Everybody goes through periods of time when they feel extremely lonely. Sometime it’s because nobody cares, and other times it’s because even when people do, we don’t feel like there is anybody who truly understands our situations.
That is where I am now. There are plenty of people who have been very kind in offering their support during this time in my life. Everything sort of fell apart at once and the past few months have been some of the hardest I have lived through. There are many of you who have talked to me or texted me and let me know that you care, and there are many who have not said anything to me yet are still praying earnestly for me. And I appreciate that so much. You have no clue how amazing it feels to know that there are people who support me and love me, even when I don’t love myself.
But knowing you are loved does not necessarily mean that you don’t feel lonely. I walk to class, pass hundreds of people, and don’t know a single one of them. Sometimes I’ll see somebody that I do know and they may not notice me, or if they do they will greet me simply because they feel obligated to. I text anyone I feel close enough to before a meal to figure out who I can sit with, and if they can’t come or don’t feel like eating I go alone and sit at a table by myself, staring at my phone to appear like it doesn’t kill me to be alone. I have trouble meeting new people and instead choose to sit in my dorm and stare at my laptop screen until I am finally tired enough to go to sleep. I wake up the next morning and repeat all of these things. I feel lonely. Sometimes even when I’m around my closest friends, I can’t help but feel like I’m ultimately in this fight on my own. Depression has a way of making life seem completely hopeless, no matter how many people are on your side.
The thing about loneliness, however, is that I don’t believe that it is necessarily a bad thing. It isn’t something that I want to go through my entire life, but it is something that I believe will benefit me for this period of time. You see, I have a tendency to rely on other people to get me through things and help me feel worth. I let myself become totally dependent on others for almost everything in my life. But life shouldn’t be that way. Sure, we all need help at times and it isn’t a bad thing to ask for help. But I need to be able to do things on my own, and more importantly I need to be able to rely on Christ for everything that I need. Humans will fail me. I have seen it time and time again and have felt the pain of it more times in my life than I should have. But the one thing that will never fail me or leave me on my own in this fight with my mind is the love that I have from my God. Mental health is something that I have struggled with for many, many years and is something that I will most likely continue to struggle with for a very long time. Depression, anxiety, and difficulties with adjustment to changes are things that plague me daily. But even stronger than these horrendous struggles is the belief that somehow, someday, God will free me from this. Someday I will put to rest these awful thoughts, have a life that is fully in the hands of Christ, and eventually be able to love and lean on other people without making them the only thing that gets me through. And this future is what makes this loneliness so much easier.