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Lonelier than ever before


#1

Hey guys!

My name is Lenny, I’m 22 years old, I live in Hamburg (Germany) and this is my first time ever reaching out to anyone about a few of my troubles, which have gotten a lot worse in the last few weeks. I’ve never formulated or written this down and of course english is not my native language, so please excuse me if I made some spelling mistakes or if this is quite hard to understand. I hope that no one here expierienced or is experiencing something similar, but maybe someone can help a random guy on the internet out?

So…A few months ago my mother got diagnosed with breast cancer and since then had to get a lot of operations, chemotherapy and radiotherapy. She wasn’t the healthiest woman to begin with, even before this all started and there are a lot of times where she doesn’t feel well at all. I do not know how everything will turn out in the next years, but for the moment everything seems to be bearable for her. I never lost someone close to me, but I know that sooner or later it will be inevitable.
Even though I work as a paramedic here in germany and saw a lot of people die, the thought alone of my mother (and father) not being there for me anymore terrifies me and it revealed something to me:

Especially in the evening when I lay wide awake the feeling of loneliness is creeping up on me. I’ve never been in a serious relationship with a woman and at this point I got the feeling I’ll never be in one, even though I want to be. I only got one or two „closer“ friends and it gets harder and harder for me every day to maintain that friendship and to talk to them, to meet new people and to connect with others and build deeper relationships in general. I feel like the things I’m excited about and I’m interested in just aren’t enough anymore to fill a conversation and so I feel like I don’t have anything interesting to say at all. Even when visiting concerts of my favourite bands or going places I really like, I feel lonelier than ever before, even though I know that there are people which share some of the same interests. These things became more apparent to me than and they are overwhelmingly terrifying at times, sometimes even ending in horrific panic attacks and nightmares. It has gotten so bad, that I have to take painkillers to just numb that feeling of loneliness just for a little while and get my peace of mind and maybe a couple hours of sleep…

I realised that this is a problem which will not solve itself without any help from others, so for a start I’m reaching out to you guys if anyone maybe has some ideas for me?


#2

Dude, so cool of you to realize that this problem isn’t going to just “go away”…it’s really easy to live in denial and say, “Yeah, I know this isn’t good, but it’ll sort itself out.” Happy you chose to speak up about it. Thanks for that, Lenny!

Sounds like a rough spot to be in man…this compounding sense of loneliness that just gets worse over time and starts creeping into the things that you used to enjoy…with your mom’s declining health, and the inevitability of both of your parents leaving it brought this huge hammer of a realization over you that at some point you won’t have them, and that thought of emptiness plagues you. It feels like something you’re never going to be able to escape, and it’s haunting your every day now.

And man, that is terrifying. I’m so sorry that you’re in that place and that it feels like there’s nothing but those pills that can take away that feeling from you. I remember being in a similar spot in my own life, feeling like there’s not a single person on the planet that cared about me and when I went to bed at night feeling this hole in my chest open up like a gigantic chasm…I felt so empty and so alone too.

Honestly, you’re not crazy for feeling that way and you’re definitely not alone. At that point in my life, I had a friend reach out and invite me to play in the band at his church. I wasn’t into church, but I assumed that being in a band would give me better chances at hooking up with a girl, so I went. And when I went, I found a ton of people who asked me how I was doing and actually cared what my answer was…they noticed me and wanted to get to know me. I felt like over time I began to belong, so I kept going back. I was pretty gnarly at the time and was also motivated by hooking up with girls there, but people accepted me even though I didn’t have it all together. Eventually I was playing on stage one day, and I watched my pastor walk in and raise his hands to start to worship while I was playing a set, and in that moment, I listened to the words of the song for the first time (since, again, remember I was there for the girls, so when I was on stage that was my focus, looking cool, haha), and I just felt that emptiness in my chest close up…I felt this warmth and like I was being loved in a way I had never been loved before, and I cried. It was the first time I ever felt God’s presence.

I know this might not feel super applicable for you if you’re not into God, and that’s okay, I don’t expect for you to or anything, but that’s what helped me. God ended up gripping my heart and loving me and surrounding me with men who invested in me, spent time with me, taught me things, fathered me, and loved me when I felt like I was worthless and a constant disappointment. He, over time, has led me to believe that I AM worthy of love and has helped me feel connected and not alone anymore. I don’t remember the last time I felt so lonely that it hurt! It’s awesome!

