatsoever. Yes it sad to realize that I have had done lot of good deeds to her and what do I get? Shit. Disrespect. Betray/cheated. List goes on. Just exact like her quotes if you look 3 color shades and opposite. Even outreach to get message out. I hear ya. You asked for it. Please go have a happy life. Thank to my cousin Hal advice “take my time. Rush is a waste”. I have good reason to procrastination! Hal THANK YOU!
Brianne. At least we got the answer that set us free!
Something to think about:
Apparently some of us broke no contact especially pandemic as seemingly we have our thoughts of those we cares and then realize they do not care about us as long their term are met and/or no friendship at all. From day one! It’s “needs and wants” of their terms not you. (Narcissists).
I’m sure that some of us had contacted other fond ex/exes that ended up in honest and honorable manners are able to connect letting us know that we are ok and zombie-free.
Embarrassing to admit that my daughters was right back in 2017 that ex gf didn’t care for me. That pissed me off. (Denial).
Yown some of us have just realized clear answer especially those time that they don’t care if we died from pandemic. On a positive note. We should be grateful to be free from unwanted hurts, destruction, or worse if “got married” or waste another 10-30 years for nothing but fake! Do they sound like they are the “future widow that would push us off the cliff to collect insurance money?” Guess we ought be glad not to be any of part of that!
Correction: autoword altered my wording on other post as it should be seep not deep in food. ????? Seep in foods.
Natasha, I just wanted to say thank you so much for this. Loneliness can really be a killer, but I’m using this as a time to really rediscover my interests (and comment for the first time after months of reading your posts because I really love the community you have built here). Thank you for all your posts, you are truly an inspiration.
Thank YOU so much for taking the time to comment (for the first time!).
I’m happy that this post helped 🙂 and I am doing the same.
I hope that you and your loved ones are safe and healthy.
Thank you for your love, kindness, support, connection, and for being a part of this tribe.
You are never alone.
All my love to you, sister. xox
This article could not have been timed any better. I’ve been going back and forth in my head as to wether or not i should text my ex and see how he’s doing. We were together for 4 years and he up and left very abruptly with little to no explanation and then stopped talking to me altogether. I knew deep down he wasn’t worth reaching out to but it’s still hard not to care when he was such a Big part of my life. I stayed strong though and haven’t contacted him whatsoever since the initial breakup, which I’m embarrassed to say was 2 years ago.., I have you to thank for that! I’m so happy I stumbled across your blog. I’ve read many of your articles and they’ve helped me too stay strong through the toughest times and often answered many questions that seemed to rerun in my mind. Thank you so much for sharing your wisdom and experiences. It means a great deal to know i’m not alone.
Thank you so much for not only taking the time to share (and help others know that they are not alone) but for being a part of this tribe. I’m glad that this post helped 🙂
You have done *so* well and are an inspiration. There is nothing at all to be embarrassed about.
Your love, connection, and support mean more to me than I could ever put into words. Thank you for being here and for being YOU Chelsea.
I hope that one day, we can meet in person <3 Sending love to you and your family; hoping that you are safe and healthy during this time. Love you. xox
Hello Natasha and all this wonderful community of people,
Thank you so much for your amazing posts, they give me so much strength to keep breathing.
I just write here to feel less lonely and more supported. Strict quarantine is back in Europe, and it’s so much harder to recover from a breakup when you have to be isolated.
I don’t want to abandon myself this time. He broke up with me a month ago and I can’t even find the strength to work from my laptop at home. I want to feel empowered and secure, even if it’s between the four walls of my tiny apartment.
I just can’t let darkness invade me like in other breakups I’ve had. If this covid era comes to an end, which I hope it happens, I want to come out shiny, renewed. And for that I have to work hard on myself. It’s so difficult though. My heart is broken.
I’m writing this message in tears, hoping to feel a bit better. Xx
You are never, ever alone. I am in tears as I write back to you.
I feel the same.exact.way – in so many ways and I wish I was there with you. We could have some tea, play a board game maybe, talk about life, and laugh. Laughter really is the best medicine. You are not alone my sister.
Believe me when I say, you CAN come out of this better than you ever thought. Believe in my belief in you.
Love you, sister. xx
THANK you son much Natasha. Your articles have become a source of peace for my soul since I discovered them. I feel so related with the things you say, and it gives me so much hope to see how mature you’ve become despite the circumstances in your life. I see that this can happen to me as well.
And with so many things I feel we’d have to talk about if we were physically in the same place, I know we could have plenty of laughter as you said! 😀
Thank you again for making me feel in peace and secure. You’re one of those presents that the Universe puts in your way to advance further and stronger in life.
