Andrea Putting – Speaker, Author Podcaster

Andrea Putting

Speaker, Author & Trusted Advisor

Overcoming Loneliness

I was lonely, so very lonely. How could it be? So, disconnected from everyone. Not feeling like there was anyone else in my world. I sat day after day, talking with no-one.

Without conversation. Without connection. Without community.

But there were people. People around me. There was my husband, my children. But still my heart longed for something. It didn’t know what. Life felt so empty, so meaningless. How do I fill it, refuel my life with purpose and meaning?

No, it is too hard. There was nothing left. I could not see the light of day. I could not see that there was anything worth me getting up for.

So, I just laid there, motionless, lifeless. Curled up in my bed, in fetal position.

It was not that long before that my life was filled with busyness. It was filled with friends. We laughed, we cried, we worked together, we studied together. We had deep and meaningful conversations about all sorts of things. We also had a lot of silliness that helped to get us through when things got rough.

But now here I was. Not able to get up out of bed. Not able to go to the shop to buy food for my family without having a major break down.

I had just finished 4 ½ years of study. Now what? I had to get out in the world and make something happen.

Nooooo! I can’t do that. Too hard. No, I’ll just stay here in bed.

I didn’t feel safe. I was afraid of that world out there.

Well, one day, I did pick myself up. I had to get out of this. I knew what it was. After all, I had just spent 4 ½ years studying Naturopathy. My education had told me I had to get up, I had to get dressed. I had to get out in the fresh air and exercise, just a walk will do to start with.  I needed to ensure that I had the nourishing food that would sustain me.

I knew I needed to start connecting with people.

People. Really? That’s hard. That’s not natural for me. I am an introvert.

Bit by bit, I started to reach out. I found a group of wonderful ladies I could connect with. It was slow, but, I knew I couldn’t give up. Don’t just go once, go 3 or 4 times. You can do it. You need to do it.

I started to find community. I joined groups where I could connect with others. This helped.

I reached out to a friend who had bought a health food shop and I spent a day a week with him in the shop.

Bit by bit I started to find myself again.

It wasn’t until I started to serve my communities that I could really feel like me. I was forgetting about my own sense of loneliness. I was forgetting about my own worries. I was now focused on others. How could I serve? How could I help them? This is where I started to discover who I really am. I started to see my own strengths. I started to see that I was a person of value. I had so much more to give to the world.

Here is where I started to find a greater sense of purpose. I felt like what I was doing mattered. I felt like I mattered.

Being lonely is such a common place to be. We get lost in a world of not being able to connect. Of feeling like we don’t matter to anyone. I found my 5 basic steps:

  • Get dressed
  • Exercise
  • Eat nourishing food
  • Connect with Community
  • Serve others.

I soon became so contented in my new life, that I had forgot about the struggles, about that desperate feeling of loneliness. However, being in lockdown brought it all back to me. It was a journey that was important. I now have the tools I need to pick myself up and face each day. I know what I need to do to flourish, to reconnect with that sense of purpose. To find the greatest fulfillment in my life.

Staying connected with each other. Connecting with our communities is the most important thing we can do right now. Don’t let this time become overwhelming. Find ways to connect with friends and families who may also be going through a rough time. We are all in a state of grief of what was our life and in shock at some of the things that are going on. Together we are strong. Together we can move forward and face the new day. Together we will make this world a better place.

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