Before moving in with my fiancé, I lived ‘alone’ for 9 months. By alone, I mean I moved to a different city from uni/home and shared a flat with people I did not know. This experience was a lot different than starting at university for me, which something I was very naïve about. Not a lot of people talk about these experiences and how hard it can be. I hope this post helps someone struggling with loneliness to realise that you are not alone.
I’ve never been a person who has ever been lonely which is something I have always appreciated. I love being alone, but I never felt lonely as I have always been surrounded by people I love. Even when my parents left me for university for the first time, I didn’t feel this way. I was more excited about all the great times I was going to have with my new friends and doing my course. Working in healthcare, I’ve seen at first-hand how damaging loneliness can be especially for the elderly. I’ve lost count the times I’ve sat and chatted to an elderly person and how their eyes light up when they see you approach them. I didn’t think this would happen to me, that I could ever feel this way.
Last year in August, I moved from home to work in another
city where I knew nobody. Main reasons for moving were to be closer to be
fiancé and to be closer to London where most of my friends were. To be honest,
I would have moved anywhere to get out of my hometown. Naturally, I had the
same excitement as I did when I first went to university, but this time there
won’t be the same welcoming feeling. From when my parents helped me move in
till I saw my fiancé the next day, I had spent 24 hours without saying anything
to anybody. I remember I could hear footsteps in my flat but saw nobody which
made things worse for me. This occurred for a few days until I met one of my
housemates who unfortunately did not become one of best friends (very naïve I
know). Maybe it’s just me but university sets your expectations to be so unreal
and the real adulting world is not like uni.
I guess the main thing I didn’t like was not knowing who I was living with. Eventually, I ended up moving flats to where it was nicer, and I knew who I was living with. However, this did not stop that overwhelming feeling. Being at work would be fine, but as soon as I got home, I would start struggling again. I remember the first month or so living in Milton Keynes, I would ring my family and just cry. Breaking down for feeling lonely seemed ridiculous to me, but hey this was my life.
Loneliness does and can happen to anyone and it’s a horrible feeling. I think a lot of people struggle, and just don’t talk about it. Luckily, I began making friends at my new workplace and started to become busy in the evenings which helped tremendously. I remember when I felt told my friends how lonely I used to feel living in my flat, and I was amazed they had felt the same as me. Being open to them about my feelings really helped me. I was truly blessed that I had my fiancé live 30 minutes away and I could go see him at the weekends. Also, I had my family who I could visit in the month and call every day.
These are just my own experiences with loneliness, and I learnt a lot about myself. Just because you’re young, it doesn’t mean you can’t feel crippling loneliness. You should never feel ashamed and it is perfectly okay to admit that you’re lonely. However, just make sure you tell someone about it, it’s so crucial to help you overcome it. If you don’t have anybody to talk to, there are so many charities out there who want to help and listen to you like Mind which is a great mental health charity in the UK.
What are your experiences with loneliness and how do you deal with it? Please comment below, thank you