Throughout our "Identity" series, we've touched on a lot of different topics which should stir up different questions about self-awareness and our mental and emotional state as individuals. Usually when discussing topics such as mental health and highlighting issues like depression and anxiety, we tend to miss the overall "big picture".
Even though we have learned a lot about these topics within the past couple of months (if you missed out, make sure you check out our previous blog posts!), one thing we cannot neglect the main idea of this entire series: how these issues affect us on both an individual and community-based scale when ignored or overlooked. When we don't discuss what is going on around us or within us, we fall victim to a lot of unnecessary pain, trauma, and even tragedy.
So, what do we do? We can speak up about what we're dealing with as a member of society. Whether you believe it or not, you matter. I matter. We as a community matter, and it is imperative that we open up about the struggles that we face in this life. One key topic that we seem to overlook is the topic of loneliness, putting it in the categories of "attention-seeking", "depressed", or "outsider". Believe it or not, loneliness falls into a category all its own; it can, of course, be coupled with other symptoms and conditions that make it seem as though it's not an exclusive issue. What's unfortunate is that, without intentional communication, most people aren't aware that someone they know and care about is dealing with loneliness. It's not until the affected individual exhibits behavior that is detrimental to themselves and others that people tend to stop and pay attention.
How can someone detect and address someone that might be dealing with loneliness? It can stem from many different reasons, such as loss of a loved one or friend, any form of rejection, fear of social interaction, and even issues dealing with and communicating anger and sadness in a healthy manner. From the perspective of someone who has dealt with loneliness, what's phenomenal is how discreet and inconspicuous it can be. You can literally be in a room full of people, laughing and socializing, yet feel as if no one loves you, accepts you, or understands your true self.
A lot of times, loneliness is felt by people living a life that someone else wants them to live, or carrying out a purpose that they assume they are supposed to. If you've ever felt like this, the good news is you're not alone. Another piece of good news is that there are ways to break out of this mindset, and lead a life that is healthy, fulfilling, and bursting with peace and joy. Talk to someone you trust, and don't be afraid of judgment. There are certain people that are put in our lives for a reason, and they're there as reminder that we're not going through it alone.