When You Feel Lonely...You're Not Alone
The holidays are such a festive time for many. People are celebrating with family and loved ones, but it can also be quite the opposite. It can be a time of sadness and loneliness. It’s ok to admit if you’re feeling lonely. In fact, while in conversation with one of my mentors recently, I realized that I needed and wanted to help others navigate these honest emotions. What happened next? I decided to dedicate some of my time during the holidays to host virtual Meet Ups about “Overcoming Loneliness During the Holidays.” Some people think that loneliness = aloneness. Well, what is loneliness? I've been a licensed clinical social worker for many years and I went to the Social Work Dictionary which defines it as “a feeling of discomfort, longing, depression, or anxiety that people sometimes experience when they are (or believe they are) lacking the company of others.” This does not mean the same as aloneness or isolation because people sometimes want to be alone and enjoy it. I first noticed my loneliness right after my husband Ben died. We had been married for just 1 year 10 months and 1 day. We were still newlyweds. After his death, our children were there for a while but eventually they had to get back home. I had trouble sleeping for a while and had to take Melatonin. For the first few months, either my son, my dad, my mom, or my brother spent the night at the house with me. It was nice having them there then, but now it’s been almost six years. I miss being held, but during those times I choose to hold on to the everlasting arms of Jesus. I have found God to be a Comforter and a Counselor. If I keep my mind on God, He promised to keep me in perfect peace (Isaiah 26:3). Psalm 146:9 says that God relieves the fatherless and the widow. I mentioned earlier that I had a family member to spend the night at the house for awhile. Well, because of timing, I might not be able to reach out to a person. It could be a moment where nobody else is accessible. I've learned that maybe it’s not another person I needed right then. Our God is Jehovah Jireh, the Lord who provides. My area of loneliness may be different from yours, but our God can fill any empty space if you let Him. Invite Jehovah Rapha, the Lord who heals, and ask Him to come in. I’m a witness that He can help overcome any hurt, habit, or hang up. That’s what I teach my Celebrate Recovery brothers and sisters. To keep me from being overwhelmed with loneliness, I prioritize a daily personal devotion time. Also, I have found journaling to be very beneficial. Look at God! He has taken me through the loneliest times of my life and given me the opportunity to tell others about it! (2 Corinthians 1:3-4). If you want to know more about how I and others have been navigating loneliness, join one of the next Zoom sessions. Go to my website and sign up for these free Meet Up times, I promise you it will be very empowering. You are not alone. Come hangout with us in the virtual living room. Take care!