Loneliness: A Taboo Emotion To Feel

“I am in a sea of people

But it feels a lot like I am in a puddle with just myself

I see them

But they don’t see me
And No, I am not a ghost
I am just a human whose thoughts, feelings and values do not matter”


In her book, the atlas of the heart- Brene Brown highlighted how as humans we have a limited range of emotions

We have very few vocabulary to describe our emotional state

And the thing with limited language is well it limits your ability to fully express yourself

The theme for the Mental Health Awareness month for May was “Loneliness” And I would like to use this month of June to talk about loneliness

The feelings of loneliness is such an emotion that is seldom spoken about

even when we talk about it we say it in terms that are more palatable

sometimes we say we are bored or sad all in a bid to avoid that emotion of loneliness

somehow we dislike the idea that we could be lonely

because perhaps being lonely seems to be a sort of moral failing on our part as humans?

I don’t really know but even I, as expressive as I am, I struggle with out rightly saying to an audience or even admitting that I feel lonely

perhaps it is because I feel that as a single woman that presents herself as valuing independence

“I shouldn’t be lonely”

but there is always an assumption that lurks in such a statement

that people in a relationship are exempt from feelings of loneliness

which as my therapist highlighted is not the case

“loneliness isn’t merely about having people around, it is about having people that see and hear you”

people that value your opinion and care enough to listen

my therapist said that and that was quite enlightening to hear

such an apt description of loneliness.

Another definition of loneliness by an authority in the field of social science, John Cacioppo;

“loneliness is a perceived feelings of isolation”

if you have ever felt like you did not belong in a place or around a group of people then you have felt lonely

Being aware of feelings of loneliness is so remarkable because for me sometimes i conflate the emotion i feel with sadness

when it is actually loneliness

So as a seldom talked about emotion, I will be writing about Loneliness all through this month with the hope of raising more consciousness

I hope that as we learn to embrace and allow ourselves to feel our loneliness, we can find that we are really not alone in this feeling.

Would you like to speak to a councillor? try out this toll free number: 08008002000

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