Loneliness and Adversity

Photo by Evgeni Dinev FreeDigitalPhotos
Photo by Evgeni Dinev FreeDigitalPhotos

Everyone experiences pain.

Some supreme being may be inflicting and easing this pain as we grow, or we may be alone to cope with setbacks and failures in this life. Either way, everyone experiences it to some degree, probably at several points in our lives. People often trying to invalidate others pain by insisting theirs is worse. It’s a slippery slope once empathy begins to dwindle and communities begin to separate.

When someone experiences heartbreak, they may tend to grasp at straws searching for comfort. Some people turn to substance abuse, or food, or throwing themselves into their work. But in my experience, the only way to truly cope is to have people. Being in distress can cause people to feel alone, or to shut themselves out from others. This only leads to loneliness and more problems.

When misery overcomes me, my first instinct is to give up and isolate myself. As I’ve accumulated more and more life experience, I’ve learned that this is destructive to my emotional health and progress is unlikely if I use this method of “coping.” However irrational, throwing myself into a selfish downward spiral appeals greatly when I’m dealing with some form of grief. Because of this, feeling lonely eats away at me until I feel empty.

I have a theory that is a work in progress. If only people came together more to help others deal with their pain, and to seek assistance for their own distress, a lot of suffering could be eased. For me to state that the secret to magically erasing all human grief is to simply have people around you would be a statement of ignorance. But trying to navigate the unpredictable turbulence of life all alone is a harrowing and a nearly impossible task. If I had been more open to others and allowed myself to be vulnerable and seek assistance, I would have gotten through the adversity I have faced much faster and healthier.

Whether it is a friend or some form of divine intervention, feeling as though someone has your back is a way to significantly improve your perspective. To shut yourself off from others and to be in solitude is to be alone with one’s thoughts. The negative effect this can have on any given person is evident in the way that many humans have a crippling fear of loneliness-and for good cause. To be with others is to have someone to talk to, to reassure you, and to help distract you.

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