Turning to Light After Being Exposed to Darkness
A Guide and Story of How Loneliness Can Be Toxic and What to Do to Break the Cycle of It
I used to write in sad verses onlyWhere the broken stayed brokenBut was wishing for a new startWhere someone would listen to the words they have spoken.
That way they would know that they’re crying out for helpAnd that waiting was the hardest partFor they felt as if no one saw them for who they wereAnd it was a ghost town that filled with each broken heart.
You're not alone.
While reflecting about the written words above, I know many people might feel the same right now or have experienced those feelings in the past. To those who have overcame the darkness, let us rejoice and help those who haven't.
Yet, to the ones who are experiencing loneliness themselves still whether that's because a relationship you had ended, you grew apart from a friend, a family member died, or some other loss of a loved one occurred, let's talk a bit.
It might feel as if the world is crashing around you and that nothing makes sense. Or maybe it feels as if you're drowning because of everything making sense in the worst possible way. Whatever it is, please know a few things.
- It's okay to not be okay right now.
- Your vulnerability is on your own terms.
- I can't say that everything gets better with time, because some things don't. However, it might get easier to cope with whatever it is you're going through right now.
And trust me, I've been there where these statements sound like bullshit and personally, that was built around my own defense mechanisms that I developed from observing how emotions often had a negative impact on relationships around me. So instead of dealing with more difficult confrontations with people, I allowed myself to sink down in the loneliness that so many of us may experience. I thought that if I kept my mouth shut in school then people would like me more and that if I was strong and stoic when face to face with my family, then we could focus on issues that were seemingly more important than my current struggles that were accumulating since I was 10 years old.
However, that was foolish of me to think of, because while I was isolating myself more from the outside world, I was allowing myself to be more alone. It was a cycle of self-loathing. One that was toxic and detrimental to my well-being. Maybe not then, but definitely later on.
You might be wondering, but then what can be done so I don't continue this cycle of pain from heartbreak?
Here is a list of things that I have found to be effective and later on I'll write about each of them in more depth:
- Surround yourself with positive people.
- Go out with those positive people, even if that's out of comfort zone.
- Talk with a trusted friend, family member or other loved one and if you feel like there is no one like that in your life, a professional.
- Exercise when you can.
- Listen to music.
Surround yourself with positive people.
The best way to combat the dark feeling of loneliness is not to be physically alone. I know that won't take away the feeling of still being alone right away, but if you create positivity in your life by drawing bright energy from your surroundings, then you can create moments of happiness. Those moments then can have lasting effects on you, because after all, happiness is momentarily and if you have positive people in your life, then you can create more situations where joy is adding to you instead of being taken away from.
Go out with those positive people, even if that's out of comfort zone.
It might feel easy just to stay in, wrapped in a blanket and watch Netflix when feeling like you're alone in the world. I mean nothing is as tempting as that carton of ice cream and the comfortableness of your mattress, since those two things have never rejected you and don't have the ability to do so. But what you're doing there is enforcing the same cycle of isolation. I'm not saying to never spend a night in where you can just cuddle in your own comfort in the quiet darkness that you may feel like you can prevail in, because there are times where that's needed in order to decompress or realign yourself. What I'm saying is, here and there, just push your boundaries out and spend sometime with others that aren't yourself. Or even just question if you should or if it would be better to stay home. You know you better than anyone else, so you would know what's a good idea for your health. Humans are innately rational after all.
Talk with a trusted friend, family member or other loved one and if you feel like there is no one like that in your life, a professional.
When the entire world seems against you and it just feels as if nothing is going right, finding a person you can trust to confide eases loads off of you. You're able to get what you need in various situations, whether that's hearing what you need to hear and logic, getting a shoulder to cry on, having someone mirror your emotions, force you to ponder over what's really going on, need for a larger connection or someone to make you smile. There's someone out there for that. And if you don't have someone in your life that you personally know, there are resources that you can go in and just decompress with someone to listen to you and guide your path of self-betterment. Therapy may leave a nasty taste in your mouth, but if you put in the time and find the right psychiatrist/psychologist/counselor for you then it can make a world of difference. Their job is to help you after all.
Exercise when you can.
This one for some people might be the most disgusting. Sweat. Sore muscles. Not to mention that after a day of school or work, you're energy just might not be there. However, with the release of endorphins and neurotransmitters that occur when you exercise, you feel good once you do and get in the rhythm of doing so. I know saying to exercise is a lot easier than actually exercising, but even if you walk 10 minutes out of your busy day or do 60 crunches before you eat dinner or after you get out of bed in the morning, then that's something more than what was being done before and eventually when you see improvement in you're physical health and mental health, you might find that you love the strength it creates and continue to push outside your boundaries.
Alone time is just as valuable as time when you're being social. However, often times that down time you get when you're suddenly all by yourself can hit you hard and have a lasting impact on your well-being if you weren't prepared for any overwhelming feelings. In these moments, writing can soothe your soul, even if you tell yourself that you hate writing or that you are terrible at it. Getting rough emotions out on paper is a way to release what you're holding onto. Not everyone likes talking with others either, so if you're one of those people then writing in a journal or in forms of poems or making lists on what you want to do to improve your well-being and reflections on that each day can be a very effective way to manage anything life throws at you.
Listen to music.
Music often touches are souls when words simply can't. If you aren't in the mood to connect with others, write or exercise. It's easy to just pull up youtube or music on your phone or laptop or some streaming device and play the music that you need for any situation. If you need a pick me up, there's music for that. If you need to sob your heart out, the good thing is is that there's music for that too. Music is universal.
I know this is easier said then done, but you can get through this and find those people that will help you through anything. And if you can't, I hope the tactics to use when alone can also help. Stay positive and choose kind.
These days now though, I am no longer writing in hopeless stanzasfor the words that come to mind are now this colorful blurthat people would say is filled with a fairytale like essencewhere the broken no longer stayed broken and instead felt at peace with who they are and were.
About the author
I'm a g student who is working toward all the dreams that I have made over the last 22 years. My life hasn't necessarily been easy nor has it been difficult, but I still have gained valuable lessons that I hope to share.