Merriam-Webster defines lonely as follows:
1 a : being without company : lone b : cut off from others : solitary
2 : not frequented by human beings : desolate
3 : sad from being alone : lonesome
4 : producing a feeling of bleakness or desolation
Loneliness is a scary feeling and I have wrestled with it time and again. Loneliness may have won the battle, but it never won the war. I have always gotten ME back. I am thankful to be able to be honest with MYSELF before all else.
But, what about those who can't or won't? Those that cannot look in the mirror and say: "I feel cut off from others. I am sad from being alone. I feel bleak and desolate." What becomes of the lonelyhearted? Simple answer, they remain lonely. No matter how much they wrap themselves in things or people or activites, inside they are still quite sad. I'm all for smiling when your heart is aching, but at some point you need to address the heartache. The answer won't be easy as nothing simple ever is. But introspection and true understanding of who you are and what makes you tick are the only way to solve the internal issue of loneliness.
Here's a hint though, another person is not the answer. Surrounding yourself with new friends, old friends, a new man or woman, an old flame will not take that loneliness away. You can convince yourself of this and sooner than later you will be surrounded by people and still lonely. Loneliness does not equal alone. You can be alone and have the time of your life, but you can also be surrounded by people and feel like the loneliest person on the planet.
Combating loneliness takes inner-strength.You have to be able to stand on your own two feet to fight it. And from what I have seen, some people just cannot. Because they refuse to believe they can or choose not to do so. It really hurts me to see it.
Millions of people have overcome circumstances, much worse and done much better! Why do you think you can't? Because you don't want to. Too many times people try to play loneliness off as boredom, but in reality, when you do things to subside the boredom, you still feel sad deep down inside. Because you weren't really bored, you were lonely.
Loneliness can lead to poor decisions and acts of desperation that end up being detrimental in the end. To try and smother that lonely feeling you often scramble to "fix" a problem that only ends up agitating it more. The lesson in loneliness is learning to hear God's voice. The lesson in loneliness is understanding you and realizing that only you have what it takes to conquer this demon. The lesson in loneliness is honesty and self-confrontation. If you find yourself rely solely on other people to help you out of your loneliness, you have not learned your lesson and will only make yourself more lonely in the process. You and you alone are all you need to conquer loneliness. Not that you cannot or should not reach out to others, but you have to chose the RIGHT people to help you out. Honest people, trustworthy people, people with your best interest at heart... these are the people to reach out to for help. But you must be prepared within yourself to handle what it takes to overcome.
It seems some people just don't have it in them to stand before loneliness and win. Those are the people that will remain lonely because, no matter what, they will forever do and say things, put themselves in situations, and so on and so on... with just ONE outcome: loneliness.
If you don't want to be lonely, you must first be strong.