Battling loneliness

Right now I’m really having trouble with loneliness. I’m out in the middle of nowhere - I basically go in to work every day and then go straight home. Same thing with Mass - I show up on Saturday and then leave right after. I have to in order to make the bus. All the church social stuff is on Sunday when public transit doesn’t run.

And it’s killing me. I’m lonely, I really want someone I can physically be around. Not sexually, but I want to be able to actually give someone a hug or just sit next to someone who isn’t a stranger. I’m working on getting out of this situation but in the meantime I just don’t know how to cope.

Can you move to a city or more densely populated area?

You’ve made so much progress. You’ve got a job, you’ve got transportation to Mass.

That’s really good!

How long do you need to keep your current schedule?

I’m so sorry–loneliness is very difficult.

Could you invite some coworkers out to dinner? Sign up for a class or club? Invite a friend or family member to visit you?

Maybe it’s not the same as meeting in person, but talking to someone on Skype or even just watching T.V. can help relieve loneliness in the short run, while you work on changing your situation.

And pray, of course! You’re never alone when you pray, and God has the power to help you with your situation.

Good luck!

I need to keep it through the end of August. I just don’t feel like I can make it two more months like this. I’m finding myself sleeping through much of when I’m not at work, just because there seems to be no point to being awake all by myself with nothing I care about to do.

Invite a few people to your house. Or ask someone for a ride to one of those Sunday social events. Many people would be more than happy to do so.

I don’t know anyone in town to invite over or anything.

What helps me when I feel alone is to read a book about the faith. And to see how Jesus is my friend. Sometimes I will walk alone to a restaurant and buy an ice (not at meal time when they are busy) and just sit there and read. Occasionally the waiter/tress will make small talk with me.

It does kill the pain to read about Jesus’s love for us

No restaurants or anything anywhere near my home, unfortunately. I’ve been reading some but it always makes me feel like I should be doing school reading and I’m tired.

What about going for a walk and sitting on a park bench on a nice day?

Still no dice. There’s one road out here and I’m already sick of seeing it from using it to walk to work every day. Nothing like a park or anything within walking distance.

Who said: ‘i am never less alone than when I am alone’.
St Therese of Lisieux said that wherever you are is exactly where God wants you to be.
Time to meditate, time to pray, time to do hobbies. Tell God about your hobbies, & ask Him what to do.
Maybe get an animal to love?
Value the time, it will only be temporary.

I lived in an area like the one you describe for a time. Let me be blunt: I absolutely loathed it, and as a confirmed city girl, it was not good for me either emotionally or socially.

It sounds like you might be able to get out of this situation in a couple of months. Could you spend some time actively planning on what will happen at the end of those months? Do you go back to school? If so, could you live on campus? If not, perhaps research jobs out of your current area, and in one with a better public transportation system and generally better city-type offerings?

For me, what helped the most was a) figuring out how much longer I had to put up with what was going on and then b) make active plans for what and how things were going to change, and then focus on that as well as counting down until I could leave. End of August? That’s only 8 weeks. Count down the weeks–in another week it’ll be only 7, then 6, and so on.

As another poster said, you have made huge progress: you can get to Mass, and you have a job. Yay, you! Those are no small accomplishments!

Here’s some of what I did as a single gal in the Peace Corps on my many lonely evenings at home:

–listen to the radio while doing housework
–read anything I could get my hands on (Dickens, Stephen King, Agatha Christie in Russian)
–letters home
–elaborate cooking projects (I tried to make bagels once)
–hot baths with a book

Half a decade later, I was married and had a new baby and lived far, far out in the suburbs and my husband had a long commute that often put him home around 7. Also, very limited funds. It was a new area to me and I knew nobody. Here’s what I did to while away the long days at home:

–hosted a mother’s Bible study in my home once a week
–did ESL tutoring for an immigrant woman in my home once a week
–books on tape from the library (some of those are 50 hours long!)

If you can get it, the audio version of LOTR is AMAZING. I think it’s better than the book for certain things. The songs that are endless and skimmed over hurriedly when reading a print book are actually really good in the audio version. That’s the Rob Inglis version–unabridged of course–50+ hours.

When I was able to do more walking, I used to walk around listening to the audio LOTR on my phone (husband transferred our cassettes to MP3 files or whatever). It made the most over-familiar walk (like our neighborhood loop) fun.

This is an awesome idea. I walk the same 3 mile route every day, and frankly, it’s more than a little boring after a while. However, downloading an audiobook and listening to that on my walks makes all the difference in the world; I look forward to them rather than dreading them. Incidentally, I do the same thing when the weather’s so bad I can’t walk, except with a TV show. I’ll use my tablet to queue up an exercise video I know pretty well, and then put a TV show up on the TV. Then I work out, using the exercise video to cue me when to switch exercises etc but mostly catching up on a show I find interesting.

Something that also helped me was getting into a show on Netflix, and then promising myself a weekly “lounge” evening, in which I’d get home, change straight into my PJs, eat something very bad and equally tasty :smiley: , and binge-watch whatever the show was. The corollary to this was that since I promised myself that treat every week, I didn’t watch much TV the rest of the week, and I also ate pretty healthily the rest of the time.

Hello DarkLight - I have been very lonely at times, but have been coping better.

A very holy priest (a monk) told me that I am not alone - that Jesus is always with me!

I also have found I meet more people when I volunteer to help at church. I have done everything from cleaning up after an event to running a booth at the fall festival. Perhaps someone from church can give you a ride so you can fit volunteering into your schedule.

I know what you mean about wanting human contact. It is so important for our well-being! Not to sound cliche, but offer up your loneliness, and the suffering it brings, for another person or for an end to abortion, etc.

And I am sending you a hug :console::hug3: and if I were there I would give you one in person!!!

I don’t have any answers for you, but you aren’t alone in your loneliness. I have felt the same way for decades, going all the way back to early childhood. I never really made friends growing up. Last time I was with a friend on my birthday was when I turned 10. I don’t know what to do. Self esteem is totally gone. I don’t even remember a time when I had it.

I’ll pray for you.

I used to feel as you describe and still do on occasion, but eventually, I just realized nothing was going to change and accepted it. For me it helps that I really like good TV and movies so when I get home from work, I at least have something to do by myself. I used to stress myself out trying to arrange things with other people, but they already had their circles of friends and they apparently didn’t have any openings so once I accepted that and stopped trying to change things, I felt better.

Sometimes loneliness is just the cross we are given to to walk in life and there is no answer.:shrug:

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit