Have you ever felt lonely?
We all will feel lonely at one time or another in our lives. It’s just normal.
But sometimes when we feel that way, we end up despairing and worrying about it, wondering about stuff like,
“What is wrong with me?“
“Why am I so alone?“
Gradually, fear and doubt sets in, making you stress over something very silly and trivial. The fact that it’s a normal human emotion is something the brain will fail to register. Instead, it begins to give you the dumb idea that your situation is unique and your the only one who is feeling that way.
Insanity aside, the fact is that loneliness is a part of life.
This is especially stressful since we happen to be social creatures dependant on society for love, attention, affection and connectedness. Perhaps we wouldn’t care about loneliness so much if we were a ‘loner’ species like say, tigers.
Before I go further, let me tell you a bit more about myself.
That way, you’ll get an idea of what I have gone through and the angle that I talk from.
I am not really sure on the whole nature vs. nurture thing; from personal observations, I’m inclined to say that genes have a bigger role to play than the environment. As far as I can remember, I’ve been a fairly outgoing person as a kid (or is it that all kids are naturally extroverted? :S ). But it was only as a kid that this was the case, as things changed for the worse as time passed by.
You see, between first and third grade, I was very extroverted and talkative. I made friends easily and chat with everyone without any difficulty.
All that changed when an idiotic teacher, convinced of her own morality and superiority, decided that I was committing an offense by talking to people and decided to silence me. She took sweet pleasure of making a big fuss and I ended up getting yelled and screamed at in front of the whole class. She went on a diatribe and told me of how I was a ‘nuisance’ in the classroom, etc.
That was the turning point of my life when my sociability went downhill. I increasingly became aloof rather than talk to people because I subconsciously started to believe that talking to others was a ‘bad’ thing. As time passed, this degree of social isolation increased and I had become the ‘shy and quiet’ kid. Infact, some actually asked me if that’s why my name was ‘Shy-am’.
Due to this behavior of aloofness, I ended up developing social anxiety, which caused me to become nervous in social situations. At the same time, the aloofness also created a huge void, which got filled up with junk food and TV. Also, we stayed in a locality where there weren’t any kids around except a few from a local slum; so I was forced to stay at home instead of playing outside.
So, guess what happens to a kid who eats trash and watches TV for like 6-8 hours a day? He becomes fat. He becomes sluggish and weak. He becomes a target for easy pickings at school.
I should also add that I had issues with the opposite sex when it came to dating because girls are shallow whether you want to admit it or not. I’m sure that you would understand what I am talking about if you yourself were fat at some age.
This was the final blow; I was a fat, introverted kid and that stuck with me for a while into my teens. The years somehow passed by, the entire time of which was spent with a small friend circle and a major case of social anxiety. I can’t say that I never had any friends through those years because there were a few good people I knew; but I wasn’t the average student with a normal social circle.
Perhaps I should add that I come from a broken family. Witnessing my parents fighting ( my mom is a saint though and was always on the defensive…) and being exposed to screaming, shouting and what not at such a tender age, it had a traumatizing effect on my young mind. Quite often, I would go to school emotionally disturbed the next day with the shock of the previous day’s fighting, which had an effect on my sociability.
In addition to this, everyone in the family including extended relatives were extremely overbearing and would freak out to let me out on my own, let I ‘hurt’ myself. That probably had an effect too.
The obesity part and everything else belongs to a topic of it’s own so I’ll cover that later.
As of now, even though I am still working on improving my social skills and health, I can say that I have moved far away from introversion and being fat.
To sum it up, I spent a lot of the years being fat and introverted, having to deal with being ignored and sometimes wondering what it was like to have a huge friend circle like the ‘normal’ kids. There were also the times when I felt the pain of being single and not having a girlfriend. And of course, there were the times when I had to deal with being picked on for being fat.
I guess that this would give a rough idea of what I’ve been through when I talk about dealing with loneliness.
This would be the end of the first part. In the next post, I’ll let you in on how to get rid of loneliness, once and for all!