One Is The Loneliest Number
by Annagail Lynes
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When do you feel the most lonely?
I felt the most lonely when I was in junior high school. I was a part of a group of people whose loyalty left a lot of to be deserved. If I did something they didn't like, they turned on me so fast that I didn't even have time to blink. I believed that's what friendship was. Maybe I didn't deserve to have friends, I thought. Maybe I was a bad person because they were angry at me. I longed to have friends who would stick by me through thick and thin. Being around that group only made me feel more lonely.
Loneliness is the feeling of being cut off from the rest of the world. Even in a crowd, sometimes we can feel lonely. We can feel lonely after we have broken up with someone, losing a loved one or when we can't talk to our friends and family as we'd like.
The way you think affects the way you feel. What you feel affects your immune system--the body's defense against disease. This means that loneliness can actually make you sick.
There are four types of loneliness: situational, transient, development and chronic.
Situational loneliness can occur when you break up with someone, move to a new school, your parents get divorced, you have a fight with a friend, etc.
Transient loneliness is the type that passes after in days or weeks. After someone breaks up with you and you start to date other people, transient loneliness will subside.
Development loneliness usually comes and goes during the teen years. Loneliness that results from the normal changes that happen during ages thirteen and nineteen.
Chronic loneliness can occur when someone does not adjust well to a change in his or her life and can last two years or more. If your parent, sibling or friend has died, you might experience chronic loneliness. This type of loneliness won't pass until you talk to someone, such as a counselor, a minister or a support group.
WHY DO WE FEEL LONELY?
People need people. When we feel isolated from others, we feel lonely. In the past, our ancestors knew their neighbors, knew the local minister, grocer, mail person and knew that they could count on the people in their community in their time of trouble. Can you say the same thing?
Everyone needs a sense of community, which gives its members a feeling of belonging. These days, if someone lives in a small town, they might know everyone in their community. Otherwise, we don't know our neighbors, our police or our bankers because we live in a cold, sterile computerized society. We bank on-line and on the phone, We send letters via email. We talk on cellular phones. We are eliminating the need to talk face to face.
WHAT CAN WE DO TO STOP FEELING LONELY
1. Make Friends. Pray and ask God to lead you to friends that will build you up and that will be loyal. Friends should accept you as you are while encouraging you to be the best that you can be. They stand by you no matter what you do or say. They always tell you the truth in love.
Proverbs 17:17 states "A friend loves at all times. He is there to help when trouble comes." Everyone deserves to have good, faithful confidants that they can turn to in trouble. Where do you met friends?
Get involved in your community. What are you talented in? If you are good with children, you might volunteer in your church's nursery. If you are gifted with a hammer, Habitat For Humanity could use your help to build and repair houses for the less fortunate. You can help out at the homeless shelter or visit the sick children at the hospital. Keep your eyes and ears open, and you will discover other ways to assist your community. You will gain valuable experience and met friends while doing it.
Go to your church's youth group. Become involved with other teenagers at your youth group. Study the Word. Learn more about God. Go on the youth group outings, and have fun. Sooner or later, you will make friendships that will be based on your mutual love of Christ.
Try after-school activities. Audition for the school choir or band, try out for cheerleading or basketball, volunteer for the school yearbook or newspaper.
Apply for a part-time job. Bag groceries at the grocery store, answer phones for a busy office or help out at the local music store. You'll earn money and make friends at the same time.
2. Start a journal or diary. Make it a Holy Spirit project by asking Him to help you record your thoughts and feelings in a book. By doing this, you can discover what is really going on inside you. You can also find out who you are and your place in this world. Buy yourself a decorative notebook or journal. One that has something of interest to you on it, such as cats, types of sports or cartoons.
3. Make an appointment to talk to someone. You can talk with your school counselor, your youth pastor, your parents, your older siblings or a professional psychologist. If your loneliness becomes worse, make sure you talk to someone before your loneliness turns into depression.
4. Know that you cannot feel the void with drugs, sex and alcohol. The loneliness that you feel cannot permenantly be removed by taking drugs, drinking or having sex with everyone you met. It may mask the pain temporarily, but in the long run, drugs, drinking and sex could all potentially kill you.
5. Talk To God. God is your Heavenly Father. He is your ever present help in time of trouble. You can talk to Him about your hopes, your dreams, your fears. Whatever you want to share. Nothing you say will surprise Him. He will always listen and will help, if you let Him.
Although loneliness is a normal part of life, there are ways to combat it. Make friends, talk to God, keep a journal or talk with a professional are only some ways to deal with it. Take your eyes off your problems and your life long enough to help others in need. You will feel better about yourself, and your loneliness will begin to disappear.
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