Two Faces of Loneliness

Opinion

We received two posts – both brief, both sharing a common and often overlooked theme. Sharing them side by side will hopefully show that anyone experiencing this is far from alone; as you can see below, someone else out there is likely to be going through the same thing. Reach out and you might find…

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We received two posts – both brief, both sharing a common and often overlooked theme. Sharing them side by side will hopefully show that anyone experiencing this is far from alone; as you can see below, someone else out there is likely to be going through the same thing. Reach out and you might find you have more in common with others than you might think.

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Behind The Smiles by Maduka Ekene

One thing about us that we usually don’t reveal on social network is ‘loneliness’. A lot of people reading this post are going through this situation in silence.
We’ve mastered the art of putting up a facade that nobody would believe how terribly lonely we truly are.

When we turn off our phones, we go into seclusion. A life with no real friends, no company, no real love. Just we and ourselves alone; yet, somehow, we try to mask this feeling by portraying the ever happy, 24/7 jovial, fun, outgoing personality backed up with carefully contrived happy moments, that only exist in our minds and heads.
Turns out that it’s usually the loneliest people who try to appeal to the world this way.

And this comes from someone who has actually been there.
To everyone going through this, I know how it feels to be all by yourself in a world where everyone is too busy & conceited to care about the next person’s existence; a world where friendship comes with a price tag.

I know how it feels to look out there and feel like you’re missing out on all the happiness, craze and fun – while you’re the odd man out. I know how it feels when you think you’re not good enough or worthy, because everyone you know has been claimed.

Hold on, you’ll survive.

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Mood by OluOlu

There is a deep longing within my being for someone who can listen to my heart and understand perfectly, everything I feel. If that is love, then it means I’m looking for love. I don’t realise it until I’m lying down on my bed, lights off, music playing; a little louder than usual.

There is no playlist, I select random songs that take me to places in my heart that I don’t know exist. I feel the strong urge to talk to someone. I pick up my phone and scroll through my WhatsApp chats. I send a few ‘HI’s’, get a few responses, but the banality of the chats leave me frustrated. I want a real conversation. I open Twitter and scroll through my TL, looking for a tweet or thread that is a response to the conversation I wish I’m having. I find none.

Is this what being lonely feels like? I can call up several people. In fact, some might even show up in my house at my request, but the conversation I desire is one that is so intimate that words are not required. Just the beating of hearts in perfect silence that is completely understood.

I will just lie here and take solace in the music.

I’ll listen to ‘Lie in the Sound’ by Trespassers William or ‘Apologies by Grace Potter and the Nocturnals or ‘I Never Told You’ by Colbie Caillat or ‘Vi To Er Smeltet Sammen by Stoffer & Maskinen from the movie ‘Copenhagen’ , a song I don’t know what the heck they’re saying…

First published here.

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Feel free to share your experience of loneliness and how/if you overcome it in the comments section. Again, more often than not, we are less alone than we think we are.

Responses

  1. Farida
    I can relate to the second post……….gosh its sad but it doesn’t happen everyday, I snap out of it after a while.
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  2. Princess
    These post are very apt as they capture the harsh realities of what people around us go through everyday. Some people cannot deal with loneliness, they just hate being alone.
    I can relate to the second post and the way I deal with it is to either listen to some good music, write, go to the cinemas or eat ice cream and cake (I know it’s fattening but at that point I don’t care) or pray or do something I just enjoy doing…the feeling no dey last sha. I snap out of it after a while.
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  3. Hakeem
    The second post is all too familiar to me. It’s even made worse by the fact that even if I want to open up to someone, I don’t think there’s anyone to open up to.
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    1. OluOlu
      At some point, you have to let go and make yourself vulnerable. You can’t keep it all in always. Trust people. At some point, we can’t run away from vulnerability no matter how hard we try.
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  4. Shareefah
    The second is so me like everyday. One minute I had it and now, it’s just a blank space. I’m cuddled in my solitude taking solace in the fact that, it will pass.
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    1. OluOlu
      It is good to know that some of us are not alone in this world. BUT. Being a daily affair makes it symptomatic of deeper issues. Sister, please let it pass quick quick and let it stay in the past.
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  5. Ijehappiness
    Hah…..both posts really got to me…..worst when you ve got a low battery and can’t charge at the moment…. As though you’re marooned …….Sometimes you even find people around you but yarn for a deeper voice….that special person to boost your mood but his/her number aren’t going through….. In the end sha …….I write while listening to music or read through this articles like I’m doing now!
    If you ask me, I did say…..its a once in a while thing. It shouldn’t be frequent or you will need to check in a nearest psychiatry for signs of depression.
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  6. Victor
    I used to have several depressed moments in the past but not anymore… What helped mine was activities… I have a very hectic #ToDo list on my phone and when depression wants to creep in I just. check my #ToDo list and Spend the depressed time doing the Next activities… But when No light to charge my phone…. Chai…. It slowly creeps in but then I visit friends… it’s not Eazi sha…
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  7. Mrs B
    Is it bad that I’m married yet I feel lonely too? Like Hubby is always busy so I’ve learnt to deal with my matters alone…when the time comes to share, don’t even remember them. I feel guilty at times just feeling that loneliness.
    I can relate with both stories. Sometimes it’s even like why talk to anybody when I actually have it better than most? Talking about it will make or sound like I’m ungrateful for my life…so I cry…cry…read stories on sites like TNC with water flowing down…and sleep. Play with my daughter and move on. Life goes on.
    Am I alright? Or am I suppressing too much? Sometimes I don’t know…????
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    1. Hephie Brown
      Hey you are indeed holding too much. I will tell you to be strong and try hold much more but you are holding it in too much. First, ill say one of the many benefits of marriage is companionship, steady one. STEADY. and once in a while it fades but both parties should revive it. Because who else should get you if not the one youre spending the rest of your life with? will the rest of your life be like this? But no its not hubbys fault or anything. he is genuinely busy abi? dont deal with it alone. get something doing, not just ur daughter. Find a talent. Hone it. Learn a language, for the fun of it. Start a course, not online. if you can afford it.

      Find someone to talk to if hubby wont be available, its not a crime or a disservice, you owe it to yourself and your marriage and to your daughter to take happiness where you can find. You can get a therapist, it is cheap to consult with someone at yaba psych every once a week, like in the movies, no couch tho. like 1500 per session. you’re not crazy or sick you’re just paying someone to listen to you and give you the best retrospective advice.

      I would hate to say you sound like depression is creeping in, but you sound like depression is creeping in. Once you start having to convince yourself that you have it better than most, you should keep quiet cos u will sound ungrateful, you should watch it. Dont just play with your child and move on. BE HAPPY. BE HAPPY. YOU DESERVE HAPPINESS. I swear. please respond/chat me up, ill try and be here for you where i can.

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      1. Mrs B
        Wow. Thanks Can’t believe you wrote all that for me…
        Don’t worry about me please. I would hate that. If it gets very bad, at least now I know I have you. And TNC is still alive…so no depression.
        Thank you. I promise to reach out soon
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        1. Hephie Brown
          Lool I believe you. I actually do, cos what you said reeked of strength. but since you know TNC is here and I’m here if/when you need, then I’ll worry less. But i worry o…So no depression

          YOu’re welcome, I wait to hear from you.

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