If we were to ask pop culture what the ideal relationship looked like, most of us would expect an image of fireworks in the sky with that one and only person who completes us. Romantic comedies may be uplifting, and love songs beautiful, but much of what we learn about relationships early on sets us up for unrealistic expectations.
The result? We never feel like our relationships are good enough, and may doubt if we’re deserving of love.
Holidays like Valentine’s Day can exacerbate these worries. Social media often makes it seem like everyone else is coupled and in an ecstatic state of love. If we’re partnered, we may wonder if our relationship is as good as everyone else’s seems to be. And if we’re single, we may feel even more inadequate.
Continue reading 7 Truths About Love to Remember This Valentine’s Day
This piece is part of our Darkest Day series, a collection of stories from people who’ve made it through the worst of their illness and now light the way for others.
It must be possible to spend your early 20s in a way that doesn’t prompt later regret. Knowing what it feels like to be, say, 22, newly graduated from college, and recently moved in with a drop-out junk dealer boyfriend, it’s hard for me to imagine. Some people must have the strength of character, or luck, or some combination, to skip over the throwing-your-life-away-as-soon-as-it becomes-your-own stage of development. I’m curious about them.
When I was 22, I decided to throw my life away with the most unsuitable person I had met to date.
Continue reading Toxic Love: The Relationship that Almost Undid Me
One of the darker times in my life came after the mass shooting at Orlando’s Pulse nightclub. It was the end of Albuquerque’s Pride weekend, a celebration of togetherness and community, but I quickly found myself feeling more isolated than ever. In times of tragedy, healthy people lean on others for support. I didn’t do that.
After a year of shutting out everybody who tried to care about me, I had nobody left to talk to. My best friend was in another city and my parents were in another state. All my friends were seeking solace with their families, their close friends, and their lovers, while I was attempting to drown out the collective sobs of my LGBTQ brothers and sisters with my one true love — work.
But misery doesn’t just love company, it needs it to heal. After a couple days of denial, I fell apart. All I wanted was a hug. I chose to seek comfort in people I thought were sure to know exactly how I felt: other gay men. Not quite finished with my poor life choices, I chose to connect with them on Grindr. I can say with great confidence that one-night flings with strangers will do nothing to fix loneliness. Continue reading How I Overcame Loneliness
1 in 10 Americans and 121 million people worldwide suffer from some form of depression.
– by Luanne Rossi, LCSW / Talkspace Therapist
Depression usually affects more people than the individual it attacks. Family members of the person afflicted can experience a multitude of life changes, including financial difficulties, strained relationships within the family and unanticipated shifts in the overall dynamic. A lack of education about depression can cause close friends and family members to disassociate from the afflicted person, intensifying his or her feelings of loneliness. Continue reading Depression: How One Disorder Became A Family Affair
Yes, loneliness can impact your lifespan.
The truth is, if you haven’t experienced loneliness for yourself, no matter how much you read, talk, or hear about it, you may never fully understand what it’s like. It’s more than just a longing for authentic and meaningful connections with others, loneliness is a state that impacts the overall emotional, mental, and physical wellbeing of a person. Continue reading How Much Do You Really Know About Loneliness?
“What should young people do with their lives today? Many things, obviously. But the most daring thing is to create stable communities in which the terrible disease of loneliness can be cured.” – Kurt Vonnegut
Imagine the following scenario: You are sitting in a restaurant with your best friend. It’s been a long time since you’ve seen each other and you have been looking forward to reconnecting. Instead of doing exactly that, you are both on Facebook, liking and sharing posts that have nothing to do with what’s happening between you right then and there. When you leave dinner, you realize that you still miss your friend, but you’re not sure why. Furthermore, it dawns on you that recently, you’ve been feeling a bit disconnected from all of your friends, and it makes you terribly sad. Continue reading The Sad Truth About Loneliness in a Connected World