Friday, 23 September 2016

Thoughts On Loneliness

Thoughts On Loneliness mental health mental illness blogger UK lifestyle

I am lonely and I am 17. Two words you don't expect to hear in the same sentence. Young people get lonely? I thought it was just old people who get lonely? Don't be silly- you will find someone one day, you won't be alone forever. 

Oh, I wish loneliness was that simple and straight forward. You see the thing is loneliness affects people of all ages, from all ethnic backgrounds, genders etc. Loneliness isn't exclusive to old people contrary to what most people think. No one is immune from being affected by loneliness at any stage of their life. 

Today I want to share with you why I accept my loneliness and how I come to terms with it. I want to talk to you about how it feels to be young and lonely. If you feel like you are going through a similar situation right now- I am always here to listen. Loneliness is one of the worst things you can ever possibly go through, I wouldn't wish it upon my worst enemy.


I have a mental illness. Mental illness makes me lonely. My OCD makes me isolated, lonely and segregated from society. It stops me going out and enjoying myself. I can't do the things that normal teenagers do my age. I can't go to the cinema or to parties. I can't keep friendships or relationships. My fear of contamination truly ruins and rules my life. 

Mental illness also makes me lonely because I can't talk about it openly with people outside the blogging community. People don't understand. They think they understand, but they don't. People get annoyed and frustrated with me when I can't do something but I can't tell them why or about the bullying voices inside my head. I love these people dearly, which is why I hide everything away from them. I don't want to hurt them. 

Mental illness is full of stigma. Every single mental illness out there has a stigma surrounding it which makes talking about it openly hard. In the fear of being judged or neglected by society, I suppress these emotions, thoughts, and feelings which contribute to my loneliness.

I often joke about having no friends and no social life. The truth is, it really does hurt. Every Friday and Saturday night when I scroll through the photos of parties from the night before on Facebook or when I see friends celebrating relationship anniversaries, my heart breaks a little bit inside.

Thoughts On Loneliness mental health blogger UK lifestyle beauty mental illness

I know one person outside the blogging community who I would confidently call my friend. My best friend in fact. She is my rock and I don't know what I would do without her. I don't have anyone else. I know people who I might have a fleeting conversation with every now and again but these people aren't friends they are just acquaintances. I am also an only child. I have grown up in a quiet environment but sometimes the silence is deafening.

But Nicole, you may be thinking, you have all these thousands of people who follow you on social media. These people that support you and love you to pieces. That's so true! Words can't express how grateful I am for the blogging community but something that I think about a lot is that; your just a number. 

I find it near impossible to understand that real people, with real eyes, real personalities, and real emotions read my blog. I also constantly worry that one day it will all be gone. With one click of a button, all these friendships I have built up could be terminated (Don't worry guys, I'm not going anywhere) just like that! Isn't that scary?

I'm not going to lie to you guys, I spend a lot of my time on Twitter scrolling and checking my notifications. When I get a DM, I get that little feeling of excitement you get when you find money you didn't know you had. Someone cares about me. Someone wants to talk to me. The worst times are night times. I'm bored, I keep refreshing my notifications but nobody wants to talk and I sink back into my loneliness hole. That makes me sound really sad but when I am having a bad day, loneliness can really bring me down and makes me question every element of my life. Will I feel this way forever?

However, Words can't express how thankful I am for the blogging community. The friendships I have cemented over two years of blogging is incredible. People a couple of months ago, I never spoke to, I can now call some of my dearest friends. You see when I am having a bad mental health day or struggling with loneliness- part of me wants to shut myself off further from the world but equally part of me wants to chat to people for hours on end.

There are so many people I speak to on an almost daily or weekly basis who mean the absolute world to me. They are there for me when I need them. They provide me support and advice when I am feeling low. They congratulate me when I achieve. But not only are they there for me, I am there for them. 

Friendship is a two-way thing. In order for friendships to work, you need to be there for them as much as they are there for you. Blogging allows me to do that. Blogging allows me to provide advice, support and encouragement to people who really need it. There is something so satisfying and fulfilling about being able to help someone else out. Without blogging, I wouldn't get this opportunity. 

There are too many names to mention, but you know who you are. This may seem a really extreme thing to say but if I hadn't started blogging and got so involved in the community I don't know if I would be here today. And if I would, I would be deeply deeply unhappy. You guys give me something to live for and you will never know how thankful I am for that. Next year, my main blogging goal is to meet so many of you! 

The thing is with loneliness is that you can be lonely in a crowd full of people. You can have the biggest friendship group and most amazing family ever but you can still be lonely. We all get lonely from time to time when we worry that we will never have a significant other and that we will die alone. 

But sometimes you can't control what makes you lonely. I didn't choose to have a mental illness. I can't decide what those around me do, think or say about my mental health. I can fight stigma all day long but unfortunately, sometimes loneliness creeps up on us when we least expect it and all we can do is crumble and surrender on our hands and knees.

Do you think it's time society changes its stereotypical perception on what loneliness is and who it affects? Have you ever been affected by loneliness? I would love to know in the comments below! 

If you want to chat about loneliness, mental health or anything else you can email me at thriftyvintagefashionbusiness@mail.com or send me a DM on Twitter (thriftyvintage_) I would hate anyone to suffer in silence. I am always here for you.

