Dealing with Loneliness

Long story short, this year has been difficult for me… My best friend for many years; the only close friend my age I’ve had in my adult life so far, decides to break off the friendship without talking it through (and she has made it abundantly clear that there is no possibility of reconciling the friendship down the road. She came to some crazy assumptions about me even though I reasoned with her otherwise. There were some insecurities I think).
And my younger brother who was, for the longest time, my best friend, broke away from the faith and has separated himself from the family altogether. He lives out in his car like a homeless person which has been hard on me and especially my mom :frowning:

Amidst all this happening, I have felt my emotional state, little by little, deteriorating, and with it a profound loneliness.

I do try my best at all times to keep my eyes on Christ and place my confidence in Him. I had a resurgence in my spiritual life a year before this which I think played a big part in softening the blow overall. I can still work and do still find joy in little things, but I have had little interest in the things I love doing like drawing, writing, watching movies, hiking, I just have no motivation to do them unless I force myself or if I’m having an especially good day. I was struggling with this even before my two friends stepped out of the picture. It has just gotten worse since then.

Anyways, without dumping much more on you guys, one thing I struggle with is that feeling of loneliness invading me even while I pray. The one thing that has gotten me through this so far is the fact that I have confided in Jesus as my closest friend and confidant. I love Him so, so much.

And yet, I yearn for the physical things which come with a friendship like warm embraces, conversations, eye contact… I just wish I can experience that with the One who I consider my closest friend. I know He doesn’t work like that with everyone and faith without sight is meritorious so I know He knows best… But I talk to Him during my holy hours as frankly as I would if I saw Him there. I just wish I could hear Him responding more readily…or, maybe “readily” is not the right word. I am more than ready to hear Him. There are just times I wish He’d respond with words. I sometimes do get “responses” inwardly, but He doesn’t always give me this.

Do you sometimes find that going into prayer the same way as a conversation is not always the best way? Or is this a good practice? Sometimes, He just doesn’t seem to want to have a “conversation” the way I think of them. Not to say that He never does, but still… continued>>

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In the end, I have trouble making friends. I’m introverted so reaching out is difficult (though I do keep my eye out for opportunities), and yet for the longest time, I was content being by myself because I enjoyed many hobbies with a passion. Now that this depression or whatever it is has sapped the life out of the things I enjoyed, I don’t know what to do half the time. Then, when I pray, and tell the Lord how lonely I am, I’m afraid that this offends Him. Isn’t He enough for me? Why should I feel lonely even when speaking to the tenderest Friend I can have? Am I not close enough to Him? Why should I need anyone else?

Any thoughts on all this?

Pax Christi <3

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I’ll definitely pray for you OP

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I am an introvert and an aspie. I think I get what you’re saying, and I would be glad to talk to you about it, but it’s 1:37 a.m. and I don’t think It’d be possible to form a coherent response.

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Thank you <3

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Oh please don’t believe your loneliness offends him! I imagine he was very lonely on this earth too at times. And where have I read
that He is lonely often in the tabernacle, waiting for a visit from somebody? If anyone “gets” loneliness it’s him. He “gets” your thirst for friendship & he thirsts for our friendship in the same way. This concept was at the heart of Mother Teresa’s mission in fact. Do you have any Missionaires of Charity close by that you could talk with about this, or volunteer with to see them in action?!

Another thing - you are human. It is very rare for jesus to be “enough” for a person. Even Monks and nuns live in communities and are required to participate in community recreation! Ones who wish to live a More isolated life as a hermit undergo rigorous psychological counsel because it is such a humanly strenuous vocation. Why? Because we aren’t designed for such a lonely life.

I’m sad for what you’re going through but please don’t beat yourself up about it!! I hope over time you will Be able to meet and make new friendships. :pray:t2:

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Are you listening to Him? I mean giving Him timely silence on a daily basis…prayer is great but if you’re doing all the talking then all He can do is listen.

“I would gladly speak to more souls but the noise of the world makes such a din in them, that i cannot make my voice heard” Jesus to St. Teresa of Avila.

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Feeling lonely is different for everyone, I think. Some people, like me, don’t even really experience that feeling. But, for those who do, my heart goes out to them.

Are you a member of any ministries in your Parish? Any Bible study groups? If not, perhaps you should consider one or both. I am an Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion. Even though I don’t get lonely and don’t mind being alone, I do like the fellowship of being in a ministry. I also attend That Man is You, and I have built further bonds within our faith community. There are many ministries at most Parishes that would welcome you, I am sure.

So, perhaps that would be a way to begin not feeling lonely.

Obviously, I’m just speaking about the physical loneliness you’re experiencing. Through an increased participation in your faith community, perhaps you won’t feel spiritually alone, either.

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Ugh. Sorry this past year has been so bad. :confused:

We’re supposed to have people in our lives. We are suppose to have God in our lives.

You’ll need to branch out and meet new people, even if reaching out is scary.
And the more you do it, the easier it will be.

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Maybe reconnect with your brother and help him get his life back on track. That should help with your lonliness. Sometimes I find when there is lonliness, there are plenty of people right in front of you and they are overlooked.

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Ive been in a sort of similar situation with a close friend of mine a while back. Being introverted and I am a sperg like adamhovey, it makes finding friendships difficult.
And yes I felt lonely so many times, but we got to understand that life isnt always going to be smiles and being happy. Pray to God about this, he will surely show you how to cope with these feelings. Just recently he’s sent me a friend around my age from the church I go to, and Im quiet as it is.
But things to note, prayer, go on with life and the Lord at some point will show you friendship.
This can be achieved with even better results by getting involved with the church, become part of laity and trust me you will meet lots of people :slight_smile: hope I helped out a bit!

