Hectic and frustrating days that turn into stressful and lonely nights have become normal. Sleepless nights, staring at the ceiling. Waking up at 4 in the morning with the mind racing, thinking about this and that, not being able to shut it off.
You fill your day with a job that you love and pays you well. You eat nutritious, good-tasting food. You plan fun activities with good friends in the evening. Basically, you create a rich, exciting life for yourself and still feel incredibly sad when it is time to go to sleep.
The darkness allows all your anxieties to start dancing. The lights go out and your mind spins, replays all the things you said that did not come out the way you meant. Your mind bombards you with intrusive thoughts – horrific videos that you can not turn away from, playing over and over.
It is then that all the distractions you had throughout the day fall away and your fears are laid bare. The more you follow these thoughts the more you are feeding your loneliness.
By the middle of the night if you can not sleep, you are meeting the feelings on their own terms without any defenses. This leads to irrational thinking and catastrophizing where the mundane seems a lot more real.
In the darkest moments of night, you convince yourself that everyone you love hates you. That you are a failure at your job, at parenting, at life. You tell yourself that everyone who has ever hurt you, or left you, or spoken ill about you in any way was absolutely in the right.
And when your anxiety is at its worst, it follows you even into your dreams. Dark, twisted images that seem haunting and all too real, resulting in restless sleep and night sweats that serve as further proof of your panic.
You would pay anything – give everything – for a chance to escape them.
Loneliness is a feeling, not a fact. When you are feeling lonely, it is because something has triggered a memory of that feeling, not because you are in fact, isolated and alone. The brain is designed to pay attention to pain and danger, and that includes painful scary feelings; therefore loneliness gets your attention.
Lonelinesss is the best time to get things done, so do not waste it. There are plenty of people who can never find a moment alone, desperately seeking some time to get things done without any distractions. So think of your alone time as an opportunity for progress, not a curse.
You can become more self-sufficient, adventurous, or just get all of your crap together so you are really ready for when you are not alone in the future. Best of all, you can take the time to get to know yourself. You can be as introspective as you like, learning who you really are without others affecting your thoughts and actions.
You can not be lonely if you like the person you are alone with.