I don't know how to accept loneliness


#1

I have been really alone for a long time. I have some casual acquaintances, but no one I am really close to except for an ex-boyfriend. He is my best friend, though he lives about three hours away. We talk almost every day and he is a great help to me, and we visit each other every few weeks. The problem is that when we’ve been seeing each other recently, we’ve been sleeping together, and that isn’t what I want. He has a different view on the morality of the situation. I know that this will keep happening if we keep seeing each other. My problem is that he is very truly the only person in the world I have to talk to. I never thought I would sink so low so fast, but here I am. I have no idea how to fix my situation. I have been going to confession once a week or more, and praying, but nothing helps. I used to go to mass every day, and I have been trying to do that again, but it doesn’t seem to change things.

I have been praying for years for more friends. I go to social events and I talk to people, but it never goes any further than that. I find myself wondering whether God just wants me to be alone, or whether my prayers aren’t answered because there is no God. I have a very demanding job (teacher in an impoverished school) and I talk to people all day, but still feel so alone. No one ever calls me, and I have no one to call. I’ve just spent the whole day crying in bed even though I have a lot of work to do before school starts again on Monday.

I live in a tiny room in a tiny apartment. I wish I had some space to walk around. I never really talk to my family. I just feel like I can’t handle it anymore. I don’t see anything positive in my life and nothing ever changes. I don’t know how to change it. If there is a God, why doesn’t he help me or why can’t I see it when He does? I can’t make anything good spiritually come from this loneliness. If this is my trial, I am not good enough for it. It leads me into so many sins. It is never going to stop unless I change, and I can’t change.


#2

Anniegirl, you might be surprised to find out how many adults experience similar loneliness at times. It can be really difficult to make deep friendships as an adult, especially if you’re one of the few single people you know. I think God does maneuver us sometimes into places of quiet and introspection, backs us into a corner where the only options we have is to spend time with Him or ignore Him, but personally I don’t think he wants loneliness for us, especially long- term. It does weaken us to temptation. After transferring to another city where I knew no one and it took quite a while to make friends, I spent my free time shopping, running up my credit cards because I was bored and lonesome. I didn’t get my head on straight until I got involved with something outside of my job.

You say you go to social functions and talk to people but it never goes any further. Are these people you want to get to know? Do you have anything in common with them, especially your faith? In my experience, the best basis for friendship, especially deep friendship, is your common faith. Talking about God is one of the best ways I know to cement a friendship. Do you belong to a prayer group in your parish? It would be a good place to start and will help to strengthen your own faith and determination; it sounds like they could use some fortifying right now. Get people’s phone numbers and then call! Invite somebody out for coffee. The good thing about being in a prayer group is that people are pretty open with one another about their lives and problems.

About sleeping with your ex-boyfriend, you know that has to stop. If he’s truly your best friend, with your best interests at heart, he’ll get it. But you’ve got to be honest and stick to your guns.

I’ll keep you in my prayers.


#3

Thanks for the good advice! I live in a big city. Pretty much everything I go to is Catholic-related, whether is it the young adult group at my church or Bible study, though I have been skipping everything too much lately. I guess I need to be the one who acts more. I am always waiting for someone to ask for my number instead of asking for theirs.


#4

Hi Anniegirl,

At this point I don’t know what to say to you to help you. Maybe by sharing my personal story it might help you some how. Okay here goes, first let me tell you the irony of your join date and the number of your posts. Your join date is the month and day of my Mom’s birthday and the number of your post #29 is the last two digits of the year of her birth (1929). However, she passed away on 7 June 2007, her birthday in 2007 was the same day as Thanksgiving. The year of her death, wouldn’t you know fell on Thanksgiving. Every few years it does that. The loneliness and loss is still over whelming. My Mom was my family and in a sense my girl. I have other family members an Aunt (her sister) and cousins, but due to some past family rift, I hardly ever see them, talk, write and/or email them. I also have 3 rediscovered sisters, that Mom gave up for adoption. They have came back into my life the first one (the youngest) found us in 1992. Anyway I’m going away from the type of problem you’re experiencing. My story is in some ways similar. Because I spent all my life with my Mom. I never dated very much, had sex, got married or even had children. She was concerned that when she did pass that I would be all alone. She was right I am, even though I do have reconnected sisters, volunteer with my parish LIFE TEEN/ Confirmation program, volunteer with Red Cross Disaster Services and a couple others. It still doesn’t help.