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Hello…let me begin with this quote, **"one tragedy of our lives today is the sense of isolation and meaninglessness that afflicts so many people" this quote is so real today because people are more open to their feelings. I feel your pain and hurt…I pray silently all the time. Another quote that I like because of its meaning, “we are born alone, we live alone, and we will die alone”. I have had challenges in my life too…in one year, my dear friend died of cancer, my beloved dog passed, I lost everything due to a natural disaster, and my worse loss of all, two months later, my dear Mom died! I have never questioned God. I have accepted everything that has happened. He is in control. Years later, my outlook has changed…I am married and have never been blessed with children. My twin sister and I have drifted apart. she and I are cradle Catholics, however she is not, and haven’t practiced her Faith. I have felt like she wanted to “destroy” me. She just wasn’t there when I desperately needed her. When I get “low” and in need of love, warmth, and affection and others are not available…I hug the best little creature God has given me…my precious dog! She is always there for me…always accepts me in every way! That unconditional Love! Wow! When I was a little girl, and didn’t get the hugs that I wanted…well, there was a puppy for me waiting to give her Love and take my Love!
As I am texting this…my beloved dog is laying on my lap sleeping…we go on walks together, play together, go on rides together, go on trips together, and share the Love of my husband as well! I know she is a temporary gift from God…

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Oh, I just read some of the previous advice some a trying to give you on joining Church organizations and meeting people…Well I thought that I too need to meet some people in my Church, and joined one of the social events. That was a year ago, well I was approached by one of the ladies that informed me that some like to gossip!
I thought to myself…? Christian women…gossip? No, only high school girls did that, right? Well, observing all the gossip, I have had enough…I skipped the last meeting and intend to cancel my membership! Gossip hurts and I don’t want to be around these people…something must be lacking in their lives…Men talk about things, women talk about each other!

I’ve tried reconnecting with him but he ignores any and all texts :confused:

You sound like you’re falling into a deep depression. Please try to seek help. That can be dangerous.

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When going through really bad times, always remember that things could be worse. That thought alone does help. There was a point in my life, way back, when everything was going so great…really great. I was loving life…and I’d completely forgotten about God and religion. Then I got my heart broken (horribly –long story), and then lost my best friend (heart attack at 33) and my Mom (aneurism) four days apart…and they were my shoulders to cry on when my heart was bleeding. Then I turned to God, started going back to Mass…and alot of things improved…for awhile.

I was always under the impression that when you turn to God, everything just gets magically better in your life. Well, it kinda does, and it kinda doesn’t. I have learned when you get really close to God, you’re going to suffer. And everyone suffers differently, whether it’s physical, emotional, spiritual or whatever. Read about the great saints and all the suffering they went through. Sometimes I think some of us live out our purgatory here…or at least part of it.

When I got my heart broke, and went through all of that years ago, I was very depressed, and I’d NEVER been depressed EVER. But a broken heart will do that. I tried everything…counseling, medicine, self-help books, exercise, meditation, etc, etc. None of it worked. You know what helped? Going to Mass as often as I could; praying the Rosary; voraciously diving into reading as many Catholic books as I could (especially the early church fathers), and praying at night just like you described. Padre Pio once said the “depression is a sickness of the soul”…in otherwords, your core being, your inner soul, is not well. I couldn’t shake my depression. At some point, I remember reading an article by a woman that had been depressed. She claimed that she firmly made up her mind that she was not going to let it conquer her, and when she woke up in the morning she would tell herself, “I’m not gonna be depressed today. I’m gonna enjoy this day and put myself in the frame of mind I use to have when I was at peace”. Personally, I thought those were wise words and tried applying it to myself. It worked.

I’ll say a prayer for you.

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I have started talking to someone recently my depressive tendencies, so hopefully this helps some.
The only problem I guess is that I’m kind of hesitant about talking to just any therapist about the spiritual side of the story, but it is a big part. Just not sure they would address it in a healthy way or not.

I am no health expert but you may be feeling or experiencing some mental health issues. Depression or anxiety?

I know it’s difficult life. But there is one thing my own mum taught me which i always thought was harsh. Now as an Adult I understand she was toughing me up for life.

‘’ The moon and Sun will rise tomorrow, if we are here or not. Other people will carry on living their lives and the world will not stop ".

She was right and I know that now. Life is tough and doesn’t revolve around no one.

During these tough moments I always go back to basics. By telling my self, don’t ever give in to this world. I will never bow down to this world, no matter how much it beats me down to my knees.

Some people in prison give me great inspiration.

How lonely it must be in that tiny cell doing 20yrs. But they don’t feel alone because they have the Bible and God.

Things always work out one way or another my friend stay strong mentally.

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Just continue to turn to God and never away from Him. Keep praying and sharing your life with Him. You won’t find friends sitting at home. As difficult as it may be get out there and help others. Best thing to combat loneiiness. There are many out there who are lonely too.

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I don’t think the Lord is offended if you tell him honestly that you are lonely. He knows it already, anyway, and God isn’t an egomaniac. Sometimes, he leaves us to figure things out for ourselves, because that makes us stronger. But I don’t think he ever truly abandons us, unless we abandon him.

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