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Mental Health And Me: Loneliness (Part 1)

“I have a sense of a big whole in your chest…”

My counsellor and I were talking about my personal life, about relationships, and love. Something I like to keep hidden most of the time, as sometimes it is painful for me to talk about. I started opening up about my personal life (friends, relationships, work/life balance ect..), and he paused for a second, and said “I have a sense of a big whole in your chest; an emptiness”. That caught me off guard, and had a second to think, and it suddenly came to me. “I’m so lonely”, I said. As we delved into this statement a bit more, it was obvious that it was not just about relationships, it was all encompassing and deep rooted since childhood.

In primary school, I was put into a class with disabilities ,every week. Not that there is anything wrong with being in a disabled class, but the school put me there because they didn’t know what to do with me, and didn’t know what to make of me. My family, very bluntly, called it “The Bean Bag Throwing Class”. It was obvious that I shouldn’t have been there, and at the time, even though I wouldn’t have registered it, I must have asked myself ; “What’s wrong with me?” and felt very out of place. This question has plagued me ever since.

This has continued throughout my childhood- trying to fit in and failing to do so. Once, I asked my counsellor “Why can’t I just be normal?”, and he said “You don’t know how normal you already are”.

In work, I have found that I have been able to push this away, because I feel most comfortable when surrounded by music and like minded people. I have the feeling that everything is going to be alright. However, this has been hard to do during the Covid-19 pandemic and I think we are all suffering from it. There is two sides of the coin; on one side, people are easier to get in touch with because everyone has been at home. On the other hand, people are much difficult to get in touch with because they are all at home with their own problems and worries to deal with. It’s the silence that gets to me. However, I have the most supportive family and friends, and I am surprised by the nice unplanned phone call now and again. Our industry is a lonely profession- working most of the time by myself, which is absolutely fine, as I was able to get together with friends.

A lot of the time, I feel compelled to put on a happy face all the time, even though I might be crying inside. I recited the line from the famous Charlie Chaplin song, “Smile, though your heart is breaking”. I’m just absolutely terrified of showing the more vulnerable side of me. The counsellor said that he had a sense that I give so much love to other people, that I have hardly any left to give to myself. Love has always been a painful and strange thing for me. I’ve never really had a relationship, but my heart has been broken several times. I find, and have found it very hard to show my feelings to another person, as I am terrified of what would happen next. I’ll leave that at that for the moment, as I am still dealing with this part and it is very painful for me.

Sometimes, I feel so isolated and lonely, I feel totally hopeless. I was out on a motorboat a few days ago, and I thought, “I could take this motorboat and go live on an island, and no-one would notice me go or miss me”. This is obviously wrong, as I have many wonderful friends who have my back when things get tough.

This is part 1 as I am slowly trying to overcome the loneliness, trying some techniques that I have found on Youtube and other sites, and to overcome this (sometimes) unbearable pain. All I can say for people out there who are suffering with this: speak up, call a friend, let someone know your feelings. It is ok to not be ok, and it is ok to love with all your heart. x

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