"Have you ever felt lonely in a crowded room?" We've all heard this question before but we never really think about how often it happens or who around us might be feeling the same way. You never really think about how often it happens.
I am blessed, I know that I am. I have a great husband, pretty awesome kids (most of the time), church family, and friends. The truth is everyone, including myself, deals with being lonely. There's a difference between being alone and lonely. Being alone isn’t the hard part, being lonely is.
Loneliness is that feeling deep in your stomach where you start to feel like you are completely cut off from everyone. Loneliness is a feeling you can experience even while laying next to your spouse in bed or while hanging out with your closest friends. It is a feeling that has happened to me numerous times.
I gotta give props to stay at home moms too! That’s a world that I was not built for. Mainly for the survival of the rest of my family but that is not to say that it is easy to be a working mom either. When you are putting in 40+ hours a week at a job that doesn’t really care either way about you, just intensifies the feeling of loneliness. Even when I do get time with my kids, at home or the rare occasion of a playdate, you don’t divulge all of your personal life to the people you are surrounded by. When you are constantly told how great your marriage appears from the outside, many people do not realize the struggles you go through and how hard you have had to work especially in those moments of loneliness.
Loneliness is hard. There is no doubt about that. In fact, I think it is one of the worst feelings you can experience.
The best way I’ve found to cope with those moments is being honest about it. I tell my husband if I need quality time with him. Sometimes I even ask if he'll watch the boys so that I can get a moment to hang out with friends and not be a wife and a mom for a moment. Basically what I'm saying is I've learned I have to make an effort.
I have to be intentional because if I let my moments of loneliness get the best of me, it becomes more than just a moment.
Sometimes I need to work on friendships, again making an effort and reaching out to friends. These amazing devices we have, phones, work both ways. Does that mean that my friends can drop everything when I want to hang out? No. If I am intentional then they recognize that? I have some friends that I won’t talk to for months maybe even years but the second that we talk, that loneliness goes away because although our lives are crazy with little monsters running around dictating all of our time, we love each other and we support each other.
Being a mom is far from easy and those feelings of loneliness can be overwhelming. I cannot imagine how my mom did it living in a foreign country especially early on when communication wasn’t as easy as a Facebook message.
So in the moments when you are feeling isolated remember you are not alone, even in those moments of loneliness, you are not alone. Reach out to those around you because they may be going through the same feelings.
Join the conversation: What is one thing that helps you in times of loneliness?