I see loneliness as a process that you go through as you adjust to being on your own, and learning to find yourself. I won't deny it, I still get fleeting bouts of loneliness, but that is all they are these days, just fleeting moments of wanting someone to cuddle up to, to talk about my day, and to make plans with. I can't say that you will get to the stage of where loneliness will never occur, as you would have to be a pretty insensitive hermit to not experience it, but there are ways to limit it and lessen it's effects on you, after all, loneliness could just lead you into a disastrous relationship if you do not deal with it properly.
In the first year or two, it is a commonality to experience severe bouts of loneliness, especially as you adjust to being on your own. It is important that you focus on yourself and your children during this time, work on healing your heart and get your emotions in check. A break up is a huge hit to our self confidence, self esteem and and self worth. Not only are we trying to deal with our emotions the best we can, we also have our children who are hurting and adjusting to the new situation. A new relationship is not going to fix everything, it will only be a temporary band aid over the scar.
To find solitude it is important to focus on yourself, and create a happy balance. Here are my suggestions to help in searching for solitude;
- Join a local single parents support group, and attend their meetings. It's not just a great way of meeting new people, but also a great way of meeting like minded people who have been through similar experiences. It's also a great way for your children to meet other kids from single parent homes, and to make connections.
- Join an online support group. We have our message boards on this site that you can join to chat with other parents. It's a great way of sharing your problems, and giving and receiving advice in a setting where you can remain anonymous. Another great is to join one of the many Facebook groups that have been set up for providing support to single parents. There are many that provide a safe and supportive environment, and are a great way of connecting to others who are going through or who have experienced a similar situation to yourself. The only downfall to these groups is that anything you post is not anonymous, unless your profile details are different to your real identity.
- Learn to love yourself. Do not listen and take onboard what your ex thinks about you. That is their opinion and their problem, and the most likely untrue perception of you. You are not the fat, ugly person that nobody wants to love, even if you are over weight - love yourself, being over weight has nothing to do with the person who you really are, societies perceptions on beauty are misinformed from superficial, unhealthy and disillusioned ideals. Take the 'who cares what society thinks' attitude, and love yourself for the beautiful person you are. You are lovable, you are beautiful, and you are a good person, once you believe this, then you will find the right person to begin a rewarding relationship with.
- Undertake a course on selfworth, I know many women's centers (sorry Dad's, this is a service I am still to find for Dad's) hold these courses, and they are absolutely fantastic in starting the journey of finding who you are, and building your self esteem and confidence.
- Find some hobbies and/or interests. Do not dedicate your whole life to your children, make some time for yourself, even if it is only joining an interest group on Facebook, you still need contact with others and have time for yourself.
- If your children are in Day Care or school, find an organisation to volunteer at. Volunteering provides you with a sense of gratitude and reward. It will boost your self esteem and self confidence.
- Spend some time out in Nature. Take a walk on the beach, through the bush, or just lay outside for a few minutes and listen to the sounds of nature.
- Have a night out with friends, even if you do not have family to babysit and have to spend a month saving for a baby sitter, make a priority to get out at least a few times a year. Online single parent groups normally have social get-togethers which are a lot of fun, step outside of your comfort zone.
- Read affirmations of self love daily. To believe that you are a beautiful and wonderful person that is worthy of being loved, repeating affirmations on a daily basis will help you with building this self belief.
- Undertake some counselling sessions if you need someone to talk through events with, it helps to have someone to get you thinking from different perspectives and to start thinking in a healthier light. There are a lot of organisations out there that will provide counselling services for little to no fee, ask around, some providers may have funding available.
All these processes will help you on your path to finding yourself, and to loving your self. Self love is the key to dealing with loneliness, and finding comfort within solitude!