People find it nearly impossible to reach out for help when they are the most in despair. Why is that so prevalent? What is it about being lonely, which is the number one complaint in any therapist’s office that makes people want to go home and be alone?
With loneliness comes a despair that makes people resort to old coping mechanisms learned long ago to survive. Whether it is being lonely from not being with people or being lonely in a crowd it is the same feeling within us.
What are some of the reasons we get stuck in those suffering places of loneliness wherever we are? What keeps people in these stuck places inside themselves? The following give us clues as to what is really going on having loneliness as a constant companion.
Inability to reach out for help.
Most people find it impossible to reach out to anyone who has ever said, “Give me a call when you feel alone and lonely.” Or “I have felt the same way and it helps to reach out to someone to get out of loneliness.” We just don’t make that call or fear the response from the other end of the call or text.
2. Staying in the familiar.
Even though the thought of not being lonely is a dream of so many people, the familiarity of being alone and lonely is too much to change. In today’s culture of binge watching Netflix or descending into the world of video games, reality is less enticing. These things promote being alone and the loneliness comes only when the game is over or the series ends. Anyone one who has watched a show, ever, and felt the disappointment of its final episode or being cancelled will feel the emptiness that being lonely brings.
There is nothing more powerful than fear to keep a person stuck in a feeling, behavior or situation that becomes only increasingly painful. Fear comes on us and remains as anxiety that can be chronic and seemingly never ending. Some people find it the most difficult part of their lives to leave an unacceptable and intolerable situation because of fear. “What if” becomes the constant answer to any change made when we are in fear and attempt to change our feelings, situations or behaviors by ourselves. It does not work.
So what is the answer to this age-old question of ridding ourselves of loneliness? The only way to realize change in our lives is to reach out for help, become comfortable with unfamiliar and going through fear.
We must admit we cannot do these things on our own. We need the help of other people who are going through the same things. Staying alone in our old patterns only makes us worse, never better.
The shift within us comes only in trying something new and seeing what happens. There is no situation that you can’t handle; you’ve handled everything thus far.
Counseling centers, our PCP’s and referrals from friends afford us the opportunities for the possibilities of finding those of us who are going through the same fears and loneliness.