One of the problems that plagues me most is loneliness. I have a big family (I have 5 siblings) so when I’m home, I’m constantly surrounded by people who love me. Now that I’m back at school, I no longer have my family to distract me from my loneliness. At the moment, I’m sitting on my bed, alone in my apartment. I try to spend most of my time with friends and just come back to my place when I need to shower or sleep, but I’ll inevitably be alone sometimes. The feeling of loneliness sometimes leaves me with this deep, painful sadness. I used to cry a lot when I was alone, but I’m better about handling it now.
The fact is, loneliness is a part of life. There’s no way you can keep yourself surrounded by people every second of the day — even when you’re in a public, crowded place, you’re left alone with your thoughts. And even when you lie in a bed with someone else, you’re alone in your dreams and subconscious thoughts while you sleep.
People (myself included) often use technology to try to curb the feelings of loneliness. Tonight I found myself cycling rhythmically between social media apps on my phone, without really thinking about it.
Facebook: I’ve already read all these updates, nothing new.
Twitter: RT Aaron Paul’s emoji-filled tweets about Breaking Bad.
Tumblr: Reblog pictures of a forest.
Instagram: Like my friends’ pictures of them at parties (and feel bad about being alone, looking at these pictures while sitting on the toilet).
Snapchat: Selfie — “Sittin’ on a toilet doe lol.”
Lather, rinse, repeat.
I suddenly snapped out of it after realizing how zombielike I’ve become. More and more, I feel isolated even in a room of friends, while they scroll through their newsfeeds while we watch movies together. I can’t say I’m not guilty of doing the same, but I think it’s important that we realize this habit of staying disconnected from the people right in front of us. It’s easier to feel lonely when your closest companion is your smartphone and everyone else you’re checking on online seems to be having the time of their lives.
Instead of keeping myself distracted with my phone tonight, I’ve turned it off and thrown it under my bed. I’m only somewhat worried that I’m actually part of a horror movie and the audience is screaming at me for not having the foresight to leave my phone on in case I need to call someone to save me from a murderer (I just got back from watching Sinister with my friends tonight so I’m still in the paranoid state of mind). I’m going to sit with the loneliness, because the only way to be comfortable with being alone is to be comfortable with only the company of myself. And if you’re at a place in your life where you can’t bear to be alone either, I think you should try it out too–you might just learn that you’re actually a really cool person to be alone with, and that you don’t always need others to make you happy.