I think you’re doing the right thing by reaching out. I had to have someone reach out to ME before I started to take steps, so I applaud your courage. I don’t have the answers for you, but I do know that you’re on the right path…getting honest about your feelings, admitting where you hurt and what’s been hurting you, admitting where you’re struggling and where you’re coping in not the healthiest ways – this is all really really good stuff man. And I’m proud of you! Thanks again so much for posting on here, and I hope that you continue down this path, because pursuing my own mental /emotional health and wellbeing has been one of the best journeys I’ve ever been on. Hold fast, friend!!

-Nate


#3

Hey Lenny,

First off thanks so much for sharing you story and how you feel. That in itself is very hard to do and takes a lot of courage. I’m so sorry to hear about your mother and her recent diagnoses of cancer. That had to of been devastating. I’m also sorry to hear that the weight of all these circumstances has brought you social anxiety, fear, panic attacks, stress and discouragement to your life. All these things can start to fill up and get heavy very quick so again I am happy that you decided to share this with everyone because thats the first step in lightening the load.

I feel like I can somewhat relate to your story. I have had a few member of my family who had cancer. Some of those members survived and some didn’t. The ones who passed were not as close to a mother or father figure but did play a strong role in my up bringing. I remember being extremely down when I found out the news that they had cancer. I felt that similar fear creep in ( like the one you described) and set real deep in my reality. I remember feeling very helpless, confused and angry. I wanted answers and a finger to point. It felt like someone had hit a timer in my mind. So from then on everything I viewed was different. Everything had an expiration date. Which really scared me and made me feel insignificant. I felt like the world grew 10 times bigger and I was just a spec of dust on the radar.

I knew I had to start figuring this out because it wasn’t the right way to live. Feeling constantly trapped or doomed. I just needed a place to start. So I looked at what my family members who had cancer had done and accomplished with their lives. What I found was they had done amazing things and they lived life hard. They broke through a lot of those boundaries of fear to achieve their goals. So I started taking the same steps. The more and more I put that fear behind me. The more I realized fear is really all in my head and when I was born that timer already started. Yes its scary to think that eventually everyone dies but its also scary to think we could live an isolated life of fear and not enjoy our precious time on this earth. Once I had this realization things started to get easier. I took small steps to get out of my comfort zone and learned to concur that fear. Things started to get brighter, I became to understand things I didnt before, started making more friends, and everything else started to fall in line. Yes sometimes fear still gets me but Im taking steps to everyday to move forward. So all in all this really helped work for me! Along with just sharing how I felt to others. Knowing I wasnt the only one who felt this way brought great relief.

I hope things start to look up for you Lenny and I hope you find a way to overcome what you are facing. And always remember you are not alone!

-Andy


#4

Thank you guys so much for your kind and upliftig words and especially that you sacrificed some of your time and spent a few minutes thinking about my troubles. That really means a lot to me!

The last few weeks all these things were floating through my mind and they appear so overwhelmingly crushing man… to type these things out for the very first time yesterday and to ask anyone for help feels like it already took a tiny bit of weight off of my shoulders… or at least I would love to believe that. For the first time it turned every feeling of me into something I can actually grasp and maybe understand.

@Andyglassjaw

It is almost ridiculous how exactly you described and how much I can relate to that and I didn’t even even knew that I felt the exact same way until you just wrote it.
With everyone I meet nowadays it is incredibly hard to just manage my expectations on what I think I need to portray or deliver and where everything is about to go, because I will always try to predict how long a certain thing or relationship will last, which I know is impossible and the fact that I even try to do that may be the reason the „expiration date“ rather comes sooner than later. But the thought of that timer running and chasing me and said possible expiration date coming closer and closer, investing in a certain relationship seems scary as hell.

I don’t know when the last time was I truly thought about how I feel and what I really want and I think focusing on that in the future may be my staring point. I would love to talk about my problems with my friends, but they’ve been through some horrible, horrbile things too and I fear that they wouldn’t really understand what I’m trying to say or belittle my problems or maybe even are still busy sorting their own things out.

  • Lenny