A Story About Having No One

Photo: Africa Studio / shutterstock
woman sitting contently

By Natalie Trznadel

You might be asking yourself: How can someone these days have no one? Well, it happens way more often than you think.

It starts slowly. First, you lose a couple of friends; either you switch schools or jobs or simply grow apart from them. Maybe your family lives far away from you, or you don’t really keep in touch that often.

So, you isolate yourself and spend time on your own. It’s good for you, right?

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You start doing everything alone: going to the cinema, ordering takeout, and having an occasional drink. Everybody does that, right?

Over time, you realize that you’re not texting or calling anyone. And if someone calls or texts you, you rarely pick up. You got so used to being alone that you stopped needing others.

When you come home, you’re alone. You sit on your couch, scrolling mindlessly through various social media platforms. After all, there’s no one to text, no one to tell that you’re home from work.

You make dinner, watch TV, and snuggle with your pet, waiting for it to be time to go to bed. There’s nothing else you can be doing anyway.

You stopped going to the gym and started skipping classes — you can take them online.

You don’t feel the need to hang out with anyone, and, quite frankly, you see it as a burden. So you do as little as possible around people and thrive alone.

It has gotten to the point that you can spend several days without leaving your apartment, and you’re happy with that. People only irritate you, so why bother?

Some call it depression. Others, who understand it, know the feeling. Having no one is hard and difficult to fix. Because the problem is that once you’ve had no one for a long time, you stop needing anyone.

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You become too reliant on yourself, and you isolate to the point that you live in your own little bubble. And that’s dangerous.

The world can be a dark place sometimes, especially recently. And being around people is what we all need to cope with it. We all need a shoulder to lean on, someone to give us a warm embrace, and a support system.

So even if you’re the most independent, self-sufficient, and introverted person, you still need people around you. No matter how hard it is to admit.

Fixing this situation requires doing the one thing you don’t want to do: Stop allowing yourself to have no one in your life. Yes, it sounds strange. But it’s the only way to fight the crippling loneliness you’ve created.

Start by taking small steps. You can start with texting that friend back or working out at home. Do whatever it takes to shake off the numbness and feeling of simply being "neutral."

Feel with every part of your being and stop being alone; it’s not the way anyone should live.

So, next time your phone rings or that notification pops up, respond. When you’re feeling like you need to talk to someone, call or text a friend. Stop being afraid of being a burden and start living instead.

Yes, being alone is fine and good for you. But sometimes, you might not realize that you’re no longer just alone — you’re lonely.

Don’t write your own story about having no one. Instead, learn from others, and you’ll start to feel better.

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Natalie Trznadel is a photographer, traveler, and writer and editor for Unwritten. Her work has appeared on Thought Catalog, Unwritten, and YourTango, focusing on lifestyle and relationship topics. Visit her author profile for more.

This article was originally published at Unwritten. Reprinted with permission from the author.