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Vanessa Onyema: Being Alone Sometimes Makes You Stronger

Vanessa Onyema

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Being alone sucks, yes! It is miserable and it drives you nuts. It makes you unearth all that you have buried within you. It even makes you feel less of yourself sometimes.
But let me tell you a secret: you are not scared to be alone, you are scared that you are not good enough to just be on your own.

Do you know what made scientists break boundaries with their inventions, renowned authors write great books? They did this by being on their own. Some authors even travel to a place to be all alone, so that they can spark up inspiration.
Loneliness only creeps in when we can’t figure out what to do with our lives when we find ourselves alone.
A quote by an unknown author exemplifies this: ‘The hardest walk you can make is alone, but it is the walk that would make you stronger.

Loneliness can push you to make terrible choices like:
• Chatting up an ex to rekindle an old flame, when you know that deep down you are playing with fire. After a whirlwind of fun you fall back to where you started because of the reason you were broken up in the first place.

• Staying in a bad relationship because it is better than staying single, due to the fear that no one would accept you and what you have become.

• Making terrible life choices, rolling with the wrong crowd just to be seen, because you can’t do so on your own. So you need a clique to shine.

• Turning into a keyboard vandal, trolling people online, because you want them to feel your pain. You want to rip into their perfect online lifestyle but you forget they could be struggling, they could have real problems. You forget that life is not perfect and most importantly you forget to mind your business.

• Making up a different persona online and offline just to get people to like you, but in the end you are wrapped so hard around your web of lies that it chokes you.

• Having suicidal thoughts, thinking that the world would be a better place without you in it, because you think you are worthless but you forget that there are people that appreciate you for who you are, appreciate your worth.

• Jumping into a marriage because you are afraid that your time is almost up and you have no achievement, so you decide it is the best option for you, without giving it a lot of thought whether you are ready to spend a lifetime with the person.

When that fear comes in to cripple you, when it comes to you with your sanity, try to ask yourself any of these questions:

o Who am I?
o What have I become?
o What do I hope to achieve?
o Who do I hope to be?
o What do I wish for?
o What can I do positively to improve my current dilemma?
o What am I good at?
o Are the people in my circle toxic or helpful?
o Have I made the most of my life?
o Do I believe that everything will certainly change for the better?
o If I do, how should I work to make it happen?
o What have I read or watched today?
o What do I do productively with my time?
o How can I be a better mom/dad/sibling/child/friend?
o Have I laughed today?
o How often am I happy and how often am I sad?
o When was the last time I let loose at a party?

As yourself any question that can make you understand that life is short, and instead of punishing your brain with horror, put it to work and watch yourself blossom into someone you can’t recognize when you look at the mirror.

I am not afraid to be alone even when the night is dark and full of terrors because, I am not alone. I have great friends, I have a great family and I appreciate what I have rather than bother myself with what I don’t have. I do hope you do the same.

Photo Credit: Dreamstime

17 Comments

  1. Wande

    November 27, 2017 at 3:37 am

    Ughhh… I came on BN to distract myself from today’s episode of “men are thrash”… but this was just here waiting for me.

    I just got stood up by a work “friend”. Tbh it’s loneliness scratch that… thirst that made me agree to go out to begin with. He’s not my type (very annoying) and I knew he wasn’t that into me… I mean he tried to date an acquaintance just earlier this year. But I laid whatever was left of my dignity aside to agree to a date (something the sane me would never do! You know cos, girl code). I know I wasn’t going to ever be serious with him. I just wanted some human contact. A kiss, a hug… even my hand being held. Anything!
    But now I’m worse than where I started, sitting here feeling like a loser and dreading the awkward conversation that’ll ensue when we run into each other tomorrow. He didn’t even call! I feel so silly. Sigh! We’re both very busy people with high pressure jobs who can’t really mingle much right now, and even though he tried to make it seem like he was for real I knew he only wanted to hangout till he had better options. But I guess I’m not even good enough for that? Dam!
    Loneliness is maddening and will make you do stupid sh*t. I’m better than this… or am I?

    To make matters worse, I can’t even concentrate on getting ready for work. I just need to cry and get it over with.

    • Jummy

      November 27, 2017 at 10:23 am

      I empathize with you baby gurl. We’ve all been there at some point.

      Mine was some college boy who, now looming back, I don’t know what the hell I was doing with. He would eating me along and along and bail out on me. Mine was even worse because we were in college dorms and he lived directly below me.

      He practically begged to a movie night at mine one night and after much persuasion I agreed. I got home and waited and waited and he didn’t show.

      I later went downstairs to go see if he was okay. As I got to the floor of his apartment, he saw and just went back in and locked the door. I was shocked! I went there and knocked and knocked not believing what I had just seen.

      His roommate later came out and said he was not home, and I literally saw him walk back in. That was the straw that broke the camel’s back for me. Just shared this story to let you know you’re not alone. It’s happened to the best of us.

      At least you’re self aware to know he’s a douche and not chasing shadows. All will be well. Sending you warmth and hugs. ??
      Man matter no go kill us women.

    • Ama

      November 27, 2017 at 10:27 am

      Awwww darling, you will be fine in the end. Trust me…you will

    • Sherlie Holmes

      November 27, 2017 at 7:19 pm

      Awww Wande, don’t worry, this phase will definitely pass and you’ll look back at this moment and laugh! Try to spend time with loved ones during this season – good friends, family, etc. It’ll distract you from feeling lonely and hopefully prevent you from wasting your time seeking attention from people you don’t even really want it from. Once your spirits are lifted from being around those who love you sincerely, you’ll be able to start engaging in other things to keep you busy and productive. Then, while you are enjoying your life like its freaking GOLDEN, one nice somebody will come around when you least expect it. Get busy being the best version of you girlfriend, the world needs that from you!

