Loneliness can be a powerful feeling. It can consume your thoughts and actions without you even realizing it. Personally, I sometimes feel that teenagers can be some of the loneliest people in the world. We spend all this time to have the perfect lives, complete with a 4.0 GPA, extracurriculars, time for family, and a social life with friends. The constant pressure for these things can become overwhelming, as it did for me towards the end of my sophomore year and continuing to my junior year. My grades dropped, my relationships suffered, and ultimately, I wasn’t happy with myself nor with the people surrounding me.
I sometimes felt that I had no one in this world who was willing to just sit and listen to me talk about my feelings, or my problems. It made me feel alone in this world and just the feeling that I had no one who truly cared about me had a huge impact on my feelings. I started to shut people out, and the social butterfly I once was became a quiet, soft spoken girl, who kept to herself most of the time. I was stuck in this state of isolation and couldn’t figure out how to pull myself out of it.
After going through a period where I almost always felt stressed and unhappy, I made the choice to focus on myself and the things that make me happy. I cut out the people and things that I believed to be toxic, and started to find new interests and hobbies. I found joy in reading again, and started writing more. I started exercising more, and it was a healthy way for me to let out my stress, instead of binge eating unhealthily like I had in the past I created new bonds with friends who became my support system, and gradually rediscovered who I was. Putting myself first was something I learned was a priority for being happy, and is one of the most important things that I’ve learned through this process.
Of course, I’m still growing as a person. I still have many things to learn about myself and about the people who I surround myself with. But knowing that I was able to draw myself out of that lonely, unhappy state inspires me to continue to try and be the best person I can be and to help the people I love be their best version of themselves.