“Leave me alone, I’m lonely”

“At the end of the day, when it comes down to it, all we really want is to be close to somebody.”

I’ve always had a thing about feeling lonely. It’s something that makes me feel deeply vulnerable, and I rarely voice my thoughts on it to anyone. (Writing it here is terrifying me and making me very anxious!!) I don’t like talking about it because it sounds a bit silly, and sounds like such a sad emotion. Though I might feel lonely sometimes, I really don’t feel sad!!! 

Sometimes I thought it was an only child thing. Sometimes I thought I just didn’t fit in. Sometimes I thought I hadn’t found the right people. Sometimes I thought I was just different, or odd. And sometimes I just assumed that’s the way I was, and that’s how I was always going to feel. But is it just me? Or does everyone, or at least some people, feel lonely sometimes? 

I really don’t like the word lonely. I think it sounds melodramatic and a bit pathetic, and I just don’t think it describes the feeling properly. I saw a link on Facebook recently to an article/post on a mental health website about feeling lonely, and it summed it up pretty well: 

Lonely is isolation, it breeds negative self identity, increasing sadness and anxiety. When we feel lonely, we feel like nobody loves us. We remember all of the evidence that points to this fact. (And for some reason, our mind gets empty of all the evidence against it.)

The article went on to list things loneliness can make you think, the majority of which I could relate to feeling at some stage, and that I’m not brave enough to admit to on here. It’s a weird, confusing and horrible feeling to experience. I don’t understand what it is that makes me feel like that. I have amazing friends and family and I have several close friends whom I love and who I know love me, yet sometimes my brain convinces me that they don’t. Real closeness is something I really, really value and treasure in a friendship, (that’s why I love that Grey’s quote so much) probably because it lets you know that you’re not on your own. 

Something I’ve spent years agonising over is people not understanding, or ‘getting’ me. I’ve never truly felt like I fit in anywhere (is this just me?!) and have this recurring, crippling self doubt that makes me convinced people don’t really like me. But on reading something in a friend’s blog tonight, I realised something blatantly obvious. Another side effect of my lack of confidence is that I don’t usually let people see the real me. I’m shy and nervous and scared of what people will think of me, so most of the time I’m extra reserved and don’t really let ‘me’ show properly. So how on earth can I expect people to understand me, if I don’t let them see who I am?! I couldn’t count how many times I’ve cried over feeling like I don’t fit in or like people don’t get me (more so – yet not entirely confined – to my teenage years than recently), yet it’s at least partly through my own doing. 

Now this all sounds a bit pitiful and pathetic (and embarrassing), and this isn’t meant to be a negative post. One of my 2016 intentions is to be positive and look at things in a positive light, and I’m doing okay at it so far. It’s not negative, because I can see that I’m making something out of nothing. I can see my errors. I can see that I’ve been putting up barriers, then complaining when people don’t push through. So if I want things to be or feel different, I know what to do. 

We spend so much time in life playing it cool, pretending we’re alright on our own and that we don’t really need people, when actually we so do. I’ve ranted before that it really frustrates me that we don’t say what we really think or tell people how we really feel. But we should. What’s stopping us? (There’s definitely another post in there somewhere…) 

I’m not sure this post really has any particular point – I wrote it more for my own sanity than to make any profound point. But I will say this – always keep reminding the people you love that you love them. No matter how many times you’ve told them, keep telling them. Remind them why you love them and why you value them. It can make all the difference. 

  
 

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Good intentions 

So, 1st of January again. As year’s go, 2015 was pretty great. Munich and Salzburg with Matt which was lovely, then Mexico in April with the parents and swimming with dolphins which was an incredible experience. In June i abseiled 165ft from the forth rail bridge and raised over £600 for Alzheimer Scotland which I have to say I’m quite proud of. I passed my second year of uni and got into honours (just!!) before flying to the other side of the world. Matt and I spent a really great, very special two weeks in Australia with his brother Gareth, sister in law Linda, and wonderful, crazy nephew Angus. We spent a week in a beautiful place called Hamilton Island and I snorkelled in the Great Barrier Reef, and most excitingly, Matt proposed on Whitehaven beach, and I said yes!!! We’ve had a fab week at summer school and been to two lovely weddings since then, as well as countless other outings, gatherings and adventures. 2015 has definitely been one I will never forget. 