I have a very good friends in my Youth Minister and her husband the teens. I also get strong support from my Pastor, Doctor, and Counselor they help but that’s not enough. I don’t have any real friends there are people who show concern, but I’m not as close as I should be. I do not have a girlfriend. I’m 50 yo without a girlfriend of even a prospect of one. I’m trying the online dating sites (a couple are Catholic ones. Boy, that is difficult with some of those ladies.)

I too pray to Jesus, I ask my Mom to help me as well. God is there it’s just that our time clock is not the same as his. We have to be patient. We have to open to his call. Maybe in my case I’m called to be a celibate lay single person.


#5

Anniegirl, I’m glad to hear your involvements are church-related. Do you volunteer for any cause you feel particularly passionate about? People often find volunteering most meaningful when they’ve experienced what the people they’re helping are going through. You’ve been feeling lonely for awhile and could really understand where someone experiencing loneliness is coming from. Maybe visitation to elderly or disabled shut-ins or driving the them to Mass? Meals on Wheels maybe? Maybe God has led you to experience loneliness so that you can be of help to someone who’s lonely?


#6

Annie,

This is weird. My middle name is Annie, I also teach underprivileged kids, and right now my best friend is also my ex-boyfriend!! Maybe it will just help you to know that there are people going through the same thing you are. This year has been the hardest of my life because of the loneliness. The unbearable silence in the apartment, the time going so slow…I try to give my energy to my students, and that helps, but that can only go so far. It’s unhealthy to expect the students to fill that void and that attitude can only lead to trouble. Also like you, I have a hard time approaching people first and asking for numbers, so my hopes of making friends is pretty dismal. It’s easy for people to say, “well, just get over it and be bold! Ask for numbers!” But it’s definitely not that easy. I feel like I am friendly and approachable, and I have definitely proposed plans for coffee or lunch, but it always is a dead end.

So, I don’t have a solution for you, but it helps me a lot to read. If you love literature at all, books can be a great solace and help. Spiritual books are good too. Books give me a kind of broad perspective, and I realize that being lonely for a few years (because it will pass!) doesn’t matter so much in the grand scheme of things, and there are people who have made it alone, missionaries and pioneers and hermits and people like that.

And I know it’s easy to hole up in the apartment but try to get out at least once a day or at least get a hobby…I paint birdhouses!

Are there any old friends you can reconnect with from high school or college?


#7

This is my first post on these kinds of websites, under my real name…

Annie, you’re not alone in the way you feel, and I sense some of the desperation that I’ve also know from feeling perpetually lonely. My circumstance is different, but the feeling is the same - I have a great wife and four awesome kids (three teens and a five year old).
I’ve felt a nagging sense of loneliness sense my father died of brain cancer when I was 26 - that was 14 years ago. Mom died five years later of lung cancer; both died this time of year (Dad in Feb. and Mom in Jan.), so I spent some pretty miserable holidays in hospitals with them.
I don’t know the answer, Annie. I do believe that we must both sense deep in our core that we’re meant for more love than we can realize right now, and that terrible longing will not go away completely no matter who we are with. But I pray that you and I can cope with it in knowing that we will please God in our struggle to find Him even while we grasp for others to fill the ache.

Thanks to you for the sharing - I’ll pray for you, and I ask the same in return.


#8

Hi Annie,
I don’t have any advice really, but just wanted to let you know that you’re not the only one who feels lonely.

I am married with two children but we have moved around so much that it’s been hard to develop any lasting friendships. Plus, I am VERY shy.

I think it’s great that you’re involved in some activities outside of work and I agree that you should be more bold in trying to reach out to others (even though it’s scarey!!!). I’ve never been very good at making friends either…I really don’t know how some people do it?

But please don’t lose faith in God! Cling to Him in these times and they will be more bearable. I really don’t think He wants you to be unhappy but He does have a plan for you and this could be part of it.

Good luck and I will pray for you.


#9

Prayers for you.


#10

Thank you.


