Okay, first things first. I see you. I hear you. I understand you.
If you’re here reading this post, you probably typed “I have no one in my life” in Google. If you did that, we’re so, so much alike.
I spent the first three decades of my life feeling like I have no one in my life. My childhood was chock full of abusers and cruelty. I learned from a young age that I was unlikeable, unlovable. Because I believed that, my thoughts and behavior and body language sent that message to others.
Result? The people who were drawn to me were the people that wanted to use me for something. They saw that I’d do anything to feel like someone liked me. Once they got what they wanted, they took off, and I was alone again. It hurt. Bad. For a long time.
If you’re at a place now where you feel like I have no one in my life, I want you to know that I’m here, understanding you. Sometimes just that, knowing there’s somebody out there who gives a shit, can make a huge diff.
I also want to share some things that helped me get from “I have no one in my life” to “I feel connected and loved and satisfied.”
1: Counseling. When I was super poor, I found counselors who cost like $5 a session. I contacted local social service agencies and asked if they had a list of therapists who did low-cost counseling; I worked with psychologist-in-training at my university. One therapist I reached out to referred me to her colleague who had so much money, he could take on a low-fee client. It can take some research, but it’s worth it. Counseling helped me unlearn that self-hate messages I was taught as a kid, and replace them with self-acceptance.
2: Find people who care about what you do. I volunteered at a center for street kids. I took memoir writing classes. I went to meditation groups. In situations where everyone is doing a thing you share an interest in, there’s a built in topic to talk about. That makes it way easier to start talking, to connect.
3: Spend time in nature. I’m so serious about this. If you’re not ready for humans yet, trees and animals and bugs are safe and welcoming.
If you’ll forgive me for this bit of corniness…it gets better. It really does. You keep your radar up for people who just want something from you—block!—and you keep your eyes open for people who think and care like you do. They’re out there. They’re looking for you. Go find ‘em.