I put together an outfit and did a slightly editorial shoot to reflect what I see as the concept of loneliness.
Several times in the past year, I found myself fatigued, both physically and mentally, seemingly for no reason at all. Curled up in bed all morning, eyes closed but mind awake, I was unable to move my body until the afternoon sun blasted through the curtains, guilting me into getting up so I wouldn’t waste the whole entire day. Out of bed I’d go, but I’d continue lounging about, first on the couch, then at the kitchen table, and next on the living room floor, until I was finally able to muster enough energy to either exercise or take a walk. Once my endorphins were pumping, my mood boosted a little, but in general, I was still lethargic and down.
These bouts of what I thought were mild depression came and went, lasting for a few weeks at a time. I’d never felt that way before, and I knew their sudden oncoming was brought by the extreme societal changes occurring at the time. No travel, no social gatherings, no entertainment outside the home. There was nothing to look forward to, no distractions or relief from the stress of my job and everyday life. A lot of what I lived for was suddenly gone, which left a huge part of me strangely empty. I didn’t know how to deal with that, and I assumed that’s why I kept getting down.
I tried my best to hide my sadness, but I’m honestly not a good liar. Hiding my sadness meant hiding myself – drawing inward and disappearing from those around me so as to not burden them with what was going on. I know it sounds silly, but I’ve always been very independent and hated troubling others by asking for help. So I held all this inside and tried my very best to deal with it on my own.
Because of this, I spent much of last year in a daze, having happy moments but not realizing they were happy until long after they were gone, and I was browsing through pictures. I tried several times to snap out of it, but nothing worked for the long term. Outbursts of tears helped temporarily, relieving my stress in an instant and keeping me happy for a few weeks, but another bout of depression would eventually set in and start wreaking more havoc on my life.
It wasn’t until recently that I realized these “depressions” weren’t actually depression. By the grace of God, I stumbled upon someone discussing loneliness, and everything that was said hit the nail of my symptoms right on the head.
This prompted me to do some research of my own, and after reading up on it for quite a few days, I realized I had been suffering from some form of chronic loneliness. And that’s when I decided to make this post, to maybe help anyone else out who has also been feeling the same way and doesn’t yet know why.
Here is the formal definition of chronic loneliness, which I’ve taken straight from the best article I found on the subject, because I can’t explain it myself:
“Chronic loneliness occurs when feelings of loneliness and uncomfortable social isolation go on for a long period of time. It’s characterized by constant and unrelenting feelings of being alone, separated or divided from others, and an inability to connect on a deeper level. It can also be accompanied by deeply rooted feelings of inadequacy, poor self-esteem, and self-loathing.”
The article is from the health insurance company Cigna, and you can read the full thing here. It gives wonderful details and explanations about loneliness that I won’t get into myself because I’m not a doctor or healthcare professional. (Always get health information directly from the experts themselves 😊) The article also discusses what to do if you think you’re lonely, something everyone could probably benefit from at this point.
Anyway, after learning a ton about loneliness and chronic loneliness, I know 100% that I was lonely because of the general social isolation brought on by the pandemic. Even though I had loving, supporting people right with me the whole time, I still felt trapped and isolated because I couldn’t go out and explore the world and meet new people and catch up with old friends the way I used to. With such a big part of me gone, it felt like I didn’t even know myself anymore, hence loneliness.
Knowing all this has helped me completely turn myself around over the past month. I have been doing simple things to make me feel whole again, and I am so grateful I stumbled into that loneliness post about a month ago. I know I will probably end up feeling lonely again throughout 2021, but now that I know about it, I’ll be able to prevent it from impacting my life so severely.
Not sure if this helped anyone, but if it did, I am so happy to have helped you. I wish you nothing but the best, and I pray for your eternal peace and happiness. Also, if you are feeling lonely, remember that you’re not alone 😉 So many people are feeling the same way right now, and there’s always someone out there to talk to. Even me!
So if you’re feeling lonely and don’t think you can overcome it, please reach out to someone. Whether it’s a doctor, a family member, a friend, or even me, talking to someone about it and getting help from anyone you can is vital. Things like loneliness can eventually develop into depression and other life-threatening health problems, so it’s something you should take very seriously.
Once again, if you need someone to talk to and feel like you don’t have anyone, then see my contact page and shoot me an email, or even DM me on Instagram. I’m always here 😊
Thanks so much for reading, and please enjoy the rest of the photos from my shoot, where I was just goofing off and having fun:
Those last three were me dancing horribly back to the camera cause it was cold and we were finally done.
Thanks for reading, until next time ❤