I was reading the post I wrote this time last year with a couple of resolutions for 2015, and the main thing I wrote was that I wanted to be more confident. And one year on from then, I’m really quite proud to say that I think I’ve achieved that goal! I’m not sure if it’s something that’s noticeable to anyone other than me (and I’d be interested to hear what my friends think!) but there are so many areas of my life where I think I’ve become more confident. It’s not always big things – in fact more often than not it’s been tiny little steps that most people wouldn’t think twice about, but to someone shy/awkward/introverted/quiet like me seems huge and terrifying. Most of the things sound so silly I’d be too embarrassed to write them down, but from phoning to book our wedding photographer myself, to helping at kids club, I know I’ve grown in confidence this year.  

I read something on Instagram last night that the actress Sophia Bush (One Tree Hill, Chicago PD…) shared: 

  

“Ditch the resolutions……Create an intention

It says to ditch the resolutions, as resolution suggests there is a problem to fix. Instead, reflect, learn from your past, and create an intention. I like this a lot. I have many intentions for 2016 and I am determined to ‘back them with action’ and carry them out, rather than leaving them as just good willed intentions at the beginning of the year. 

2016 intentions: 

  1. Eat better and healthier. This seems like such a January cliche, but I really do want to, for multiple reasons. Firstly, I find cooking quite a challenge and often go for convenience which tends to mean processed food, or a huge bowl of pasta. Neither of which are very good for your insides or waistline. Secondly, I’m not very good at food shopping for one person and throw a lot out. (Bad for money and environment!) I also have a bit of a temperamental stomach so I’m hoping that by eating better and healthier, and drinking more water, it might help my insides too. 
  2. Do more exercise. Similar to the above point about eating. I want to help my insides, and just generally get healthier and fitter – it’s embarrassing when at 22, you get out of breath climbing the stairs or every bone clicks when you stand up! Also, with a holiday to Florida coming up in April, it would be nice to tone up a bit! I started a gym membership in December so determined to go once a week at minimum! 
  3. Procrastinate less. It sounds simple, but I literally lose countless hours through procrastinating or wasting time. I’m determined to really make an effort to get more done, be more efficient, productive and organised. 
  4.  Read more. I’ve always loved reading but I’ve not done it as much recently as I’d like to. Linked to my procrastinating, I spend so much time doing nothing essentially that I then need to spend the rest of my time on uni work and don’t get around to reading, and escaping into a book is something I miss. 
  5. Keep a diary/journal/blog more. I’ve tried the whole diary thing a few times in the past year and not stuck to it, but I’d really like to. I found an app this morning called ‘Grid diary’ that I really like and plan to use. It gives you a grid with different headers to write under that can be customised to whatever you like. I’m going to use it to try and keep myself accountable to these resolutions/intentions, and because I find that writing things down tends to make me feel a little less mental.   
  6. Be less negative. These sound really naive and silly written down, but it’s the little things that make the difference. I am very good at being negative and not very good at being positive. Basically, I want to change that. Complain and moan less, be grateful and thankful more. Remind myself that I can do things rather than can’t. Not put myself down so much, and celebrate the small (and big!) achievements. 
  7. Be a better friend/family member/person. Like I said, it sounds idealistic and naive, but it’s so so easy to become self involved and forget that everyone is facing their own battles – not everything is about me! Be kind is definitely going to be one of my 2016 mottos!
  8. Be happy. Whether it’s from big achievements or small moments, there are always reasons to be happy and grateful, and I’m really going to try and remember that! 

2016 is already shaping up to be a bit exciting. Prague next week with Matt, mum and dad, Florida in April with Matt and some of our best friends and their kids (which will be madness but I can’t wait!!!) and my best friend is getting married in August (yay!!). I spent 2015 with some amazing people and I’m so grateful to all they mean to me and the different ways they all impact my life. Who knows what else this next year has in store, but I’m excited and ready for what’s to come and whatever that may be, I know I’ve got the best people by my side to do it all with ☺️ 

Happy New Year people, make it count 😊