On Loneliness

Recently, I heard that young people between the ages of 16-24 feel the most lonely It didn’t surprise me in the slightest because I completely agree. The last few years I’ve felt very lonely – even in the last few weeks I’ve struggled with loneliness. I have a very loving family, I quite often just go and hang out with them.

I feel like there are so many ways you can feel lonely and, often, it’s not easy to talk about. You don’t want to worry people, you don’t want to seem needy and, for me at least, there are confusing feelings. Have you ever been in a room full of people and felt alone? I’m sure you have.

But what are the biggest reasons to feel lonely?

Social Media

I love it, it’s literally my job to create, manage and monitor social media. That said, everyone posts a highlight reel which means it can look like everyone is out having fun, living their best life and you’re sat at home in your PJs. I know this and, sometimes, I still feel lonely! It’s easy to get swept up in it.

Growing up and apart

Your late teens and early twenties are also a time of huge change. You grow up and a lot of times you can grow apart from people you’re really close to. Some people I know have moved to new cities or even countries.

Not knowing what the hell you’re doing

I can *seem* like everyone else has their shit together. They don’t, I promise you. Everyone I speak to says they don’t know what they’re doing with their lives, they question everything they do. But for that conversation, one of you has to admit it and that can be the hardest part, am I right?

Relationships

So many people I know feel lonely because of relationships. I have friends who are single who feel lonely, friends in relationships to feel like they’re disconnected from friends who are single or in very different relationships. For me, I feel lonely when Ali goes on tour, as I write this he’s in Manchester. Not having him to hug can be really lonely.

That’s just some of the reasons I think people my age are lonely – but I might not have your reason listed. I guess I’m writing this because I wanted to say you might feel lonely but you’re not alone.

Talking about Depression ‘The Other Side of the Coin’ event and our first flat viewing

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A copy of Lizzie’s tweet, this made me very proud of myself! 

 

After last nights attempt at a video to try and get used to talking to people about depression in a more formal and informative way you’d think I would have been a little less nervous about today. I was, very slightly but that didn’t stop the nerves creeping in after a lack of sleep again. What do I wear? How did I manage to get toothpaste on my top? What did I want to say again? URgh, Urgh, Urgh! 

I managed to make it to the lecture room early, much before everyone else and I was calm at this point. I knew I was here on time, Lizzie from the Students Union would be there soon, along with the other speakers whom I had never met before. I soon started chatting to Gabby, a masters student who was going to be part of a small group talking about Bipolar. It was nice to talk to someone else about mental illness before speaking, it put me in the right frame of mind and made me feel safe. There were also two other speakers talking about sight and post traumatic stress disorder. Although I was anxious  I really wanted some of my faculty to walk in and support me. A lot of my friends couldn’t make it for various reasons so I was hoping someone I recognised would. I nthe end it was the KUTalent team who eased my nerves (who I have to say took a lot of notes in the lecture. 

Before long, despite a smaller turn out than I had thought, we set up the camera and began the lecture/presentation. I was first before running off to a flat viewing. I’ll admit I did feel nervous, would I make an impact? How do I want to come across? Will the videos I watched of others giving speeches have any impact? I hadn’t written anything down but I was hoping I would need to. I started off with the video ‘I have a black dog, his name is depression’ to give people a sense of understanding and hopefully empathy. The talk went well, I focused on my strengths not my weaknesses and incorporated them into what I was trying to say. I put empasis on three things that people with Anxiety and Depression need, time, patience and understanding because these all relate to the idea of ‘good days’ and ‘bad days’, something I wanted to stress and use myself as an example for. 

I feel like the tlk went well and was a good opener, from what I could see I got a good response. I also learnt a lot today about others, their determination, their motivation and how they learn. Unfortunately I had to leave before my friends part, I’m sure she was brilliant and after speaking to her after she seemed happy. Although I’m disappointed that more people didn’t come I know they’ll see it. We’ll be using the talk in their training now and I’m hopefully going to work towards raising awareness and being a part of the student support group. 

