Struggling with Loneliness
I’ve wanted to write this post for a long time, but I’ve been much to scared to do so. Scared that it’ll come across like I’m looking for attention, or a sad case, or one of those people who just moans for moaning’s sake. I'm still afraid of those things, and that it will be even harder to make friends after this and I’ll just be lonely forever instead. But midnightandlace recently did a post talking about the same issue which you can read here and it really helped me finally pick up the courage to write this down, although I’m still unsure as to whether this will be posted or not, but if you’re reading this then I must have.
Loneliness is the biggest thing that I’ve struggled with during my 20 years of life. I comeback to this issue frequently - I’m sure my boyfriend is sick of me crying to him about it, and I know I’m tired of going to sleep feeling like there’s a blanket of dark sadness wrapped around me. For some reason, I don’t seem to be any good at making or keeping friends, and it does effect me a lot. I frequently worry that I’m not going to have any bridesmaids at my wedding (not that I’m getting married or even engaged any time soon, but it’s still something I think about).
I’ve had a lot of bad friendships over the years, people who I thought I could trust - but boy, was I wrong - people who I put all of my effort into with nothing in return, and down right bullies. I think I must’ve been a weird kid to begin with. I was a fiercely independent, bright child who enjoyed being praised. I was the kid who would finish the work set for the next hour in 10 minutes and then ask for more, to the point where the teachers would give me work from 2-3 classes above me to keep me occupied. No one likes a know it all right? I found that out at aged 5/6 when my first group of friends began to bully me - to the point of me moving schools. A great big fail at my first try at friendship. Luckily at the next school I had I much better experience.
I would say I’ve only ever had three best friends in my life time, all of which were toxic in their own way. The first I would fall out with on a weekly basis, the next ended with physical and verbal bullying, and the other began to fizzle when I got into my current relationship 6 years ago and I was eventually isolated from her by a third party. I haven’t had a really close friendship since.
98% of what I do I either do with my boyfriend or alone. That other 2% usually consists of seeing that friend who lives a train ride away every now and then, lunch dates with my mum and coffee or a few casual drinks with casual friends. I do find myself turning to social media for some form of interaction, and when that interaction seems to slow - less likes on my Instagram posts, no one appreciates my funny tweets, barely any views on a blog post I worked hard on - my self esteem plummets, and I find myself in that bad head space again where I just don’t understand what’s wrong with me or why no one likes me or wants to be my friend.
Because I do think that I’m pretty cool really. I have a bomb sense of style, a good taste in music and I’m a fiercely loyal friend if you do get close to me (that’s the Taurus in me I guess). I have strong opinions but I’m good at separating genuine arguments from heated discussions over a difference of opinion. I will tell you if I think you’re being shitty, which I think all good friends should do, to help you grown into a better, more well rounded person. I can dye your hair for you, drive us places and I get half price McDonalds meals. I will always be your support system when you need one, and I always am, to every friend I’ve ever had, no matter what time of day or night or what part of the country I have to get the train to. Yet, here I sit, friendless.
Another thing is that I’ve always been better at being friends with guys than gals. I never subscribed to the drama that seems to come with young female friendships, it always felt much easier and more comfortable to be friends with boys. Then puberty hit. And then boys didn’t want to be my friend, they wanted to hold my hand. They wanted me to be their girlfriend. They wanted to kiss. They wanted to touch. I find this a big issue when it comes to making friends as well. At 20, guys aren’t looking to just make friends with girls, they want more from it in one way or another. Being in a 6 year long relationship, and meeting a lot of people through my boyfriend, lots of people look straight through me. I’m just “Jonny’s girlfriend” to them, nothing more.
But I find girls incredibly intimidating. Especially when they’re already apart of a good friendship group or have a best friend already.
I do find myself pulling away from new friendships if even some small kind of red flag comes up because I just don’t want to go through it all again. I acknowledge that about myself, but in the moment I can never push myself to let it go, just in case.
I do feel as though I miss out on a lot because I don’t have anyone to do things with apart from my boyfriend - but I can’t rely on him for everything can I? There are things that he simply doesn’t want to do and that’s completely fine. I feel like I missed out on this whole clubbing/going out out social era. My boyfriend doesn’t drink, and I never moved out for uni or had many friends to invite me out back at home. So I just, never really did. I used to sit and listen to people’s house party stories while at sixth form and try to laugh along with everyone, even though I was the only one never actually invited. Likewise, I’ve never done a party holiday and most likely never will I guess. If there’s a gig I want to go to or a holiday I want to go on but the one person who I actually spend my time with doesn’t want to or can’t then I don’t. It’s incredibly isolating, missing out on festivals and trips to Amsterdam or Ibiza, watching everyone else having a great time from my bed. It’s FOMO but to like, the highest level.
But I think that the most lonely bit is seeing everyone else having fun with their friends on social media. Nights out, holidays, festivals, bigging each other’s insta pics up, tagging one another in memes, talking in group chats. I’m sure they just seem like everyday things to most people but to me they don’t exist. They’re not things that happen for me, and if for some miracle they ever do it genuinely makes my day every time.
Thank you for coming to my ted talk. Please please please if you want to be pals just drop me a dm on twitter or Instagram. We can have a good chat and you can decide for yourself whether I am actually just some weirdo who’s destined to remain friendless forever.
Thanks for actually reading this.