      *Sending peace, blessings, and joy unspeakable your way Sis*

  2. Victor Adegoke

    November 27, 2017 at 4:24 am

    Nice thoughts. It got me thinking.

  3. Tae

    November 27, 2017 at 7:27 am

    Timely article… currently going through a rough time in my marriage. Its been a toxic marriage since the beginning. He moved out leaving me with two kids after almost 8 years…says he doesn’t love me anymore….but my God who will never leave nor forsake me has been faithful. Time spent alone lately has led me on the journey of self discovery, i lost myself in that marriage, I used to love music, he never liked me playing music at home but now my kids and I sing and dance whenever. There are a whole loads of other things I pushed aside that used to bring me so much happiness but now there is no more restraint. My son cracked a joke yesterday, can’t remember the last time I genuinely laughed to the point I shed tears. Trust he is thinking I will call and plead as usual because of the kids to return, someone should please tell him not to hold his breath on that. Only a few will understand when I say I truly, deeply love my own company now. #Selflove

    • titi

      November 27, 2017 at 7:53 am

      stay strong and positive. its better to be alone and happy than being in a miserable marriage.

    • Jummy

      November 27, 2017 at 8:30 am

      Sending you warmth and hugs sis. ??

      It gets better.

    • Bio

      November 27, 2017 at 7:08 pm

      This was me in 2010.
      Now I am resettled and the only regret I have is the 7years I wasted with my ex.
      I was just telling a colleague how i want to start learning guitar so I can start playing at family parties which I could never even imagine with him.

  4. marlee

    November 27, 2017 at 8:01 am

    @Tae i am sending love and a lot of joy. been through a rough marriage myself. i am happy now with my kids, we live a good life no stress no waiting for anybody. Over and over God has been faithful, you can claim victory..

  5. Jummy

    November 27, 2017 at 8:34 am

    Thanks for this article. I used to be very okay with being alone, until I got a boyfriend. Suddenly though unconsciously I started to make my life revolve around him.

    It wasn’t until a big fight where we didnt talk for a while rhat I realized how warped up my life was around him. I was alone and LONELY. Being lonely is something I haven’t felt since I was like 18.

    I had to do a quick readjustment. Though we’re good now, I make sure to have my own thing going. To be in my space and not feel like something is missing. Now I realize that he’s a nice addition to my life and not the center of it.

    Thanks again for the article.

  6. Bowl

    November 27, 2017 at 9:52 am

    Trust me . Nothing like my personal space .

  7. Rer

    November 27, 2017 at 10:10 am

    Amazing how things can go wrong in just a short time. It’s true what they say “it’s at your worst moments you really know who is who”. I’ve learned to enjoy my own company, knowing that God has my back no matter what. Things go wrong for a reason, time heals almost all wounds, no matter what went wrong darling “LIFE GOES ON”. Stay true to yourself always. Frienship/relationship is not by force, it’s a choice when both parties are on the same page.

    Sigh. It hurts but I’m done with humans.

  8. memebaby

    November 27, 2017 at 3:00 pm

    Great article.
    I have learnt to enjoy my own company as well. My close friends do not live in my city and I will be relocating early next year. I need to find myself and make things work for me…basically DO ME.
    iving at home has been a little bit toxic for me… with studying for grad school and living in a tensed house.. I am done..
    I am glad I don’t have a bf yet .. not the right time for that even though my parent think I am already old at age 26 smh.
    during spring, I used to entertain guys I knew I had no business with.. would feel so mad and even disgusted during and after sex but i am done.. been done for 5 months now and counting.
    I really cannot wait for January to just be alone and start afresh in a new city.. i feel nervous when I think about it but I am excited and ready!.

  9. Chinny

    November 27, 2017 at 3:42 pm

    There is a difference between being alone and being lonely. Alone is a status of not having a partner, lonely is from the heart.
    You can be alone but not lonely.
    You can be alone but busy and fufilled.
    You can be surrounded by people, yet lonely.
    You can be married and still terribly lonely.

    We crave love so much yet run away from he who is love. There is that deep part of man that only God can fill. Putting that burden on a man to make you happy usually leads to misery. Only Jesus gives that rest, cos only him can bear burdens without being weighed down. That’s how we know we are never alone. For Christ is with us.?

  10. Jennybond

    November 27, 2017 at 6:25 pm

    Amazing write up by an amazing person.. This got me thinking….

  11. Tijanee

    November 28, 2017 at 10:57 am

    Very good article. I think being Alone is different from being lonely. Looking at it from different perspective. I could understand clearly how the writer feels and reading different comments here. Been a victim of depression due to loneliness and Over thinking. Had to be taking drugs before sleeping and all. The most person who I loved so much left me, the lady who is suppose to be a support did this. But thank God I’m out of the shit now. The cure to this is simple and might not be logical to some people. In your quiet time, tell God all that has been going on. Eat well, find time to exercise and think about how faithful God has been to you and work. Work well to avoid distraction. If you don’t have any, volunteer to help people out with getting paid. I did this and eventually I became better with what I was doing and later got employed. Now I’m standing. Much to talk about mehn.

    Tijanee Olalekan
    08030497229 chat me up and ama give you tips of how I conquered it. God bless.

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