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Welcome to this special Writing Bravely podcast series where we write our way through to the other side. I'm your host, Dr. Adina Silvestri join me here and at writingbravely.com to talk about how a creative act like writing can move us through the healing process.
Adina Silvestri 0:24
Hola all and welcome to the Writing Bravely Podcast Series, Episode Five. Today we are talking about how to deal with loneliness. And a quote that I picked for this episode is it's from a great movie. You had someone to go places with, you had a date a national holidays, Marie, When Harry Met Sally 1989. That was a great movie. Does that resonate with you at all? Just thinking back over your life. Some of us went to great lengths to have dates on national holidays, weddings, family events. Some of us may even be going to great lengths now. Depending on your path and life. A loneliness is a feeling that I know a lot of us avoid it. And the thing is, we've all felt lonely at different points in our life. So it's an important topic. If you listen to the atheist in recovery podcast, hire listeners, if you're listening, you know that I've described loneliness as is an epidemic. It's so prevalent and it's also so destructive mentally, and physically. So let's talk a little bit about loneliness and how to deal with it. For this episode, I want to talk about one type of loneliness only. So there's psychological or interpersonal loneliness. Interpersonal loneliness would be, do I have a friend? Do I have a partner? Do I have someone I can tell my troubles to do I have somebody to take to national holidays? But then there's also existential loneliness? Do I fit into the universe? Does my life have any meaning purpose or weight? We're going to specifically talk about interpersonal loneliness for this episode. I also want to talk about loneliness is a feeling that we tend to run away from. And we're really good at that, you know, like, we're really good at if we're in an uncomfortable situation, grabbing that cell phone, scrolling on our phones, or our devices to make it look like we're busy. Saying that we don't want to go out yet going home and scrolling on social media, sometimes for hours. And it's something to really be curious about you when we experience loneliness. If we're talking about loneliness, versus solitude, when we experience loneliness, the main thing that you'll feel is isolated and separated. And that can be painful. And it can trigger our deepest fears of not being enough, or not being connected. Versus solitude, which is not a feeling, of course. And it's an experience of being alone, and being very comfortable in that aloneness. So this loneliness can trigger our deepest fears. Not being enough of not being connected for whatever reason, when we ever whenever we experienced that fear of loneliness, we automatically think there's something wrong with us. And so that triggers us not to want to reach out and then it's just a cyclical pattern. Really. Even though we may fear being lonely, it doesn't mean we can't still enjoy being by ourselves. Being in the quiet, enjoying the solid Tood solitude can be wonderful.
But at the same time, if you're not used to it, it doesn't take long for that urge for activity or entertainment, to rise. So let's talk a little bit about what is healing regarding loneliness, maybe what's harmful, and what just needs to be lived through. So as you know, our stories, whether they're maladaptive or not, there are stories, and they define who we are and what our value is. Without our story, we feel anxiety. So for instance, if your identity is tied to your job, or your ex was narcissistic traits, I have a whole episode on narcissism and your x being a narcissist in this year in the podcast series that linked to it. Maybe it's physical limitation or limitations, making it hard to connect with others the way that you used to. So then we begin to question our life direction. Instead of choosing old patterns and habits, we seek out activities with intention. So that would be helpful. To be in a question or life direction, sometimes we'll do that. Sometimes we'll be just more aware, more intentional with who we spend our time with. But it all starts with awareness. So half the battle of how to live through loneliness is to understand what it means to feel lonely. Understand what it means to feel lonely, and how that differs from being alone. So if we're going to use loneliness for self exploration, one way to do that one way to use the fear of loneliness is to tell our story. And I know I've said, we already have our story. And without our story, we feel anxiety. But I would be really curious about that story that you're telling yourself. Is it harmful? Am I less of a man or less of a mother? Because of x, because so and so left me, am I less of a man because I got fired from this job, I was out for 30 years that I loved, but I could no longer perform this job because drinking was a requirement. And my life comes first. My value comes first before the companies
think about these things, think about. Think about your story. I think that's really important. And I really need to underscore that before we talk any more about how to use this as self exploration. So as long as it's tolerable to sit with these feelings of loneliness, and what I mean by tolerable is, on a scale of one to 10 Are you at a nine or a 10, then that's not tolerable, then you need to reach out, reach out to friends reach out to family. And it's going to be hard. But you really need to do it. Reach out to someone that you don't know, reach out to a therapist or clergy or somebody that you trust. Reach out for help if it's intolerable if it's a nine or a 10. If it's not a nine or a 10. Then continue, continue. Just sitting with these feelings of loneliness, being aware, understanding it understanding the feelings of loneliness, and the contours and the shapes and the curves. It'll bring you a greater sense of ease with the emotion itself. It really will. So this is one way to not get caught up in the story. This old story that has maladaptive qualities that is not serving you in any way whatsoever is to be more present and start to write the new story. Everything think about the new story or perform some creative acts not the new story. Writing works for me so that's what I'm going to talk about. And if you have a pen and paper handy, these are two prompts for you just help us loneliness for self exploration. The first prompt is things I do not want to forget. I love this prompt guys. Things I don't want to forget. This is also another one a good one is if this body part could talk, it would say if this body part could talk, it would say. So for instance, if you're feeling the feelings of loneliness, say in your chest then you would talk from that body part. Your chest would be doing the talking. Now it's a little out of box. It's a little different, but trust me it is. It's a really good prompt. I've used both of them in my writing in my writing groups before Okay, well that's all I have for Episode Five how to deal with loneliness. And for more information on how to write with me, maybe even writing your way through feelings of loneliness you how I tie those two together, guys, I'm getting good at this. Head over to writing bravely.com And maybe if you like what you see you schedule a call. Maybe you'd be a good fit for our group that starting next month. And I would love to have you Alright guys, have a good one. Bye.
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Welcome to today’s show!
Loneliness is a feeling that I know a lot of us try and avoid. And the thing is, we’ve all felt lonely at different points in our life. So it’s an important topic. I’ve described loneliness as an epidemic in previous shows (and so has the 19th Surgeon General of the U.S. Vivek Murthy). It’s so prevalent and it’s also so destructive mentally, and physically. So let’s dive in.
WHAT WE’LL LEARN
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