#11

Annie,

I also feel this and don’t know any answer’s. I heard someone say on EWTN that He allows this sometimes, to create a larger space within us so that He can then fill more of us with Himself. Sometimes I feel as Mother Teresa is noted to have said, “I just wish He wouldn’t trust me so much!” or as St. Teresa of Avila said, “If this is how You treat your friends, it’s no wonder You haven’t many!” Other times I think it must be because I have been such a small vessel for Him to fill and/or terribly hardhearted.:rolleyes:

You will be in my prayers.


#12

Christ was lonely in the Garden of Gethsemane.

Warriors often get lonely too - even if they are around others, they might miss home, family, etc.

I think loneliness is a chance to unite oneself to Christ’s sufferings in the Garden of Gethsemane, and to take the opportunity to be a spiritual warrior for Christ and remember that loneliness is another type of spiritual battle.

In loneliness can be found all kinds of victories for Christ - even if it is just offering up our sufferings in this loneliness as an act of love, or offering our sufferings up for those who are lonely but do not know Christ and so are even more lonely still.

I know it is hard - but winning victories is never easy. Perhaps God wants to draw you closer to Him through this suffering.

I would suggest this: write on a piece of paper that it is your mission to, like Christ, use your sufferings to win a great victory for God. Write that you will use your loneliness as an opportunity to grow closer to Christ by offering up your sufferings as an act of love and for others who are more lonely. Write that you will never allow yourself to be discouraged, no matter what, but that you will always have faith, hope and trust in God. Edit that statement as you choose and read it every day. You can turn any suffering into victory - just as Christ did.

God bless you!!


#13

Hi, Annie, I have often been lonely, too, especially in the last few years in light of discovering my husband living a separate and rather secret life (and apparently wishes to continue doing so.)

I try to stay focused on God, although I really struggle with that. Like you, I teach, so I see plenty of people, but it’s not the same. I also tend towards shyness, but I have joined a group for a particular interest of mine, and have found it very easy to be more open with these people. Putting a lot of energy into that interest has also helped a lot, as I have things on my mind, a goal I’m shooting for, and less time for being lonely.

Lastly, I have the same feelings of not understanding why God does not answer my prayers for a holy marriage, and not seeing any good or holiness coming out of this situation. But I do have a lot to offer up :rolleyes: … for the souls in Purgatory, for a million things and people who need prayers. I don’t feel like it’s doing any good, but if we believe our faith, then I have to believe that it is.

I have not found the time to do it, so I feel a bit of a hypocrite talking, but I’m a firm believe that we make ourselves happiest by stepping outside of ourselves and helping someone else. When we’re feeding the hungry or comforting the sick, our problems just seem to get smaller.

My thoughts and prayers are with you.


#14

Exercise recollection. Only a recollected soul can hear God’s voice.


#15

Dear AnnieGirl -
What surprises me is that despite your dilemma - read your own signature at the bottom of your posts…quoting St. Theresa. Don’t despair - don’t give up. I wish I had better advice. There are many who understand your problem but won’t admit it. You’ve had the courage to do so. Trust in God. Look for God. And listen for His Voice in your loneliness.


#16

How does one exercise recollection?:o


#17

Pray - listening for Him.


#18

I may be young, and perhaps out of line for putting my two cents in but I feel compelled to do it. For the longest time I felt so lonely because I have so much going on im my life; I was making bad decisions, and hanging around the wrong sort of people. I have committed every sin I had promised myself I would never do; including engaging in premaritial sex. For a few years I convinced myself God turned his back on me so my actions were justified, I continued to sin and when I felt especially lonely I would pray and I felt nothing. It was not until recent months that I decided to turn my life around.

Believe me, God is there, but if you are having sex with your ex-boyfriend and you know its a sin how can you expect to feel close to him? The first thing you must do is a put a stop to this, and start fresh, you feel healed after doing so. If this man does not understand then he is not really your best friend is he?

And as other people have said you should engage in activities with people who share your faith, Once your relationship with God is back on track everything else falls into place. You just have to be steadfast and true in your heart you want to return to God!

Have you ever read the footprints poem?You should I’m going to keep it beside my bed from now on, just to remind me God is there for me always, and for YOU!

God Bless…you’ll be in my prayers.


#19

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