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I Used To Feel Lonely; It Was Unbearable

by Dr Mehmet Yildiz 2 years ago in friendship
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Loneliness was in my mind

I Used To Feel Lonely; It Was Unbearable
Photo by Anthony Tran on Unsplash

I suffered from loneliness for a while. Learning to transform the feeling of loneliness into pleasant emotions was a life-changing event for me. Understanding the notion that emotions were not permanent has opened new windows to joy, satisfaction, serenity, and excitement.

I was 18 years old when I first tasted true loneliness in my life. It was the first time I started a job in a new city with no family and friends. The job sounded exciting when I heard about it. But living by myself the first time in my life was not a pleasant experience. This new lifestyle was my entry to the loneliness journey. I tasted loneliness deeply.

Loneliness hurt me so badly that I would characterise the feeling like a stabbing in my back. Life turned out to be meaningless. Nothing meant anything when I was feeling lonely.

Loneliness may trigger different unpleasant feelings. The two strongest ones for me were feeling sad and depressed. These two unpleasant emotions also created some anxiety.

The physical manifestation was the loss of appetite for food or doing anything. I felt lethargic. There was no energy in my body. Spiritually, I did not sense a connection with the world around me.

Everything was foreign around me. There was a strong feeling of isolation within the very fabric of my soul. Mentally only sad memories were filling my mind. I was living in melancholy. Pensive sadness covered my thoughts.

I did not know what I needed and wanted. It was like living in limbo; something like the unbearable lightness of being described by Milan Kundera in the homesickness chapter.

This state of mind took for a while. It continued for around three months.

One day, out of the blue, I received a piece of news inviting me to a college degree in another city. Something changed in my body and mind. Every cell seemed to be renewed. There was hope in the offing.

Tasting hope changed my mood to an optimistic state. Things started improving. I took the risk and moved to the new city to start my studies. I loved college. It opened a new window to my mind, heart, and soul. It allowed me to meet many new people.

When I was talking with each new person, I was finding a different version of myself. I thought everyone could be my friend, but I was wrong. Some people introduced me to a feeling of disappointment.

I valued friendship but learned not to depend on them. Depending on any person was not a good thing. People can change quickly. They can grow out of the companionship and may leave you without any reasons.

When someone cut his or her friendship, I was taking it personally. These disappointments created guilt and shame. I was blaming myself for things beyond me.

After a while, I started looking at things differently.

I discovered the concept of personal responsibility. Taking personal responsibility for my life was the most valuable and empowering behaviour for me.

Everyone has their challenges in life. We never know what they are going through in their lives. If a friend stops seeing me, I don't take it personally anymore. He or she may have her reasons which may have nothing to do with me. I only focus on things that I can control.

Even though I was studying technology, I also undertook other subjects to supplement my studies. Two of my favourite subjects were psychology and philosophy. Reviewing the literature in these two broad subject matters gave me new insights towards living.

I discovered many thought leaders and new concepts in these classes. The most prominent ones were existentialism, nihilism, and stoicism. These notions introduced me the importance of living with equanimity in a heroic journey.

The vital knowledge I acquired was emotions were not permanent. They come and go. Feeling isolated, lonely, and sad are all temporary.

When I accepted my uncomfortable emotions and allowed them to hurt a bit, they did not stay permanently. They moved and were replaced with hope, optimism, and joy.

I love other people and accept them as they are. But what was more profound for me was different. I came across self-love, self-esteem, self-acceptance, and self-confidence. Learning and practicing these remarkable concepts served as a panacea for dealing with loneliness.

Suffering from loneliness for a long time, I learned how to transform myself into a self-confident person

I transformed loneliness into pleasant solitude and serenity.

We are born lonely and will die lonely. I learned that dependency on others would not bring joy but disappointment and pessimism. I found real joy when I learned to love myself. Accepting the disturbing emotions, observing them without judging, and allowing them to wash through us can help bring pleasant emotions such as excitement, joy, hope, serenity, and optimism.

All emotions are ephemeral, and they don't define us.

Living moment by moment as an observant of our emotions can bring true happiness.

Thank you for reading my perspectives.

Reference: Simple & Powerful Life-Transforming Bio-Hacks.

Original version of this story was published on another platform.

friendship

About the author

Dr Mehmet Yildiz

I'm a writer and published author with four decades of content development experience in business, technology, leadership, and health. I work as a postdoctoral researcher and consultant. My background is at https://digitalmehmet.com.

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