As I mentioned I had to go to mine and Ali’s first flat viewing and it was eventful…in true fashion I ended up hitting a low at the end. Brilliant. As with everyone else the process of flat hunting is stressful, for us it’s a whole different kind of stressful. I’ve never done this before and it’s showing Ali and I parts of our relationship we haven’t had a go at yet. We have argued about flats and where to live and all the rest of it and our first viewing really made me nervous. I’d been to a flat viewing before and the lady was lovely. The flat was spacious but there was something that didn’t feel right. After seeing the bathroom and bedroom I just had a gut instinct of no. By the time we got back to the flat I was in a full scale panic. Had we looked at this, at that? What if we couldn’t live near Kingston Hill, What f they were all the same price, How would we afford things. The list went on and so I sat and cried and lashed out and this is the reality of what  I had been talking about. The smallest panic and I can completely lose myself. 

Eventually I calmed down, exhausted and we started talking before I got a call from the university. We were being offered the opportunity to view another flat! As if all my prayers had been answered we both called our Mums, we’d look at the flat tomorrow but hopefully this one was it. We decided that we both had to feel comfortable and both Mums gave us some vital advice; don’t rush into things and don’t panic. 

With this in mind I think it’ll be easier to sleep tonight. Since Jens left it’s harder to be back at Seething Wells but I’m ok, I think. Just lonely. Hopefully tomorrow will bring some good news, this flat stuff is doing my head in! 

That piece of the puzzle that just doesn’t quite fit

I’ve been at home since Friday. The up side is that I can sleep in late and get an early night if I want too, the down side is that it gives you a lot of time to think. I’ve known for a long while that I don’t normally fit in with people my age but I thought university would be different. 

The easiest way to say this is that I don’t see my childhood best friends, I still speak to one of them but she lives in Australia meaning it’s hard to talk or see each other. Everyone talks about people they’ve known since they were children I don’t really have that any more apart from Grace who I met in year 5/6, she’s a year younger than me. Similarly for Secondary I never had one best friend, each year we’d drift apart and I’d start again the following September. I still speak to one or two people from school on a semi regular basis but not really enough to say we’re best friends. As for college? My so called best friend got whipped and decided that our 3 1/2 year friendship wasn’t worth anything and has nothing to do with me anymore. 

I started to think that I was a bad person, it must be my fault that I don’t have a best friend and then I went to Uni. There isn’t one student I don’t get along with. I may be honest with people but I am certainly not a bitch. So I have friends, flat mates and few people who I consider very close if not best friends but I’m always paranoid about if it will last. There are very few consistent friends I have had through my life Grace, Lucy B, Jordan, Erin and Ali are the names that spring to mind I never have to try around them we just pick up where we left off. I know I sound confusing here and I am confused. The only person who I ever feel totally in sync with is Ali and that’s why we’re always best friends first. 

The problem is that now I have to make new friends and I do but I just feel different. The girls talk about things like make up and hair stuff, something I know absolutely nothing about. There aren’t many boys around to talk to at the moment either and the ones I am good friends with are on different courses mostly. I just feel like I should have made a group of friends and should be going out a lot, unfortunately I spend way too much time in my room. 

 

So as I’m writing this I’m trying to put my Cognitive Behavioural Therapy in place. I have to try and realise why I feel this way and if possible how to change it. So here we go blog readers I’ll share this moment with you. 

Anxiety – I haven’t made a close group of friends 

             – Coming home has made me upset as I have only seen a handful of friends and had them talk to me since moving

             – I feel like I’ve missed out when I don’t have many people who can visit me at uni 

Solution?  

            – Remind myself that it has only been 6 weeks, I have 3 years! 

           – Keep talking to people

Anxiety – I don’t go out as much as everyone else

Solution – I have asked my flat mate if I can try going out with her and her friends more as I’ve had a good time before

               – Call Bekkie tomorrow and have a chat

 

Anxiety – I messed up my hair today 

Solution – Attempt to fix it with mum tomorrow

 

So there you go I’ve tried working through it, I already feel more positive oddly enough! 

Feeling Lonely

After a lovely weekend I think it’s fair to say I was lonely. With two of my closest friends back at home for a few days and Ali having fun with his new friends I felt a little left out. When I went to the train station to sort my friends Oyster out it was like the train for Basingstoke was the only one I could see, I just wanted to get on it and run away from everything. I really hate being negative but what I’m trying to say is that it’s ok to feel lonely, uni is totally new and your bound to feel out of place.

I hope this helps,

Chloe