Tell Loneliness Goodnight

By Danielle LesikApril 3, 2016

I’ve met Loneliness. He walks into my room uninvited when I’ve decided to stay in on a Friday night. He dances with the skeletons in my closet and tries to call me closer. He brings Depression over for a slumber party, and they play charades with my insecurities. They mock me in the silence. They try to scream over the music. Too often they force me into bed early with my senses tingling that something isn’t right.

Loneliness has tricks up his sleeve, but his favorite is making me feel misunderstood. He tells me that I’m too different and too sensitive. He says that I have too many faded scars to find a place to belong or someone who wants to listen. He says that my story, while it is an open book, will never find a reader to latch on to it. He points out the gaps in my relationship history and the friendships that failed. He shows me what I could have while we scroll through Facebook. The worst days come when I believe him and his words of agony: that I am both too much and not enough.

It’s easy to get exhausted when he plays these mind games. But I’m there, standing with Depression and Loneliness and their many friends, and it’s easy to forget myself. When confronted by Guilt and Doubt, I lose my voice because theirs always drowns mine out. It feels like I’m stuck playing in front of a crowd that is never going to root for me.

To me, Loneliness is my biggest opponent – and he knows it. He knows that I can’t win unless I have someone there. He knows my bad days and my bad weeks. He’s got me down to a science, and I don’t even know his last name.

But despite his strength and trickery, there are times where I kick him out. I tell him to go home, that I have someone coming over. I tell him that I have a good book to read with a mug of warm tea waiting for me. I tell him that I need the sleep to go out tomorrow. I share all the jokes I heard over the week. I rant to him about the phone calls that I’ve made and the messages that I’ve received. I annoy him with how much I don’t need him there to fill the silence. I express in as many ways as I can that I’m fine sitting here on a Friday night with a set of movies to watch by myself – and he goes.

Of course, to say any of those things, I need people. I need someone to come over and someone to suggest the book to read and someone to tell me all those bad jokes. I need someone to sit there on the worst of nights, someone to kick out my unwanted company and to show me that I deserved better. I need each and every person in order to believe that I am needed and adored and not abandoned.

I think maybe that’s what drew me to TWLOHA’s message. I’ve heard Loneliness’ ugly knock on the door and invited him in. When I came across this organization, I was able to reassure myself that someone out there has a similar story to mine. I could believe in that. I could tell Loneliness he’s wrong and leave it at that. I could read these words and tell Loneliness to just go home.

Each of us has the power to tell him goodnight, to tell Loneliness that we don’t need his company or his friends. We are stronger than his slumber party of Addiction, Depression, Self-Injury, and Self-hate. We deserve better company because – despite how we feel – we matter, we belong, and we are loved.

People need other people. We need them to listen to our stories, to laugh with us, and to share in our struggles. People need other people because together we’ll never have to believe that we are alone.

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Comments (23)

  1. Ester S

    This is amazing! Thank you so much for this!

    Reply  |  
  2. Paige

    This post is SO good. Thank you for writing this.

    Reply  |  
  3. Becka B.

    It’s blogs like this that let me know I’m not alone in my pain. Thank you for this.

    Reply  |  
  4. Julie

    This article is spot on!! Powerful…thank you!

    Reply  |  
  5. Myrna

    Thank you very much for sharing this. I moved to a new village some time ago and i have these friday nights often. And each and every time Loneliness sits besides me, scoffs at me and tells me i’m the only one being alone on a friday night. Thank you for letting me know he is wrong.

    Reply  |  
  6. Sophie

    This is so spot on… I’ve been struggling with loneliness a lot over the last year and a half after moving to a different country…
    Thanks for your encouraging words!

    Reply  |  
  7. Renee Rex

    I love this ? thank you for putting into words what my soul screams out in silent anguish. I love you. You are not alone.

    Reply  |  
  8. Christine

    This is perhaps one of the most poignant messages I have received from TWLOHA – right when I needed to read it, this afternoon.
    Thank you, you are in good company, we are never truly alone on our journey.
    Much love!

    Reply  |  
  9. stenly

    this is big for me thank you so much.

    Reply  |  
  10. vanessa

    Wow! This post is beautiful and powerful.

    Reply  |  
  11. Carolyn

    Perfect. This is exactly right.

    Reply  |  
  12. Paige

    This is gold. I’ve read this so many times already and it’s amazing how relevant it is. Great, great job.

    Reply  |  
  13. Lais

    Minha vida sempre foi boa. Eu sempre tive de tudo. Mas sempre foi difícil viver. Essa semana eu vi um vídeo sobre Bullying, e me fez lembrar de todos os adultos que me culparam por aquilo. Os dias passam e as vezes são bom, mas isso sempre volta. Eu não consigo esquecer, não consigo parar de odiar. Faz muito tempo que eu mão penso em suicídio, eu realmente não quero morrer. Mas eh muito difícil não me corta mais. As vezes eu tenho recaídas. Eu as disfarço, fazendo corte bem pequenos que ninguém vai reparar. Eu faço isso dês dos 10 anos eu acho. ninguém reparou. Enquanto eu me afundo ninguém percebe, mesmo as pessoas mais próximas. A solidão enlouquece. E eu não consigo sair do lugar. Eu. Só queria compartilhar.
    PS : eu não sei escrever bem em inglês, mas leio muito bem em inglês.

    Reply  |  
  14. ray garcix

    this made my night.. thank you so much.

    Reply  |  
  15. Shona

    This is absolutely powerful! Thank you.

    Reply  |  
  16. Bellla

    Loneliness comes in so many forms and for so many reasons.
    Thank you for this. For using your voice and experiences to not only help others but yourself too.
    God bless

    Reply  |  
  17. Abbey

    Thank you for this, Danielle. I wonder if you’ve heard Shauna Taub’s “The Visitors”? Its a very poignant piece, like this post, that also personifies Loneliness, Guilt, Depression, Doubt. Somehow it feels so much more real this way. I think what you’ve done really helps get the feelings out of my head and make them more concrete, so I at least can see what I’m up against, instead of hiding under the covers from my unwanted houseguest.

    Reply  |  

    What happens when you can’t find other people to connect? what happens when it’s even difficult to connect at all? When you are alone desperately trying and failing ? When you stare hard enough on your whatsapp screen hoping someday somebody will ask “hey how are you”? and nobody does? When you believe in fairy tales of love and yet afraid to fall in love or fall in love with the girls who don’t care . And finally when you have someone and you want to be with her, but you can’t because she is either engaged or she thinks you just as a friend

    Reply  |  
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  20. Tina

    Thank you I’m battling through this every day, just thank you.

    Reply  |  
  21. Faith

    This is a beautiful post and I really think itś gonna help me out. Thank you for writing this.

    Reply  |  
  22. Maria João

    Thanks for sharing your experience. Its mine too. My name is Maria and i live alone with no family or friends.
    I attemped suicide once and as i live in Portugal and away from big centers is even more complicated.
    I also have fibromyalgia and no doctor can give me the support that i need.
    So my case is complicated. I found courage in exemples like yours.
    And thank you again.
    Maria João

    Reply  |  
  23. Maria João

    Your story is mine!

    Reply  |  
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