Healing For Loneliness

Picture it… you walk into the cafeteria on the first day of middle school.  New school. New schedule. New people.  You look around for a familiar face.  Panic starts to crawl up the back of your neck and you get nervous and flushed.  Your heart starts pounding and sweat starts to bead.  Fear pulls you further and further down until FINALLY… you spot a friend.  Relief washes over you as you make your way over to them.

Do we ever really lose that feeling, even as adults? Maybe we can manage it a bit better, but going into a crowd where I might not know a soul STILL gives me that flushed, panicky feeling.  What is it that we are afraid of?  It could be that we are afraid we will be exposed, that somehow the spotlight is on us and everyone will see our flaws and things we most try to hide.  In that moment, although the case can be made that we are PERFECTLY fine on our own, the safety of another person soothes the fear.

One of the things I hear the most often from my clients is the problem of loneliness.  Whether it’s by choice or seems out of their control, loneliness seems to be an epidemic.  Is alone time necessary?  Absolutely.  The flip side is that too much alone time can lead us to form our own stories about what is true about ourselves, and sometimes those stories can paint us as the villain or unworthy of relationships.

Many who struggle with loneliness have had relationships in the past that gave us the idea that we aren’t worthy.  Parents, grandparents, friends, partners could have all left us with the impression that we aren’t good enough AND THEREFORE it’s best not to risk it.  There’s little in the way of tools to help us put ourselves out there, and sometimes when we’ve tried, we haven’t seen the results we want.

Here’s an article that I’ve enjoyed which brings out some excellent points, especially about how making and maintaining relationships takes effort on our part.  Sometimes we sit back and hope it will just happen.  We’ve all been there! Also, check out the part about how our perception about a situation colors everything.  I hope you enjoy!


~Sarah Pippin, Registered Mental Health Counselor Intern

(407) 906-2241



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