Thank you for reading, as always X

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17 comments

  1. The thing for me is that I don't really get lonely when I'm on my own (it does happen sometimes but not often) but I do experience loneliness when I'm in a room full of people or just surrounded by a lot of people in general & I don't really have a real connection or shared interests with them. I can't tell you that I know what you feel like because I'm not affected by loneliness the way you are but what I can tell you is that you're not alone & that I'll always be here for you if you need someone to listen, someone to talk to. I really do mean it. I hope we get to meet next year, I'd love to talk to you in person x

    Sara’sChapters

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    1. aww Sara! Yes, we do need to meet next year! I would love that!!

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  2. This was a super interesting post. I feel loneliness, not to the degree you do, but I get that feeling of watching people out enjoying themselves at the weekend or checking my phone for notifications constantly. It sucks doesnt it? I think one of the ways I try to over come it is put everything into my blog, because this is something that exists outside of school and my friendship group. Its mine and the people I interact with are 'mine'. I also avoid the internet, especially snapchat, because it makes me feel crap sometimes. When I've turned off my notifications and allow myself to spend enjoyable time alone, listening to a podcast or painting, I feel okay about it.
    But I know this is so much easier said and done.
    This was such an eloquently written piece and (in my eyes) so brave to reveal such a vulnerability. I think their is a stigma around being lonely but if we voiced it, there would be far far far more people that felt the same.
    I hope you are feeling okay,
    katie-louu.blogspot.co.uk

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    1. Thank you so much Katie! Yes, I try to distract myself with work, photography or blogging but sometimes loneliness just creeps up on me when I least expect it

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  3. It's like I could have written this (although you express it better than I ever could so thank you!) - I totally get how excluding having a mental illness can be and how its hard to truly be yourself because you're scared of people becoming angry or frustrated or sad. I'm so glad you can talk to your best friend and that the blogging community has given you that much hope - I hope becoming more invested in blogging will some day give me those friendships and relationships that help me feel less lonely.

    I'm so glad I read this post - and in fact came across your blog, I forgot how helpful it is reading about people who are going through the same thing and how comforting it is to feel less of an outcast. I've recently fallen back into bad thoughts and feelings and with the new academic year beginning I fear this only getting worse - so thanks for your advice and support and it would be lovely to have a chat and get to know you soon!

    Josie

    JosieVictoriaa

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    1. aw lovely, thank you so much for your lovely comment! Yes, it would be lovely to have a chat! I;m always around on Twitter! xx

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  4. First, you are so good at writing personal posts like this. I totally get you on feeling lonely, although it is for different reasons. I'm living on my own without a roommate for the first time and it does get lonely sometimes. I'm with people all day at work, but I don't really have friends at work yet. Sometimes I wish I could just come home and tell a friend about my day or how I'm feeling. I think it's mostly normal to feel lonely sometimes. Movies and TV and even social media make it seem like teenagers are and young adults have a friend group that they are always spending time with which makes it feel more isolating when you do feel lonely and like you don't fit that mold. Just know other people feel lonely and you're definitely not alone in that!

    - Courtney
    courtneylthings.blogspot.com

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    1. Thank you so much Courtney for your kind words xx

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  5. I loved this post, Nicole! I think everyone has gone through a phase of looniness at one time or another. I personally experience loneliness in the 9th grade. I had a "boyfriend" and when I couldn't give him certain things he turned on me. And the whole school did too. I was no longer a part of the in crowd I was desperate to be apart of. That's when I turned to my blog.

    https://guiliannamarie.blogspot.com

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    1. aw that sounds awful but I am glad you found comfort in your blog x

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  6. Great post, Nicole. I know all about loneliness after my first year at university. I would be stuck in my accommodation bedroom for days on end and found it so hard to talk to people; although I had my parents and boyfriend back home, the fact that they were 200 miles away actually made me feel even more isolated. When you say 'you can be lonely in a crowd full of people' it's so accurate; it's weird and upsetting to feel lonely at uni when there are thousands of other students around you.
    I'm so sorry that you have to go through this while still at school; it truly isn't fair. But just to let you know - I have real eyes, a real personality and real emotions, and I read every post you write. They all make me think hard about all sorts of things and I really appreciate that. Even if it did all disappear one day - the people you have impacted and helped through your posts would still be around to remember and be grateful for it. A blog like yours has a lasting impact, and I think that's a rare and special thing.
    Thanks, as ever, for your writing!
    Lx | Lightly We Go

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    1. Oh my! That's one of the nicest things anyone has ever said to me!! thank you so much xxx

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  7. Definitely anyone at any age can be lonely, I truly believe that and I'm sorry to hear that you're in that boat Nicole. I totally understand the whole mental illness and feeling lonely, like yes I have a handful of friends who I love to pieces but my anxiety really does put me apart from them, especially when I can't go out places or make it into college. It does feel like I'm isolated and the only person feeling that way, so I understand. I hope you're okay Nicole and loneliness isn't something you experience your entire life, well I can assure you that you won't!

    Lucy | Forever September

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  8. I couldn't have agreed more with this post. I live with my boyfriend and yet have intense feelings of loneliness yet nobody ever understands why I feel this way. "You have a boyfriend!" "You see him everyday!" Loneliness isn't only caused by having nobody around. Sometimes it can really be the opposite. The more people I surround myself with, the more lonely I feel. Great post Nicole!

    www.lacylatest.co.uk

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    1. Yes! That's how I feel most of the time! Thanks Lacy x

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  9. I was so lonely at that age. I was in high school and had one best friend but I was developing social anxiety then (which I still have now) and my anxiety, mixed with having super strict parents made it impossible for me to go out or spend time with most friends. That was when I started writing seriously. It was a fantastic escape.

    Alisha | http://www.alishaspinkdaisies.com/

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