As I am writing this blog my mind whispers, “Tara, it’s a Saturday night and you’re blogging”; as though this is a bad thing because it means I am not social and ultimately, not cool.

“Well,” I whisper back, “I am social and I am cool, I’m just accepting that on my Saturday night I feel like writing and why shouldn’t I because it is my passion.”

I could let this whisper of uncertainty affect my entire night. I could focus on the dreaded L word. Loneliness.

Although I’m not lonely at this point, I can certainly reflect on times where I have felt lonely, like I am destined to be the cliché crazy cat woman. (And I do love cats.)

But I believe the more we feed our ideas that we are lonely, the lonelier we become. Instead of just saying, “I’m just not busy tonight” we internalize the feeling of being lonely so that we always feel lonely unless with somebody. I think this leads to many negative and unbalanced relationships.

My tips for beating loneliness:

  • Loneliness is a train of thought. Challenge the thought that you are alone in the world and you will likely discover that you’re not actually alone.
  • This is me being serious – go on www.pinterest.com This website can distract you from being quick by its vast amount of creativity.
  • Plan your couple of social nights per week but allow for cancellations – stuff happens.
  • Get out of your shell. I try to practice what I preach but this one is difficult. I recently (okay, a year and a half ago) joined www.meetups.com to find people interested in similar things as me. Turns out that there’s a lot of Tara-a-likes out there! (Scary!)
  • Above all, embrace your inner loneliness and use the sad feelings in new ways not just ruminating all the time. Accept that this feeling of loneliness will pass.

Being lonely is not a sign of failure, it is a sign you need to: a)change the way you’re thinking, b)change the way you’re living, or c)all of the above. I’m not saying that either way will be particularly easy, I am just saying it’s feasible. (And you spend less money on cat food!)

About the Author

Tara Richardson is a Peer Support Specialist at Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences in Whitby, Ontario. Her own personal journey through mental illness has led her to be a passionate and dedicated advocate for mental health recovery. Tara is an aspiring author who is in the (long) process of writing and editing her memoir compiled from journal entries beginning at age 11. Tara has a B.A. in Psychology, a diploma in Social Service Work, and a certificate in Cognitive Behavior Therapy. Tara can be contacted at: tara_richardson913@hotmail.com Non-creepy fan mail gladly welcomed.