Family holidays and loneliness.

Norway’s National Day. Man. A few days prior and “the day after©” I read some articles written by different people in the media. That kind of triggered an internal discussion.

See, all these big celebrations that are mostly conducted with close family and friends have a potential to be quite sucky for some people. You know, the ones without a family (or access to one), without close friends (or access to them), The Networkless and should you have financial issues, you’re creating a recipy for an existencial disaster.

The first article I read was written by an anonymous student that didn’t have anyone to celebrate the day with and noone has even asked if he/she had any plans. A kinda shitty situation when you think about it, when no one seemingly cares enough to ask. The road to loneliness is short from there on, and life starts to suck big time.

It’s gonna suck so bad, that you might even wanna take your own life if the Norway’s National Day’s lonely situation makes your otherwise full cup to run over. Apparently, 30 percent of calls to a crisis center were about suicide.

So, “Gentlemen, you’re not gonna sit here and pretend there’s not a big-ass elephant in the room”.

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This is a serious issue that raises concern; at least in my head it does, because I start seeing a pattern here. I haven’t seen loneliness type articles last year as I do this year in 2015. Or, well, there was a few prior to Christmas. Ok, I’m not so sure entirely. What I AM sure of is that I like this trend of exposing most natural human reactions, feelings and thoughts. Exposing it all just so that others in the similar or same situation will know that they are not alone in their pits. “Embracing humanity”, with it’s faults and shadows. For instance, my boundaries for what I’m willing to discuss are….few. Within reason, of course. I can talk about human’s darkest thoughts like it was a Sunday morning breakfast.

So, let’s talk about some harsh facts, that are hard to digest. First of all, human beings are social beings. We’re co-dependent on each other for validation, a good ol’ pat on the back, entertainment, love, intimacy, etc. You can’t deny this shit, it’s in our nature. The problem arises when you base ALL of your personal life on the external sources. When you heavily invest all your needs on something outside yourself, you’re setting yourself up for some really harsh time for no good reason. So, how do you deal with this? It’s simple, yet challenging.

First off, you have to be comfortable in your own company. “But what if I’m not?”. Then it is most definitely time to find out why and deal with the issue at hand. That process requires brutal honesty from you. You have to be able to admit harsh truths about yourself, forgive yourself for whatever you’re blaming yourself for, and start loving yourself. That process alone can take long time, but hang in there, you’ll get there eventually.

When you’re all comfy with who you are, love and respect yourself, and wish yourself all the best of things, then you can start investing in activities that you can do on your own. Should loneliness hit you hard even in these activities, quick meditation and/or mindfulness techniques will patch things up. For instance, I work out (#allAboutThatGymLyfe), I go on several hours long walks in the woods, I play games (gamer PC master race), I watch my fav shows (Supernatural, Better Call Saul, Terra Nova, Walking Dead, Suits, etc), watch some old school movies I love but haven’t watched for years (Terminator, Alien, Matrix, etc), I read books on topics that genuinely interest me and stimulate my mind. I also like occasionally go out to movies, crash some cafè with a book, or dine at my fav restaurant. Lately, I got hit by the idea of spa. You know, just walk in, get pampered for hours, relax, unwind (perhaps even combine it with meditation/mindfulness) and just generally catch a breather, you know?

That’s a whole lot of activites I can do by myself that does not involve anyone else but me and all of them “regenerate” me somehow. I recharge my batteries by myself. I’m not gonna lie: major holidays that involve family like Christmas, Norwegian 17th May, etc DO bring me down, but I make a conscious effort to stay “up” by simply disconnecting from whatever is the norm at these holidays, and just “do my thing” instead. “My thing” always saves me from bouts of loneliness or just general “feeling shit”-vibe.

It is also a conscious effort to NOT to dwell on these emotions. This is a hard one, but it’s doable and requires a lot of practice.

So to sum things up: sort your inner life out first. You can’t build a house on muddy grounds. Concrete that shit. Take time. Be patient. Then start finding things that bring you joy and happiness, you know, positive vibes. No, alcohol isn’t one of them (and believe me, I know. Takes time and practice to realize too). The more you invest in your own personal life, the less will external events affect you. Think of your life as your own flat: bring out the colors, the cozy sofa and pillows, you’ll need a play corner, comfy bed, freshest of the fresh coffee, etc etc. Furniture your life, basically. Takes time and patience, but makes your life so much better and you will never be alone again 🙂

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