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    “Help! How Do I Stop Feeling Lonely?”

    Dear Olivia,
    What has happened to me? Every day there is a part of the day where I just feel lonely! How do you stop from feeling/being lonely?

    Hey girl. I’m always so saddened when I hear of someone who suffers from depression or feeling lonely. The biggest concern is when you allow the emotion to consume you. I’m so glad that you shared it with me, and I really want you to know that you’re not alone. If nothing else, you have us all on PI.

    Loneliness can be a very destructive emotion. It’s dark and cold and only leads to deeper negative feelings, like depression. Only recently, we heard about the actor Robin Williams taking his own life due to severe bouts of depression. And he touched so many lives with his humor and kindness. How ironic and tragic.

    My point is that you are a special person. You were created by a loving God who placed you on this earth to do something amazing. So don’t slide into a sadness that will deter you from achieving amazing things. You have to control that feeling of loneliness before it consumes you. I know it’s easier said than done, but it is possible.

    So here’s what I think you should do:

    1. Schedule your time. You wrote that there is a part of the day when you feel lonely. Well, if you know that moment is coming, avoid getting there. Schedule your time so that you can be busy with other things. Arrange an activity or a meeting with a friend. Do something so that you’re not alone at that time.
    2. Redirect your thoughts in times of loneliness. You can do this by praying, calling someone, writing, reading the Bible, initiating an activity and more. I know in the moment you probably won’t be in the mood to do these things, but they will help get your mind off your feelings of loneliness, or at least give you a way to channel it in a more positive way.
    3. Read the post 10 Ways to Cope with Suffering. You can’t always escape suffering, but I think if you understand it better and know that you’re not suffering this burden alone, you can better control it.
    4. Get involved in a group activity that fills your spirit and gives you hope. Whether it’s dance, martial arts or something else, join an activity that involves being with others. Or arrange an activity with your youth group.
    5. Share your feelings with a grown-up. Ideally, this would be your parents, but if you’re not close to them, then talk with your pastor or youth group leader. They can offer support during those times or offer tips on how to overcome feeling lonely.
    6. Understand that you have to get a handle on this or it could destroy you. So often we’ve read or heard stories about how loneliness or depression has caused a person to spiral into the pit. Don’t let that happen to you. You have too many people who love you, at home, at PI and, of course, our Father.

    Good luck and God bless!

    Need some advice? Ask your relationship questions in the Ask Olivia Girl Talk forum or in the comments below and I might answer them in a future article!

    Ask Olivia
    Got a question about boys, your besties or God? I'm here to help! As the girl all my friends always came to for advice, I've turned my girl talk, level-headedness and love of Jesus into a job -- one I love because I was a teen not long ago, too! Click into Ask Olivia in our Girl Talk Forums to ask me a question!

    13 COMMENTS

    1. Good article. But I do have to object to your catagorizing loneliness and depression together. They aren’t the same. Enough loneliness can be part of causing depression, but they are /not/ the same. Loneliness is “Oh, I’m alone. I don’t like it. I wish I had someone who cared to be around me.” Depression is “No one cares. I’m totally worthless. If I were to kill myself, everyone would be better off.”

      I would appreciate an article dealing with depression. The real thing. Please and thank you.

    2. What happens when you feel like you deserve to be feeling lonely? That you did something or messed up so badly that you feel that you don’t deserve to have friends by your side. What should I do?…

      • Be careful. Be very, very careful. You don’t deserve to be lonely. It just happens sometimes. Don’t let it mess with your head. Loneliness messes with your head, a whole lot more than you would think.

        • Thought I should elaborate on my previous reply. Be extremely careful. You don’t deserve to be lonely, and try to get out of being lonely as soon as possible. Do /not/ isolate yourself.

          Loneliness messes with your head. I’ve gone from a perfectly normal, happy teen to one who can barely function normally, has no self-esteem, and wants to die. Please, be careful. And be nice to yourself.

    3. I can relate. I have had times where there is a literal ache in my heart where it seems like I am alone even from God. I have lost a lot of friends over the years and sometimes it just seems like there is no one who gets me. But my co-op is my haven. My friends there get me even when I feel like I have nobody else. The saddest thing is, my loneliest place is my youth group. I am alone in a room full of teens because I am the odd one out.

    4. I know you feel, I always feel so alone, even though I do a lot of teen groups at my church, I still feel so lonely, I feel like I don’t fit in with kids my age at all, so this post definitely helped me.

    5. I’ve struggled with loneliness a lot. Sometimes it’s a rational feeling- I had been around people a lot, and now I’m not. But sometimes it’s irrational- even though there are people around, I feel like I don’t mean anything to them, and they wouldn’t miss me if I were gone. (Which isn’t true!)

      The number one thing I suggest doing if you’re lonely is this. Do something for someone else that you wish someone would do for you! I can’t tell you how much it eases MY ache of loneliness to see the gratefulness on someone else’s face! Plus, as an added bonus, it helps to build a stronger relationship with that person, so that you can turn to them when you’re feeling next time.

      • I love your solution.
        I had this really amazing friend last year, but then over the summer I went to all these places and was hardly home. I also got a job and worked the days in between. So I hardly had any time for my friend. I kinda lost her. We still hang out occasionally, but she’s replaced me. It feels like. She hangs out with this other girl all the time now, and always talks about the things they do together. She doesn’t have the same need for me like she did before. It’s been really sad. (I know it’s a lot my fault for not being there for her in the summer). But it has really depressed me and makes me feel so lonely!
        I’ve been trying to remind myself that no one could love me more than God already does. Which is actually really comforting. But I really like your advice. I’m afraid sometimes I think about my situation and get in a whirl of self-pity and selfish sadness. Looking out for other people is a great way to get your focus off yourself and live more selflessly.

    6. I get it. I am clinically depressed, so feeling lonely is something I really understand.
      The one thing that helps me in times like is remembering Jeremiah 29:11 “‘I know the plans I have for you,’ says the Lord ‘Plans for good and not disaster. Plans to give you a hope and a future'”
      It’s remembering that we are made for so much more than this life and that There is a God who loves us very much. I mean, He did die for us, after all.

    7. I had problems with severe loneliness the past few months since I’ve moved and I just want to let yall know that it’s Very important that you do find someone you can talk to or it can EASILY turn into depression if you don’t deal with it. And remember that it doesn’t last forever…. there will come a time that you won’t be lonely just bring your worries to God and don’t be afraid to tell him the truth. Like the post said also find activities you can do where you can meet new people. Just remember that you’re not the only one dealing with loneliness and that it doesn’t last forever.
      Mini- sermon over….lol can you tell my dad’s a pastor.

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