Alone. Lonely. Lonely. Alone. Two words which sound so similar, but differ so much in their meaning.
Being alone is when you choose to be by yourself. When you just want to be left to your thoughts. When the loud music at the party happening next door doesn’t sound inviting. When all you want to do is spend some time with yourself. Just be by yourself. Drift in your own thoughts.
On the contrary, being lonely is when you desperately want to be able to express yourself to somebody. When you don’t want to be invisible. When you feel this void within you, a void only the presence of another person can fill. Being lonely is when you feel like you’re not left with any other choice, but to be like that.
And, deciding to be alone is simpler too. Shutting people out is always easier than letting them in. Always.
Just as it is easy to snap in and out of the alone-phase, it is difficult to snap out of the lonely one. What do you do when loneliness devours you? When you’re tired of having conversations with imaginary voices in your head? When you want to get out of your own skin?
Well, step one would be to accept it, and stop hiding it from people who’re close to you. To stop pretending like everything is fine, when its really not. Just to accept that you feel really lonely to somebody you’re close to, helps. Tremendously.
Step two would be for you to take an initiative to make conversation. Take the first step. You don’t have to let anybody into your thoughts, just talking about things like how-your-day-went will make you feel better. But yes, you have to learn to initiate it, nobody can help you out there.
Gradually, you move to step three. When you let somebody, a very selected somebody, somebody who you think you trust at that point, in to your thoughts. Make them a part of the conversation in your head. Listen to their opinion on things, reason with them. Let yourself be heard. Let yourself heal.
And no, don’t do nothing about this and wait for “time to heal things”. That doesn’t necessarily happen. You might just push yourself into a lonelier corner. Yes, give yourself time to get out of this phase. Tell yourself it’s a phase. Believe that you’ll get out of it, yes, believe.
And voila, one day, a few weeks down the line, you’ll feel much better about yourself. You’ll feel like all that loneliness is now a part of your past. You’ll know that you’re fine. Just fine.