sunday; 22:14


Loneliness.

On Friday I said goodbye to my friends, perhaps until Christmas, or until I organise to visit them.
I thought I was going to be okay and rebuked any concern that I might get lonely or that I would need to meet new friends.
"I'll feel connected enough" I thought in response.
It was a strange day, feeling markedly like the end. But when it came down to it, in true Katie fashion, I cried. And cried. And cried.
Hugging my best friend, of whom I have seen everyday for 10 years, in the pouring rain and darkness, with tears streaming down my face and weak cries of anguish. I looked into their faces and thought fuck, "I'm doing it on my own now".
And as I walked away I had a burning panic of suffocation, "I need to run back, I need to see their faces, I can't leave them". I suppose it was kind of pathetic, but I had known them for so long, we had, in many ways, become each other.

But now I am lonely.
Fuck, I am so lonely.

Loneliess is a taboo, it makes me feel lame and antisocial, when in reality I'm just lost and anxious, faced with unprecedented change.
And I'm watching (what feels like the world) have fun and meet new people and I feel isolated and empty.
I have these overwhelming moments of panic where I vanish into a shell of my being, silent, vacant. I then cry and cry, repeat a conversation of fear, that must occur on a weekly basis, walk away my trepidation, and feel a little more calm. In some ways, it provides a coping mechanism, in others its terrifying. I feel entirely detached from the world around me, numbed and distant. It does pass but it heightens the anxiety. I am, eventually, going to seek help for my mental health because its ruining me and I want to be freed from the demon of fear. I talk about this as there is still, undoubtedly, a stigma surrounding our minds, making it even harder to overcome the challenges that I'm facing. And when I read about other people's MH I feel less isolated, so maybe it will help you. I dunno.

I'm frightened of the year ahead, its relentless nature, the lack of fun, companionship, enjoyment, the way all these new experiences are ruining my mental health. And to feel so very alone makes it oh so much worse, feeling like a burden to contact people but detached from the world that I know.
A world that feels it no longer exists.
I don't know how I'm going to cope with this loneliness, if I am honest.
But I will start with self-love. Not beating myself up for relying on my family, spending time with my mum. I will reach out to people online, put more effort into the blogging world, organise to visit friends, and maybe find a new job. I'll fill my head with podcasts, my mind with books, change my surroundings and my routine.

And I hope to learn to love myself, so profusely, that the empty spaces don't feel so empty anymore.

***
In other news, I found an amazing Swedish shop in Nottingham when I visited at the weekend, am in the manic process of applying to Oxford for History (I think), have some ideas for an online book club kinda thing (which if anyones interested in, watch this space, probs) and am looking for a new pen pal.
Also, in the space between writing the main body and this footnote, I have booked a therapy session. Part of me hates sharing this online, in the fear that someone I know will read it and vilify me, but I also know its important because it makes me feel more connected, its marginally therapeutic and reminds others that its okay to feel lonely, whilst also documenting the realities of my gap year. Its also a step towards being "kind to myself" which was this years goal.

14 comments

  1. Yes Katie, I'm so proud of you for booking a therapy session!! A hard step to make but so worth it just keep with it I really hope it helps you Katie ah that's made me happy. Also an online book club seems cool!
    constantlylibby.blogspot.co.uk

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  2. Good on you for taking these steps towards self-love and care - it's so fucking important and hard!! Feeling lonely at this weird and watery stage in life where the world seems to big in comparison to you is completely part of the process! It sucks tbh. I've started uni, and walking around campus I just kept on repeating to myself "so this is my life now" - everything just seems really imbalanced??? Good luck with the gap year - it'll be sooooooo great!!! And keep doing you and learning, like you said, to enjoy solitude and it's positive sides. Sending you luv! <3

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    1. Yes yes !! I hope uni is going well, thank ya girl Xx

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  3. I thought I'd take a look at your blog after your lovely comments on mine and I'm SO glad I did. Writing about mental health is terrifying but it is such an important part of the healing process. As someone who felt so incredibly alone (and frightened) I want to promise you that IT DOES PASS. You are never imprisoned in a particular mindset - it just might take a little more work to find the door.

    I will be saying goodbye to my friends on Wednesday before moving to Norwich for university. One of my best friends is already at her university and it is pretty hard thinking that I won't see her until Christmas. Mostly though, I'm going to miss my family. My mum and I are ridiculously close and, like you mentioned, I've learned not to be ashamed of that but grateful. Life is all about growing and yup, growing is hard but it is also a necessity for living.

    Jessie
    paintingtheoceanblog.blogspot.co.uk

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    1. Such wise wise words, thank you, sometimes the end seems so far away ygm? Wishing you all the best for uni!!!X

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  4. I hope you're doing ok Katie, sending you good vibes!! Soso important that you've booked the therapy session; it's the first and hardest step. This transitional time is so hard, but we're all in this together (HSM style) and blogging is most definitely a therapeutic outlet in itself. An online book club sounds fab, I am soo down for that x xx

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    1. Thank u Lexie, means a lot, like you say I find solace in this strange online world-woo I'll get organising and hopefully it'll come to fruition!! Hope everything's going well for ya Xx

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  5. I can only imagine what you're going through. Being surrounded by people everyday to suddenly being alone is difficult. But nevertheless, it's amazing preparation for University! It will all pass and forgive the cringy quote, "no rain, no flowers" everything is going to be alright. WELL DONE ON THE THERAPY SESSION TOO (yayayay!!!)
    if we both get to the Oxford interview stage, we can always meet up to keep eachother sane- also, I'm a v serious pen pal candidate so pls DM me

    dalal <3

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    1. hahah I loooove a good cringy quote, its so true!! yes!! that would be so much fun and yass I'm so down for pen palling-ill dm you this v second haha Xx

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  6. I'm sure your gap year will go really well! Ooh, I want to know more about this book club haha!
    Aleeha xXx
    http://www.halesaaw.co.uk/

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    1. Thank you-yay I'll do some more brainstorming!x

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  7. It's hard to talk about mental health stuff, thank you for sharing <3 Loneliness is possibly one of the hardest feelings to navigate! Hope you get some respite soon, I often find once the shock wears off after the initial separation from ones usual surroundings, it can become really exciting and nourishing to be on your own!

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    1. I'm beginning to feel the dawns of the excitement, thank you for your encouraging message X

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Katie