Have a beautiful sunday!! xxx
I love and appreciate you so much Alicia. Thank you for being such a gift to me as well. Hope that you have a wonderful Sunday and please stay in touch. xx
I stubbled across one of your blogs by accident as I was struggling with yet another blow up in my relationship, another unnecessary conflict over literally nothing, that ends in me having to walk away from the situation because staying in the conversation is harmful, toxic, with unrelenting projection of what he does to me! Text messages that are really quite mean! I would never dream of saying to anyone, such as if I don’t sort my self out I will lead a very sad and lonely existence, and he will leave, and nonsensical nonsense, overpowering what I say, I can only describe as bullying, trying to coerce me to say something, and when I calmly said your being a bully it’s all my fault for suggesting he’s a bully! How mean of me! and trying to call me out for every little word, I can never say the right thing… I’m always calm and dignified, I’ve worked in counselling and social work so I know a little bout communication, however I’m completely disrespected, and he contradicts what he says he feels about me by being this way. Why would he want to bring me down so much? I can’t imagine doing that to someone, if you want to be with someone and you care about them and your worried they will leave why do things like that and leave them no choice, it chips away at any positive in the relationship, I just don’t get it! Don’t they want people to like them? Love them? They make it impossible. he cannot possibly be mentally stable, then when I walk away from the conversation ( I don’t have a choice either that or be mentally destroyed ) I’m acused of abandonment and that I just run away! I’m always accused of being a runner coz I will not engage in toxicity, well don’t make me run! He also incessantly brags about his achievements and forces me to acknowledge them. And has gradiose perceptions of his abilities But then in the next breath says he feels never good enough and is insecure, and admits to that sort of feeling too….. My brain is scrambled and it has been on again off again for a year…. As he cry’s and expresses regret when I do leave, that I’m someone who is real in his facade of a life. I gotta stay on my white horse, this guy is just causing me so much turmoil, and is chipping away at my self esteem slowly that im not fully aware til lately I’ve felt like shit and even my posture is not standing tall like it used to. I condemn myself in my head, and think ‘what am I doing!’ He complements me all the time, I think that’s what makes it so difficult as the behaviours are contradictory….and I cannot fathom such kindness with such nastiness……… it messes with you……I had an ‘Ah ha’ moment, when I read your blog and i was like “Who wrote this?! She’s fricken good!’ So I just want to say thank you, I gotta stay on my white horse coz each time there’s been a blow out he reaches out and I ignore and ignore until he gets me again, last time was 7 weeks no contact, then he sucked me in again only to disrespect me again, he has so many acquaintances and can never be alone, he befriends people all the time, I can’t keep up with it, it’s unsettling, and he drinks too much as I’ve smelt it on him the next day…. and smokes marijuana apparently! He also has ADHD, but I’m okay with that, it’s no excuse for bad treatment… there are just so many red flags…. And I’m angry at myself, as I’ve been through a lot before him and I’d been single for 4 years not even a date, only to get the run around, I gotta attract the right type, get my self esteem up again, you will help me stay on my white horse as after the last blow up he tried to call saying he was apologising and then sent me a text saying it’s all my fault for the crap in our relationship – total contradiction, you apologising or blaming! Can’t be both! Absolute mind scrabble. I haven’t responded and plan to never make contact, enough is enough. It hurts I’ve been through this but keeping you on my phone keeps feeding my horse. Giddy up! Thanks Natasha
Thank you so much for taking the time to share and by doing so, helping countless others feel less alone. Thank you for being a part of this tribe. I’m so happy that the posts have been helpful.
I live to give everything that I wish I would have had.
You are not alone. All my love to you, soul sister. Can’t wait for you to read my upcoming book! xx
Thank you for this very uplifting post. I came across your website a few months ago, bought one of your classes, which helped me very much deal with the pain of divorce from an unhealthy and one-sided marriage. Two months after I divorced my dad passed from COVID. I brought it into the house as I was living with them due to the divorce. I am an only child and the guilt of contributing to my dad’s passing and subsequently putting my mom in an enormous life change she was not prepared for after 50 years of marriage was exceptionally hard on me. I hadn’t grieved the loss of a 10 year relationship and marriage when this happened to our family. In my pain I reached out to my ex-husband and we started talking for a few months and he initiated a plan for us to get back together. In the 60 days that followed we talked through many of our issues and mistakes we both made. He asked to marry me again, move into a new house together and start our lives again. Over Thanksgiving weekend of 2021, I spent with my mom as she was alone and grieving, we both were. We just lost my dad and this was the first holiday without him. It was hard, lonely, and tough. I didn’t see my ex-husband that weekend but we talked everyday and talked about how happy he was that we were moving forward. The Sunday of that same weekend he called and told me that he was “pulling out”. That I spent too much time with my mom that weekend, after all we live together how much time do I need to spend with her? That I care too much about my dog and my job. That he has no empathy for my feelings, we have no connection at all and if I’m nice to him he will be an a$$hole to me.
I mention all this as it was the most brutal kick in the gut from someone I loved for 10 years at a time when my emotions, vulnerability, and fear could bot be more raw and fragile. It sent me into extreme isolation. I trusted nobody anymore, not even myself for not seeing this coming. The red flags were all over the 10 years and ignored them. I felt so very alone, words can’t even describe the heaviness in my heart sometimes. Your articles, and this one in particular, have helped me gain some hope and perspective on my situation. I am a work in progress. My pain is layered with so much as I work through all this grief. But your posts have made me feel “normal” and human. And most importantly not so alone.
From the very bottom of my heart, thank you *so much* for the gift that is YOU. You are incredible.
Thank you for taking the time to share your story (and helping countless other in the process).
Thank you for shining your light here so that those who are in a darkness that you know all too well can feel less alone. And be inspired to dignifiedly ACT on red flags as they appear.
I wish I could hug you right now. Please give your Mother my love and know that you are not alone in this (or ever). You are loved, understood, backed, believed in, and supported. Thank you for being a part of this tribe. I am so honored that this post and the courses are helpful. All my love to you, Sister. Xox