Thursday, 17 April 2014
Loneliness is My Trigger
Because I’m an introvert, I naturally like to be alone. I choose time alone at home as my perfect way to spend a day. But being alone has a dark side….it can easily lead me to down the path to loneliness. And when I feel alone, depression creeps back into my life.
You see, I’m not one to seek out or initiate a new friendship. I don’t like small talk or the “getting to know you” phase. I used to get so anxious that I’d try to plan out some ideas for small talk before I entered a new group of people. I’d come prepared with a list of questions I could ask….but then I’d still freak out inside.
So because I don’t actively seek out friendships, I watch other people’s friendships and wish I had what they had.
This is a dangerous thing.
I watch friends hang out with their BFFs from childhood and wish I had a BFF from childhood who lived near me.
I see college friends get together regularly and start feeling sorry for myself that most of my college friends moved away.
I read blogs about extended family summer barbecues and birthday parties and I long for some lazy backyard fun with my family.
And then it progresses….
I start asking myself why they don’t invite me or my family along when they spend time with their friends or family. Don’t they realize I don’t have family in town? Don’t they see how we stay home ALL the time and need a social life? Do they not even think about how lonely Thanksgiving or Easter is for people like us?
I’ve learned to catch myself here. It’s taken awhile to get to this point, but I know my thoughts are ridiculous. If I don’t start taking some action at this point, my thoughts lead me down a destructive path of feeling like we have no friends and that we’re horrible people no one wants to spend time with and it puts me in a bad mood for days.
I’ve learned to stop here and realize we DO have friends…and our friends have other friends in addition to us…and they don’t realize we stay home all the time….and that I LOVE to stay home, so why am I complaining in the first place?
Then I DO something about it. I stop and invite a friend for coffee, or set up a playdate with a mama friend, or we have friends over for dinner. I also take the time to pray for deep and meaningful friendships in our lives because making new friends and developing friendships is hard when you’re not in college anymore.
Loneliness might be my trigger, but I’m working to stop it from bringing me down.