Admitting there is a problem is the first step.
Loneliness. This was the answer I selected on the screen as I filled out the evaluation at my therapist's office. I stared at the word knowing it rang true with what I struggled with most. I had to ask myself the question, "Why do I feel so lonely?" Intellectually, I knew I was lonely but admitting it was its own challenge for me. I knew I had a great family and that should have been enough, right? The problem was I didn't really talk to my family that much. I also spent most of my days working, taking care of a toddler, taking care of a household, and dealing with a controlling spouse.
As I stared at my face in the mirror, I longed to feel known, accepted, and loved. I no longer recognized the tired mom eyes looking back at me as I questioned why I felt so alone all the time. I would start to wonder if people truly liked me or if they just tolerated me.
Am I the only one who struggled to feel heard, accepted, loved, and known?
Does any of this resonate with you?
If so, there is so much hope for you mama, and I want to help you get there.
I realized I was a big part to blame for my isolation. Some of it was beyond my control. I would like to acknowledge firsthand that there are often many instances of things we cannot control that keep some of us in isolation. In such instances we have to ask God what His plan is and know He will provide the answers we need and in the meantime He himself is our best comforter and companion.
My problem is I would use truths about me or my environment as excuses to further isolate myself. Such as,
I am an introvert.
I have social anxiety.
I can just watch church online.
I am a better listener than speaker.
I had a long day.
I slept terrible.
It gets dark at 5pm.
My toddler is going through another stage.
My list would go on and on. Even though a lot of these are true or are valid reasons, I would use them as reasons to justify distancing myself. When you google the word loneliness, you will find that depression, anxiety, and health issues are commonly present as well. Loneliness is also defined not as being alone but as a state of mind. The hardest part for me was being honest in the root of the issues. I had to sit and ask myself why I thought I was better off isolated? Ultimately, I had to weigh what isolation was costing me vs the anxiety I anticipated in finding community. Be honest and ask yourself- what are legitimate reasons you may feel isolated vs what excuses you may be using that are causing you to not have community?
I know it can be difficult to reflect in honesty without defenses, but if you are sick and tired of what you are experiencing, something has to change.
There is Hope
There is hope. Life change: I had decided enough was enough I was desperate for community. I knew there was more to life than doing a lot of it by myself. I am not going to sugar coat and say it was easy, it was hard to be intentional about reaching out and talking to new people after spending 2 years barely leaving my house. However, I can honestly say it was the best decision I ever made. I can empathize that it is so tempting to not even try. Covid did introverts no favors. We found ways to bring everything we needed to our porch with little to no human interaction. I understand it can be so hard to make an effort when you spend most your days in pajamas, taking care of toddlers, already drained by 11am.
For those of us with little community, the hardest part is starting something new and pursuing it.
It's uncomfortable to be out of your comfort zone, but that is where the most growth takes place. You can connect with people in your community by going to community events, your local church, and to mom groups, such as this one! The Lord created us for connection and living apart from His people will rob you from blessings that you cannot experience in isolation.
Here's Your Opportunity!
Midwest City Moms hosts a monthly mom community group every third Saturday from 9:30am-11:30 am! And guess what? There's free childcare!! Be ready for a laid-back time where you meet new moms, drink some coffe, have a donut and have a monthly focus time with adult-only conversation. We have guest speakers, games, giveaways- it is worth coming! For the month of December, we are having a Christmas party and you're invited!! You must register and entry is free. Find out more below!
Start slow and be consistent, making new friends takes time. Pray about it mama and be yourself, lets find friends to build one another up.