By Amy Whistance, Holistic Therapist, and CoAuthor of ‘Living Life Goddess Powered’
I have started a long-overdue blog and this is one of my first posts on what loneliness and anxiety were for me at stages in my life. I thought it may resonate for some of you. I think that there is a common misconception about what loneliness is.
Many people who have never experienced it think that it can be resolved by simply surrounding yourself with people. Anyone who has will know this to be far from the case. Loneliness has held different interpretations for me throughout the various stages of my life.
Well, I say different, at the core it was very much the same issue. As a child, I held back a secret. Sometimes it felt as though keeping that secret was all-consuming, other times I could push it right back in my mind, sometimes deluding myself, actually questioning it at all only to be reminded. I put on a mask at such a young age in the hopes to keep everyone happy, in the hopes that everyone would continue to love me.
My secret kept me trapped in my cage, separated from everyone. As a teen I had many friends, my family played a large part in my life, and yet, my shame kept me lonely. My friends all seemed so ‘together’ at the time. Their families loving and caring, they didn’t seem to have a care in the world. I tried to behave the same. ‘If they knew’ framed every moment and deep down I didn’t worthy of being in that circle. My shame kept me at a distance from my family. I wanted to protect them but at the same wanted to scream out, I was so angry.
‘How can you not see?’. ‘Do they just not care?’ The shame I felt kept me lonely. As an older teen, now in a relationship, I felt more isolated than ever. I had watched for years as my mother had hidden and lied about my Step Fathers physical, emotional, and sexual abuse. I had by then opened up and been shut down by my family, the police, and my mother. I had learned that it was shameful and humiliating to expose and so when my own relationship very much resembled the physical and emotional abuse I kept quiet, in fact, I did worse.
I made out that everything was ok.My fear of humiliation and my belief that I was worth no more kept me lonely. After I fled my marriage we experienced incredibly difficult financial times. At the time a combination of misconceptions and beliefs I held about myself I agreed to enter the sex industry aside from my day job. I was no longer simply wearing the mask that I had donned when I was young, it was a part of me now. To my children, I was a hard-working mum who provided them with all of the materialistic items in life but was emotionally unavailable.
To my family, I was a successful child to be proud of. To my friends, I was someone that they could rely on to bend over backward for them and who had it all together. To my online fans in the industry, I was a very popular temptress, and to protect my family the world that I portrayed to them was purely fictional.
Some would say that I was made for that career and I have to agree. I, at my most broken and unhealed absolutely was. This continued until I reached a breaking point. I was unable to compartmentalise, I was mentally exhausted, had crippling depression and chronic anxiety. Throughout those stages, in my life, I had an abundance of people in my life but my loneliness bore an emptiness within me that is hard to explain.
Loneliness is -Feeling as though you have no one to turn to for support.
Feeling isolated (Often self-inflicted as it can feel like the only way to protect yourself).
Lack of genuine, healthy relationships. Lack of relationships in which you feel you can be authentically you. Loneliness is a warning sign just as hunger is. It is a pain to highlight a lack of human connection.
We as humans have a fundamental need for social interaction, to feel as though we belong.I don’t feel lonely anymore despite having fewer people in my life than ever before.
I don’t suffer from chronic anxiety either. It took a great deal of healing, most especially around the subject of my fear of being rejected and abandoned rooted in many childhood experiences.It took courage to be me.
There was a time that the secrets that I have shared so freely with the world up above that kept me caged with severe mental unwellness. There was a time that I believed that I would keep it all to my death.I chose to show up for myself, to the world. Me just as I am.
Warts and all.I am true to myself, I honour myself, I chase my passions and dreams, no fear of judgement, no f***s given because life truly is too short.
I don’t want to spend it in the misery that I lived before.
I express myself and make space for others to do the same. Life has turned around. Loneliness doesn’t live here anymore. Crippling anxiety has left its residence.
Amy Whistance, Holistic Therapist and Co-Author of ‘Living Life Goddess Powered’
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